The Causes of the Rebellion of India
SAYYID AHMED KHAN BAHADUR, C.S.I.
in Urdu, in the Year 1858, and Translated into English
with Extreme and Clunky Literalness
HIS AMERICAN WELL-WISHER,
NOTE: The Urdu text provided for reading practice, with page links throughout the translation, has occasional small omissions. For the best text, see the "Urdu 1859" text linked from the headings of the introduction and each of the five causes.
[I have not been able to find an Urdu text of these brief prefatory remarks.]
[Urdu 1859] *93* [INTRODUCTION] IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL [*commentary on the Introduction*]
"Obedience and submission become
Forgiveness is the attribute of God:
If I should do amiss
Reward me as seemeth right in Thine eyes." [in Persian]
In response to the revolt of Hindustan, the essay about the real causes of the rebellion of Hindustan that I had written-- although my heart wanted now to erase them from the page of the times, or rather erase them even from my heart, since the proclamation that Her Excellency the Exalted Ruler, Queen Victoria (long may she reign!) has issued, is a complete cure for every single real cause of that rebellion-- the truth is that having seen the matter of that proclamation, the pen would fall from the hand of the writers of the causes of the rebellion. There has remained no necessity for anyone now to analyze them, because now their cure has become complete.
*94* But to reflect on the real causes of those agitations, and with one's best sincerity to describe the true causes, I consider to be an excellent piece of well-wishing toward my Government. Thus it is incumbent upon me that although their cure would have very well taken place-- nevertheless, the causes that are in my heart, I should make them too manifest. It's true that many very wise men and experienced people have written the causes of this rebellion. But I believe that perhaps no Hindustani person would have written anything about it. It's better that one opinion of such a person too should remain.
--Sayyid Ahmad Khan 
[Urdu 1859] *95* [0.0] What was the cause of the revolt of Hindustan?
[0.1] The meaning of "revolt," and examples of it.
Before answering this question, we ought to tell the meaning of "revolt." Know that to confront one's Government; or to join with its opponents; or with an oppositional intention to disregard its command and not to obey it; or brazenly to break the Government's laws and rules; is "revolt." For example:
1. For a servant,
or subject, to fight with or confront his Government.
2. Or with an oppositional intention, to disregard and not to obey its command.
3. Or to aid its opponents, and to join with them.
4. Or for subjects to brazenly fight among themselves, and to transgress the limits decreed by Government.
5. Or not to keep in the heart love and well-wishing of one's Government, and *96* not to take its part in time of trouble.
In the complicated time that occurred in 1857, there was none among these types of revolt that did not take place; in fact, very few wise men among us would turn out to be free of the last type. Although this last type, which seems to be a small thing, is of extremely great weight.
[0.2] Why does the intention of revolt come into the heart?
The intention of revolt that is born in the heart-- it has only one cause. That is, things presenting themselves that are opposed to the temperament, and intention, and will, and custom and practice, and nature, and quality, of those who revolt.
From this account it is proved that no particular thing can be *97* the cause of a general revolt. Indeed, the cause of a general revolt can be either something that is opposed to everyone's temperament, or numerous things that people have spread among the temperaments of a group, and gradually it would become a general revolt.
[0.3] The revolt of 1857 did not arise from any one thing; rather, it was an accumulation of many things.
This happened in the revolt of 1857 too: for a long time many things had kept accumulating in people's hearts, and a very large [powder-]magazine had accumulated. To set it off, there remained only to apply the fire: and the army's rebellion the year before touched the fire to it.
[0.4] The distribution of chapattis had nothing to do with any conspiracy.
In 1856, in a number of districts of Hindustan, chapattis were passed on from hand to hand, and almost at the same time the revolt took place. Although at that time cholera was raging in all Hindustan, and the thought occurs that this might have been done to remove it, as a charm, because ignorant Hindustanis make constant use of such charms. But the truth is that *98* to this day, the true reason for it has not come to light. But there can be no doubt that those chapattis cannot have been the basis of any conspiracy. The practice does indeed exist that this kind of thing can be used as a token, to prove the truth of an oral message. And it's apparent that with this chapatti, there was no oral message. If there had been, it's impossible that despite its being widespread and circulating among men of every community and every temperament, it would have remained secret. The way in which the revolt spread in Hindustan, and moved from here to there and there to here, is clear proof that there was no prior conspiracy.
[0.5] There was no conspiracy between Russia and Persia.
To think that revolt in India arose from a conspiracy of Russia and Persia is an entirely groundless idea. The Hindustanis-- no telling what kind of creatures they might consider the Russians to be!-- how could they join with them in a conspiracy? The Hindus could not form any conspiracy with the Persians. For the Muslims of India and the Iranians to be in accord, is as impossible as for the Protestants and the Roman Catholics. If it's possible for day and night to join in a single time, *99* then indeed such a conspiracy is possible. It's surprising that when Russia and Persia fought, then nothing happened in Hindustan; and when agitation happened in India, then nothing there; and yet conspiracy is thought of.
[0.6] An account of the proclamation that emerged from the tent of a Persian Prince.
The proclamation that emerged from the tent of a Persian Prince is well-known. Not a word of it gives any proof of a conspiracy involving Hindustan. Its theme is clearly the incitement of the people of his own country; the mention of the wretchedness of Hindustan is made by way of encouraging the Persians to support the war, not by way of having established a conspiracy with Hindustan.
[0.7] The writing of a farman to Persia by the ex-King of Delhi is not surprising, but was not the basis of the revolt.
We consider it nothing surprising if the ex-King of Delhi wrote a farman to Persia. The state of the ex-King of Delhi was such that if he had been told that the the King of the Jinns in Pari-land was in his service, he would have considered it true, and would have written half a dozen *100* farmans to him. The ex-King of Delhi used always to say, "I turn into a fly or a mosquito, and fly off, and return with news of people and lands." And he considered this to be true, and he wanted the courtiers to confirm it, and they all used to confirm it. If such a deluded man, at someone's behest, wrote a farman, then it's not surprising. But it's impossible that it would have been the basis for any kind of conspiracy whatsoever. Is it not surprising that such a major conspiracy should last for such a time, and our rulers remain entirely unaware? Even after the revolt, not to speak of any soldier or civilian, not even any rebel ever once made mention of any mutual conspiracy, although after the revolt, why would they have any fear?
[0.8] The seizure of Avadh was not the cause of this general agitation.
Nor do we consider the seizure of Avadh to be the cause of this revolt. There's no doubt that the seizure of Avadh angered everybody, and everybody believed that the Honorable East India Company had acted contrary to its pledges and promises. In general, the people felt as much anger at the seizure of Avadh as has always *101* been felt when the Company has conquered some land; this will be discussed later. Mostly, the fear and fright and anger were felt by the highly-placed nobles and the independent rulers of Hindustan. They all believed that everybody's lands and everybody's dominions and powers would be snatched away. But we see that not one of these rulers and nobles became a rebel. In this agitation the majority were people whose territories were not in their hands. Don't say in reply to this that the Navab of Jhajjar and the Rajah of Ballabgarh and so-and-so became rebels.
[0.9] This was not a conspiracy by a 'community' [qaum] to overthrow the rule of a 'foreign community' [ghair-qaum].
Nor ought it to be thought that this agitation came about because of a feeling of longing and regret that foreigners had taken control of the Hindustanis' ancient land-- that the whole 'community' [qaum] united in revolt. It must be understood that the dominion of our Government did not come into Hindustan all at once. Rather, this took place gradually, and its beginning is dated from 1757, with the defeat of Siraj ud-Daulah at Plassey. Since that time, until some days previously,*102* the hearts of the whole people and the nobles were drawn toward our Government; and repeatedly hearing of the morality and virtues and mercy and consideration and pledge-honoring and care for the people and peace and indulgence of our Government and its governors, the flag-bearers of the Hindus and Muslims who were neighbors [shade-sharers] of our Government used to wish to be under its protection [shade]. Even the kings of other lands placed perfect reliance upon our Government, and whatever promise or agreement they made with our Government, they considered it to be extremely fixed and graven in stone.
Despite the fact that our Government now has, compared with former times, much more power as compared to the Hindustanis; the nobles and subahdars and great ones of Hindustan now have only the smallest fraction of the strength and authority they once had. Although in those times our Government faced many wars with every 'community' [qaum] of Hindustan, with Hindus and Muslims, and our Government was constantly victorious. And all Hindustanis believed that one day our Government would hold dominion over the whole of Hindustan, and that all these peoples of Hindustan, *103* whether Hindu or Muslim, one day would come within the grasp and power of our Government. Despite these beliefs, in that time there was no sort of revolt and confrontation with the Government: all the histories are devoid of the mention of it.
If the agitation were because of this, then it's certain that instances of these agitations would be found in those times too. Especially since in those times there was more scope for such agitations. During the time of conflict that began in 1839, when in Hindustan there wasn't any kind of revolt, despite the fact that for hundreds of years Hindustan had been under the rule of princes of those very regions, with whom the conflict was taking place. And because of those very kings, Muslims had received dignity and elevation in Hindustan. So now the thought absolutely can't be entertained, that the Muslims have created the present agitation out of grief for the vanishing of their kingship.
[0.10] The ex-King of Delhi received no esteem among the people of Delhi, or in those cities that were near Delhi, but only among outsiders; Lord Amherst's saying that the Timurid dynasty was not the ruler of Delhi.
*104* Absolutely no one longed for the rule of the ex-King of Delhi. The frivolous and foolish behavior of this dynasty had lowered them in the sight of everyone. Indeed, outsiders who were not aware of the King's circumstances and behavior, and [low] degree of esteem and authority, undoubtedly respected the King greatly, and considered him to be the King of Hindustan and the Honorable East India Company to be his agent. In particular, Delhi people and people who lived in neighboring areas had no regard for him whatsoever. Despite all this, no Hindustanis felt any sorrow at the deposition of the King.
[0.11] It will be remembered that when in 1827 Lord Amherst Sahib Bahadur made an announcement that 'now our Government is in no way subordinate to the Timurid dynasty, but rather it is itself the ruler of Hindustan', then at that time the common people and lords of Hindustan paid no attention; although the royal family especially might have felt some sorrow.
[0.12] There was no previous conspiracy among the Muslims for 'jihad'.
That the Muslims had been for a long time conspiring and plotting among themselves *105* with the intention that 'we would join together and do jihad against the people of another religion, and become free of their dominion', is an extremely groundless idea. Since Muslims were under the protection of our Government, they could not in any way perform 'jihad' in the Government's dominion.
[0.13] Mention of the preaching and jihad of Maulvi Muhammad Isma'il.
Twenty or thirty years earlier a very well known Maulvi, Muhammad Isma'il, preached the practice of jihad in Hindustan, and incited men toward jihad. At that time he said flatly that those residents of Hindustan who live under the protection of the English Government cannot perform jihad in Hindustan. For this reason, thousands of jihadis gathered in every district in Hindustan, and didn't create any agitation in the Government's dominion. And they went to the western border, and went and attacked the Panjab. And the way contemptible and ignorant men in every district invoked the name of 'jihad'-- if we consider them jihadis, even then this absolutely no preparation for this conspiractook place before the tenth of May, 1857.
[0.14] In that turmoil nothing was done according to the Muslims' religion.
*106* One ought to consider carefully that in that time the people who raised the banner of jihad were such wretched and ill-conducted and badly-behaved men that besides drinking wine and watching spectacles and seeing dances and shows, they had no other profession. What the hell-- how could they be counted as leaders and initiators of jihad? In that turmoil nothing at all took place according to religion. Everyone knows that to plunder Governmental treasure and wealth which was a trust, and for servants not to be 'true to their salt', was not, with respect to religion, proper. It's entirely clear that the murder of innocents, especially women and children and the aged, was, according to religion, a very major sin. Then how could this turmoil have been a war of jihad? Though indeed, some ill-born wretches, out of worldly greed, and to fulfill their wishes and deceive the ignorant and add to their own ranks, did invoke the name of jihad. Then this action too was one more bastardly act among the bastardly acts of these agitators; it was not, in reality, jihad.
[0.15] The fatwa of jihad that the rebels printed in Delhi is in reality a fake.
*107* The fatwa of jihad printed in Delhi is considered to be an excellent proof of jihad, but I've heard an analysis-- and there are many proofs of its reliability-- that it is only a fake. I've heard that when the traitorous army went from Meerut into Delhi, someone wanted a fatwa with regard to jihad. Everyone gave the fatwa that jihad cannot take place. Although I've seen a copy of this previous fatwa, since the original fatwa does not exist, I can't say to what extent this copy is worthy of credence. But when the army of Bareilly arrived in Delhi, and a second fatwa was given-- the one that's well-known, in which it's written that jihad is necessary-- that one is undoubtedly not genuine. The publisher of this fatwa, who was an agitator and a longtime extreme scoundrel, in order to deceive and mislead the ignorant, wrote people's names on it and thus gave it extra circulation when he published it. Rather, he applied to it the seals of several people who had died before the sedition. But it's well known that some men had also applied their seals because of the force and violence of the rebel army of Bareilly and their agitator companions.
[0.16] In Delhi, a large group of maulvis who considered the ex-King an 'innovator' and didn't perform namaz in mosques controlled by him.
*108* In Delhi, a large group of maulvis and their followers were such that with regard to religion they considered the ex-King of Delhi very bad, and a 'innovator'. Their belief was that in the mosques of Delhi in which the King had power and access and control, namaz was not proper. Accordingly, those people didn't even perform the namaz even in the Jama Masjid, and published fatwas on this matter from long before the sedition are available. Then the intelligence can never accept that such people would have given fatwas that jihad was proper and that the King should be made the leader.
[0.17] Among those whose seals have been affixed to the fatwa, a number of them protected the lives and honor of Christians.
Among the people whose seals had been affixed to that fatwa, some of them gave shelter to Christians, and protected their lives and honor. Not one of them joined the fight and came forth into the battle. If in reality they had thought the way they are believed to have thought, then why would they have done these things? In short, in my opinion it never entered the Muslims' heads to unite together to do jihad against the Christian rulers. *109* And the ignorant and the agitators who raised a clamor of 'jihad! jihad!' and went around calling out 'Haidari!'-- they're not worthy of belief. Although indeed, the causes for the Muslims to be dissatisfied with regard to religion, and the reason for this-- that we will describe clearly below. There's no doubt but that compared to the Hindus, the Muslims were largely dissatisfied with practically everything. And this is the reason that compared to the Hindus, in a number of districts the Muslims former a larger proportion of the agitators. Although the districts in which Hindus agitated are also not few in number.
[0.18] There was no prior counsel for rebellion in the army.
In the army, there was absolutely no consultation and prior planning for a rebellion. It's an established fact that the rebels of the army, even after the rebellion, never mentioned such a thing, even among themselves. Indeed, after the event at Barrackpore, and especially during the period when men of many platoons had been brought together for the teaching of the new rules [=drill?], there used to be mutual agreement, and unanimity, that 'we will never use the modern cartridges'. Even at that time, there was no other kind of intention *110* and resolve. Rather, they considered it certain that the Government would withdraw the order. Although it was withdrawn, still after the tenth of May 1857 there was no benefit toward repairing the agitation that had occurred. That fire was not capable of being extinguished by such means.
[0.19] There was no prior conspiracy between the rebel army and the King of Delhi.
The idea that the rebel army previously formed a conspiracy with the ex-King of Delhi is entirely without foundation. No one considered the King of Delhi to be a saint and a sanctified being. People used to flatter him to his face, and laugh at him behind his back. People used to become his disciples with some advantage in view, not by way of true belief. It's not strange if some soldier or Subahdar from some platoon would have become his disciple. But that has no connection with a conspiracy for rebellion. Undoubtedly, the rebel army gathered at Delhi. But when it had fallen out with the Government, then besides the King of Delhi what individual was there around whom the army could rally? For this, there was no need for prior conspiracy. Without a doubt the Government's maintaining the figure of the King of Delhi *111* was always improper and objectionable. And the scheme devised by Janab Lord Ellenborough Sahib Bahadur was unquestionably worthy of acceptance; rather, it was necessary to do even more than that. Unquestionably the King of Delhi was a spark among the embers-- one that, being borne aloft by the power of the wind, set fire to the whole of Hindustan.
[0.20] The non-participation of the Hindustanis in the Legislative Council was the true cause of the agitation.
The true cause of this agitation I consider to be only one. As for the rest, however many causes there are, they are all branches of this one. And this understanding of mine is not illusory and merely speculative; rather, the opinions of many wise men of former times have already been in agreement with it, and all the essays on the "principle of government" [=English phrase] support me in this matter. And all the histories of Europe and Africa offer firm testimony to the justice of my opinion.
[0.21] This matter was very necessary.
Everyone has long agreed that in connection with the principledness and excellence *112* and stability of Government, access of the people is among the necessities of governance. The rulers learn the goodness or badness of their plan only from the people, before evils would reach such a level that then their cure would not be possible. [A Persian verse by Sa'adi:]
The fountainhead may be blocked by a stone
The full torrent may not be crossed even on an elephant
And this is not achieved until the people have access to the government of the land-- our Government, especially, which was a resident of a foreign country and had a religion, and customs, and a temperament, and habits, different from those of this country. It was necessary to keep in mind that the structure of Government, and its excellence and principledness and stability, is dependent upon acquaintance with local ways and habits, and then upon the people.
Because from looking at former histories, which are in reality a chronicle of the habits and opinions and ways of various kinds of people, it can be learned that these habits and opinions and ways were not obtained through any intellectual rule; rather in every land and community [qaum] they have come about by happenstance. Thus the rules of the Government are based on those manners and ways, not those manners and ways and habits on the rules of the Government. And in this *113* is the stability and basis of Government, because as long as those habits and morals are firm and have become human nature in the hearts of the people, to act contrary to them is to act contrary to human nature, and to keep everyone aggrieved. Will we forget that chaotic condition of Bengal that occurred when in 1758 the English Company Bahadur accepted the Divani, due to that very ignorance? On this subject John Clark Marshman Sahib's history refreshes our memory. And won't we remember the excellence there was in Bengal, through Lord Hastings Sahib Bahadur's acquaintance with the language and the country's customs and habits?
Undoubtedly, the entry of the people of Hindustan into Parliament was impossible and quite without benefit. But there was no reason for their not having entry into the Legislative Council. Thus it's this one thing that is the root of the agitation of all Hindustan; and however many additional matters became collected together, they are all branches of it.
We don't say that our Government made no attempt to inquire about *114* the country's situations and ways. Rather, we are heartily convinced that it did, and we consider a number of the laws of Government, and the advisories of the Board of Revenue, and the Honorable Thomason Sahib's advisories about revenue, to bear witness to this. But undoubtedly the Government didn't devote attention to ascertaining the circumstances and habits and thoughts and manners and ways and temperament and disposition and capabilities of the people. Without a doubt, our Government didn't know what each passing day brings to the people, and what nights of difficulty befall them-- and what sorrows go on collecting in their hearts from day to day, that gradually had accumulated in great numbers, and from a single small movement suddenly rained down.
[0.22] From this cause the people's attitude toward the Government did not become revealed, and the virtuous intention of the Government did not become apparent to the Hindustanis; rather, the opposite was believed.
From the non-participation of Hindustanis in the Legislative Council *115* not only this much harm occurred, that the Government was not able well to know the real damage of the laws and requirements that had been put in place; and the wishes of the common people, to respect which was necessary for the Government, did not remain respected; and the people did not obtain the opportunity and power to remedy this damage and present their own wishes. Rather, the very great harm was that the people didn't learn the intention and true purpose and inner desire of the Government; the people misunderstood every scheme of the Government. Whatever scheme of the Government there was, because the people were not participants in it and thus were not aware of the nature of this scheme, and did not know its basis, the Hindustanis always considered that 'this thing too is for the ruination and destruction and debasement and irreligiosity of us and our fellow-countrymen'. And those various things that were issued by the Government that were in reality contrary to custom and against the temperament and disposition of the Hindustanis-- regardless of whether in their own right they were good or bad, generally they gave credibility to these erroneous views. By degrees a state of affairs came about that the people of Hindustan always gave for our Government the similes of sweet poison and a honeyed dagger and a cold flame. *116* And then in their hearts they believed to be true, and considered, that 'if today we have escaped from the Government's hands, then tomorrow it will not be so; and if tomorrow it is so, then the day after tomorrow it will not be so'. And no one was there to inquire about their situation, and there was no means for removing this erroneous opinion of theirs.
If the position of the people toward the Government would be that which ought to exist toward a mortal enemy, then from such a people, toward such a Government, what expection of faithfulness can there be? Since our Government was in reality not such as that, then such erroneous opinions' becoming settled in the Hindustanis' hearts, and the grief that filled their hearts-- for it not to be remedied was due only to the fact that Hindustanis were not participants in the Legislative Council. If they had been, then all these things would have been remedied. Now careful attention be given, then it is only this one single thing which, having given rise to many branches, created an inappropriate agitation in all Hindustan.
Don't say that our Government had given to the presses permission to publish all other matters except abuse and mischiefs and such things as would bring about mischief and revolt; and that before a law went into effect it was first *117* made public, and every individual had the right to present objections to it. Because these actions were simply insufficient-- or rather, entirely without advantage-- for the remedy of those great, impressive matters of which we speak.
And we don't wish on this occasion to be addressed about how it would be for the Hindustanis, who are extremely ignorant and untrained, to participate in the Legislative Council, and what benefit would emerge from the Hindustanis' participation; and if the people of Hindustan were given entry into the Legislative Council as in the case of Parliament, then would would be the method of their selection. There would be many difficulties in this, because on this occasion we have only to prove this much: that it would be very good and necessary for the Government, and for this very reason these agitations arose. And with regard to the the people's means of entry, we have a separate opinion; it ought to be looked at, and whatever discussion there would be, ought to be held there.
[0.23] The occurrence of the revolt is based on five causes.
The defect that was in our Government spread itself in *118* all Hindustan. And to whatever extent causes of revolt accumulated, although they are dependent upon this one action, if they are all brought under careful consideration, then they are based on five causes.
First: The misunderstanding of the people; that is, considering measures to be opposite to what they were.
Second: The putting into effect of such laws and regulations and methods of governance as were not suitable to the governance of Hindustan and to the habits of the Hindustanis, or were injurious.
Third: Government's remaining unacquainted with the true conditions and manners and habits of the people, and with those difficulties that affected them and through which the people's hearts gradually became torn away from the Government.
Fourth: The abandonment on the part of our Government of such actions as were incumbent and necessary for the governance of Hindustan.
Fifth: Ill-arrangement and non-supervision of the army.
Now we will consider separately these five causes and every one of their *119* branches, if God so pleases.
[Urdu 1859] [1.0] THE FIRST CAUSE: Misunderstanding by the people-- that is, their contrary understanding of the measures of Government. [*commentary on the First Cause*]
[1.1] First, the misunderstanding of the people; that is, considering measures of Government to be opposite to what they were.
At this point however many matters we discuss, our meaning through them is not that in reality these things were in our Government. Rather, the meaning is that people erroneously considered this, and it became a cause of the revolt. If a Hindustani too had had entry into the Legislative Council, then this misunderstanding would not have been present.
[1.2] Their considering that there was religious intrusion.
Religious intrusion-- there's no doubt that all the people, ignorant and capable, and high and low, considered it certain that our Government's secret intention was to intervene in religion and custom and tradition; and to bring everybody, whether Hindu or Muslim, around to the Christian religion and the customs and traditions of their [=the Government's] land. And the biggest *120* cause of this revolt was exactly this.
Every individual deeply believed that the orders of Government come into existence gradually, and that which they have to do, they always do by slow degrees. Along these lines they will not suddenly and forcibly tell Muslims to change the style of their religion, but as they get more of a grip, to that extent they will keep on intruding; and those matters that had manifested themselves, which will be discussed below, kept reinforcing and proving that erroneous doubt. Everybody believed that our Government would not use open force for the change of religion. Rather, by hidden schemes they would render the knowledge of Arabic and Sanskrit virtually extinct, and the land impoverished and needy. And by causing people to be unacquainted with the aspects of their [own] religion, and spreading books and teachings and instruction in their [=the Government's] faith and religion, by arousing a greed for positions they would deprive people of religion.
[1.3] Mention of the orphans of Sikandra.
In the drought-year of 1837, those orphaned boys who were made Christian-- in all the *121* zilas and regions, western and eastern, that was counted as one example of the intention of Government: that making Hindustan impoverished and needy like this, they would bring them into their own religion. I say truly that when the government of the Hon'ble East India Company used to conquer some region, the people of Hindustan never used to feel any grief-- except for people's knowing that to the extent that the authority of our Government increased, confrontation with any enemy and neighboring ruler, and concern about agitation, would no longer remain, and to that extent they [=the Government] would make more intrusion into their religion and custom and tradition.
[1.4] A great deal of religious discussion took place.
In the beginning of the rule of our Government in Hindustan, there was very little discussion of religion. It went on increasing day by day, and in this age has reached its limit. Undoubtedly our Government had no entry into these actions, but every person considered that all these matters are with the order and the hint and the wish of Government. Everyone believed that the Government *122* has appointed the Padri Sahibs in Hindustan, and that the Padri Sahibs receive a salary from the Government. And that the English governors who come from abroad who are employees in this country give the Padri Sahibs a good deal of money, and books to distribute, and in every way are their helpers and assistants.
[1.5] The covenanted officers' adoption of missionary behavior.
Many covenanted officers and army officers had begun to talk to their subordinates about religion. Some sahibs ordered their servants, 'come to our house and listen to the teaching of the Padri Sahib', and it used to happen just so. In short, this practice became so widespread that no one knew whether under management of the Government his religion would remain secure for himself or for his children.
[1.6] The teaching of the Padri Sahibs.
The teaching of the Padri Sahibs took on a new aspect. Books of religious insistence, in the form of question and answer, began to be printed and distributed. In those books, with regard to other people's holy personages, sorrow-causing *123* words and themes appeared. In Hindustan, the custom of teaching and narrative is that they sit in their own religious places or homes and speak; whoever's heart might wish, and whoever might be attracted, he would go there and listen. The method of the Padri Sahibs was the reverse of this: they themselves went to the gatherings and holy places [tirth] and fairs of other religious, and preached. And only through fear of the rulers, no one forbade them. In some districts the custom developed that an escort [chaprasi] from the police station began to go with the Padri Sahib. In their preaching the Padri Sahibs did not content themselves with simply discussing the Holy Bible. Rather, they referred to the holy personages and holy places of other religions very abusively and disdainfully, from which the listeners felt extreme sorrow and inner trouble, and the seed of disaffection toward our Government was sown in people's hearts.
[1.7] Missionary schools.
Many missionary schools were started, and in them religious education began. The people all said that these were sponsored by the Government. In some districts *124* very highly placed and highly respected covenanted officers used to go to those schools, and encouraged people to join them and participate in them. Examinations based on religious books were held, and young boys among the students were asked 'who is your Lord, who is your Savior?'; and they answered according to the Christian religion, and for this they were given a prize. Due to all these things, the people's hearts kept moving away from our Government.
Here an important objection arises, that if people were unhappy with this education, why did they enroll their boys? We ought not to consider this a sign of non-unhappiness; rather, it is a great proof of Hindustan's condition having become entirely wretched and impoverished and extremely straitened and ruined. The cause was only the neediness and poverty of Hindustan: people thought that, 'having been enrolled in those schools, our children will obtain some means of livelihood and living'. Such a harsh necessity, which no doubt caused inner sorrow and spiritual grief, they neither approved of nor accepted.
[1.8] Village schools.
From the establishment of village ['rural'] schools, all *125* the people considered it certain that these schools had been set in motion only to make them Christians. The Parganah Visitors and Deputy Inspectors who used to move around in every village and town giving people the advice, 'enroll your boys in the schools'-- in every village the name for them was 'Black Padris'. In whichever village the Parganah Visitor or Deputy Inspector arrived, the villagers spread the word among themselves that the Black Padri had come. The common people thought that, 'these are Christian schools, and they take students in order to make them Christians'. And intelligent people, though they didn't think this, nevertheless considered that 'in those schools there's only Urdu education; having studied in them, our boys will become entirely unacquainted with the commands and views and beliefs and customs of our own religion, and will become Christians'. And they likewise considered that, 'this is the very intention of the Government-- that it would obliterate Hindustan's religious knowledges, so that in the future the Christian religion would spread'. In a number of the eastern districts of Hindustan the establishment of these schools, and the enrollment of boys in them, took place by outright coercion, and they said that it was the Government's order that boys should be enrolled.
[1.9] The establishment of girls' schools.
In Hindustan *126* there was much discussion of the education of girls, and everyone considered it certain that the Government's purpose was that girls should come to the schools, and obtain education, and become unveiled [be-pardah]-- which was utterly unacceptable to the Hindustanis. In quite a number of districts examples of this were established. The Parganah Visitors and Deputy Inspectors considered, 'if we make an effort and establish girls' schools, then we will obtain very favorable notice in the Government'. For this reason, they used every method, permissible and non-permissible, to induce people to establish girls' schools. And for this reason in people's hearts there commonly grew feelings of discontent, and their erroneous opinions were confirmed.
[1.10] The change in the method of instruction in the large colleges.
The various large colleges that had been established in the cities-- it was as if people had been more or less suspicious of them from the first. In that era, Shah 'Abd ul-'Aziz, who was a maulvi renowned in all Hindustan, was alive. The Muslims asked him for a fatwa. He gave a clear answer: 'To enter into *127* the English college and study, and to learn the English language-- according to religion, it is all proper'. Upon this, hundreds of Muslims entered the colleges. But at that time the state of the colleges was not such [as it is today]; on the contrary, the curriculum was very good. Every sort of learning-- Persian and Arabic and Sanskrit and English-- was taught. There was permission to teach Fiqh, and Hadith, and poetics. There was a [regular] examination in Fiqh; certificates were obtained. There was no kind of religious encouragement. Instructors were appointed who were honored and respected and well-known and learned and abstemious.
But finally this situation did not remain. The esteem for Arabic became very little, and training in Fiqh and Hadith all at once started vanishing. Nor did Persian remain especially esteemed. The aspect of education and the customary books became entirely transformed. Urdu and English became the customary thing-- as a result of which the suspicion that 'Government seeks to wipe out Hindustan's religious knowledges' became established. The instructors were no longer respected and learned. Those very students of the colleges, who had not as yet earned respect in people's eyes, began to be instructors. Thus these colleges too came to be in the very same state. *128*
[1.11] The Government's proclamation with regard to eligibility for employment.
While the village schools and the colleges were in such a state that the suspicion of their promoting the Christian religion was universal, then suddenly a proclamation was issued by the Government that whoever will be educated by a school [madrasah], and will have passed an exam in the English language and in such-and-such fields ['ulum] and received a degree, will be considered to be ahead of everyone for employment. Even petty positions became dependent on certificates from the Deputy Inspectors-- whom as yet all the people considered to be "Black Padris." And these erroneous opinions added a burden of grief to everyone's hearts, and in everyone's hearts displeasure with our Government was born, and people considered that in every way Hindustan was being deprived of livelihood and impoverished, so that when these people were desperate, gradually a change and alteration in their religious views would come about.
*129* [1.12] The arrangements for food and drink in jails.
At this very time in a number of districts the scheme was made that the prisoners in the jails would eat food cooked by the hands of a single individual, from which the religion [mazhab] of the Hindus was entirely destroyed. Although in the Muslims' religion there was no harm in this, everyone felt grieved at heart that the Government had set out to take away everyone's religion, and in every way was scheming to that end.
[1.13] The matter of the letters of Rev. E. Edmond.
All these evils were happening in people's hearts, when suddenly in 1855 Rev. [Padri] E. Edmond sent from the seat of government, Calcutta, to all the official Government servants, low and high, letters of which the purport was that now in Hindustan there has come to be one rule, through use of the telegraph information about all places had become unified, through railways and roads travel to and from all places had become unified-- religion too should be one. Therefore it is proper that you people *130* too should become religiously unified as Christians. I say truly that after the arrival of these letters, because of fear, darkness appeared before everyone's eyes. The ground beneath their feet receded. Everyone became convinced that the time the Hindustanis had been expecting had now come. Now however many Government servants there were, first they would be compelled to become Christians, and then the whole mass of the people. Everyone undoubtedly considered that these letters had come through the order of the Government.
Among themselves the Hindustanis asked the Government office-holders, 'Have you gotten a letter?' The intent of this was, 'you too, through greed for a job, have become a Christian'. These letters caused such blame to be placed on Hindustani office-holders that those to whom the letters had come used to reply, out of shame and in order to hide their disgrace, 'it has not come to us'. People used to answer, 'now it will come-- aren't you a Government servant?'
If you want to know the truth, these letters were what made the erroneous suspicions of the Hindustanis solid and firm-- thus they did so, and no device succeeded in erasing them. It's not at all strange that at this very time, some disorder and a certain *131* amount of agitation broke out in the country-- as, from the circumstances of that time, is manifest. But Janab of Lofty Title the Navab Lieutenant Governor Bahadur of Bengal quickly learned of it, and issued a proclamation that, for a time, brought comfort to people's hearts, and that restlessness that had come about, became calm. But it did not create the firm subduing and suppression that was necessary. People considered that this matter was absent only for the present, sometime when control had been gained, at an opportune time, it would again be brought forth. Rev. E. Edmond's letter and the proclamation of the Navab of Lofty Title, the Lieutenant Governor Bahadur of Bengal are entered at the end of the book; you can see them there.
[1.14] The Muslims' having more sorrow at intrusion into religious affairs, and the reason for it.
With all these things the Muslims, as compared to the Hindus, were very much more dissatisfied. The reason is that the Hindus fulfill their religious injunctions [mazhab ke ahkam] in the form of custom and habit, not in the form of religious injunctions [ahkam mazhab ke]. The injunctions and rules of their religion, and those inner matters of belief on which *132* ultimate salvation, according to their religion, depends-- to them these are absolutely unknown, nor do these form part of their practice. For this reason they are exceedingly ignorant and lax in their religion. Apart from customary matters and avoidances [of certain foods] in eating and drinking, they are not firm and zealous in any religious principle. If in their presence matters contrary to this creed of theirs, which ought to be believed in the heart, would constantly happen, they feel no anger or sorrow.
By contrast, Muslims know very well which things, according to their creed, will give them Paradise, and which will place them in Hell; and considering these injunctions to be religious injunctions, and injunctions sent by the Lord, they carry them out. For this reason, they are firm and zealous in their religion. For these reasons, the Muslims were mostly dissatisfied, and in comparison to the Hindus their taking a larger part in the agitation seemed likely-- and accordingly, exactly this happened. Without a doubt, to whatever extent the Government's intervention into religion is contrary to the principles of statesmanship, similarly to put a stop to the education of any religion-- especially that religion that its adherents (?) consider true-- is improper and inappropriate. But our meaning is only *133* this: that although our Government is such [as it is(?)], things were so carried on that the people's erroneous suspicions were not dispelled.
[Urdu 1859] [2.0] THE SECOND CAUSE -- the putting into effect of improper laws and rules: the issuing of such laws and rules and forms of government as were not suited to the governance of Hindustan and the habits of the Hindustanis. [*commentary on the Second Cause*]
[2.01] Act 21 of 1850.
From the Legislative Council too there came intervention into religious matters; Act 21 of 1850 was a clear case of the disturbance of religious rules. Then, because of this Act, for one thing people suspected that the Act had been issued especially to encourage people to accept the Christian religion. Because it was clear that no person from another religion can be admitted among the Hindus, the Hindus *134* were deprived of any benefit from this law. If some man from another religion would become a Muslim, then from the practice of the religion that he has adopted, he is forbidden to take any inheritance from his bequeathers who were of another religion. Thus neither could any new Muslim obtain any advantage from this Act. But indeed, whoever accepted the Christian religion, he could obtain advantage. For this reason, people thought that in addition to religious intervention, this Act was a clear enticement.
[2.02] Act 15 of 1856.
Act 15 of 1856 interfered with the religious customs of the Hindus with regard to widows. Although a great many discussions took place about this, and judgments in Hindu law [baivaste] too were obtained, still the Hindus, who are more devoted to customs and traditions than to religion, disliked this Act extremely. In fact, they considered it a couse of dishonor, and of family ruin, to them; and they suspected that this Act had been issued so that the Hindus' widows would become autonomous, and whatever they might want, *135* thus they would begin to do.
[2.03] The autonomy of women.
The rule of women's autonomy that was observed in the criminal courts-- how much harm it caused to the Hindustanis' honor and pride and custom and tradition! Even married women became autonomous in criminal court. The guardianship of guardians was removed from over women, and these things manifestly caused harm to religion. The confiding of reparation for this to the civil court was undoubtedly insufficient and without benefit. And a thing for which the reparation was urgently needed, according to religion and custom and tradition, was subjected to such delay and complexities that a great deal of agitation arose from this. The civil court decrees with regard to the giving back of wives were probably very rarely acted upon. Many judgments will turn out to be such that the woman gave birth to two or three children in the house of the abductor, and still the plaintiff is eagerly seeking a means for finding a trace of her.
[2.04] Some laws contrary to religion despite *136* both parties' being of the same religion.
Some Acts and laws are such that through their effect, despite both parties being of the same religion, decisions in civil court were made that were contrary to their religion. Our meaning is not that our Government should show partisanship toward any religion. In the situation of being of different religions, undoubtedly justice must be respected, on condition that that justice not be contrary to both religions or the creeds of both parties. When the two parties are of the same religion, then it's necessary that the judgments of the court in connection with their rights be according to their religion alone, or their custom and tradition alone.
[2.05] The seizure of revenue-free lands.
The laws of the seizure of revenue-free lands, of which the last was Law 2 of 1819, were extremely harmful to the realm of Hindustan. The extent to which the seizure of lands made the common people of Hindustan disaffected and ill-wishing toward our Government *137* -- no other thing had made them more so.
[2.06] The saying of Lord Munro and the Duke of Wellington.
Lord Munro and the Duke of Wellington Sahib Bahadur had said truly that to seize the revenue-free lands was to engender enmity with the Hindustanis and to make them impoverished. I cannot express the extent to which the Hindustanis felt dissatisfaction and inward sorrow and ill-wishing toward our Government, and the extent of difficulty and straitened circumstances they experienced for this reason. Many revenue-free lands had come down as such for centuries, and with the most trivial excuses they were seized. The Hindustanis definitely thought that, 'the government itself did not take care of us; rather, those estates that previous kings had given to us and to our ancestors-- the Government took them too; then what hope is there from the Government?'
With regard to the seizure of lands, even if this excuse from our Government be considered true and genuine, that if the seizure of revenue-free lands had not taken place *138* then in connection with fulfilling the expenses of Government, which we ought to consider extremely prudent economics, it would have been compelled to make a scheme for taking some other revenue from the people of Hindustan. But the common people are not in any way comforted by this, and the difficulty that befell them cannot be eliminated by this. Just look-- in that time, wherever the rebels issued proclamations in order to mislead and inveigle the common people, in all of them there's no mention of anything else except two things: that is, religious intervention and seizure of revenue-free lands. From this it is well established that these two things were the true sources and very major causes of the dissatisfaction of the people of Hind-- especially of the Muslims, who experienced very much more harm in comparison to the Hindus.
[2.07] The auction of estates.
In previous regimes, no doubt the custom existed of [transfer of] landholding rights through private foreclosure and mortgage and inheritance/gift, but it happened very rarely, and to whatever extent it took place, it used to be voluntarily and willingly. There was never a custom of forced auction of landholding rights, by order, because *139* of unpaid taxes or of debt. In Hindustan, landholders consider their ancestral landholding to be very precious, and from its loss they feel complete sorrow. If the matter be reflected upon, then in Hindustan every single landholding appears as a small kingdom. From ancient times, through everyone's consent one individual used to be the headman. He controlled the discourse, and every landholder used to have, in proportion to his share of landholding, the right to speak and to intervene. The peasants, the local residents, and the Chaudharis used to be in respectful attendance, and said their pieces. If some case took an unduly long time, then it was decided by order of the chief and headman of some large village. In every single village in Hindustan the very particular aspect of a small kingdom and a parliament was present. Beyond question, to the extent that a king feels sorrow at the loss of his kingdom, to that very same extent a landholder felt sorrow at the loss of his landholding. Our Government disregarded this entirely.
From the beginning of its rule to this day, there will be hardly a single village left in which there would not have been a certain amount of such transfer. At the very beginning these auctions had become so uncontrollably numerous that the whole land was turned upside down. *140* Then our Government, to remedy this, issued Regulation 1 of 1821, and a Commission was appointed. From this, hundreds of other types of evils arose-- to the extent that this task was not able to be brought to a conclusion as desired, and finally this commission was ended.
At this point we don't want to discuss what the government would then do, if it didn't maintain this practice for the receipt of revenue; or why an auction should not take place, since the land is mortgaged to the government for revenue payment and is considered to be its responsibility. Because at this point we say only this: that they became causes of the revolt, whether the reason for their existence was compulsion or ignorance. And if discussion about this matter is desired, then look at our account [in another work] of the methods of the governance of Hindustan. But here we only write this much: that to consider land to be pledged for revenue payment is very dubious: in truth, the government's claim is on the produce, not on the land.
The custom of auction of land right for the payment of debt gave rise to a great deal of agitation. Money-lenders and the wealthy, having given cash loans to the landlords, have practiced much trickery in order to snatch away their land rights. And in the *141* courts they have brought every kind of case, some with and some without merit, and have shut out the old landlords and themselves become the masters. These disasters have shaken all the landlords in the whole country.
[2.08] The harshness of the system.
The system of revenue collection that our Government created is extremely worthy of praise. But in comparison with previous systems, it is heavy. In previous regimes, a portion of the harvest used to be taken by way of revenue collection. Sher Shah had fixed for the Government a share of one-third of the harvest; unquestionably there were many difficulties with this method, and harm to the Government was possible, but the cultivators all remained settled and no one was forced to pay for losses. Akbar at first adopted this very system-- that is, he chose to take one-third of the harvest, and put this system into practice. But he refined the system, as is recounted in Lord Elphinstone Sahib's excellent history, and is also described in the A'in-e Akbari.
Akbar fixed different kinds of land. For the first kind of land, of which the name was 'pulich' and which was sowed *142* every year, a regular share of revenue was taken. The second kind of land, of which the name was 'paroti', was not always cultivated, but rather was sometimes left lying, in order to increase its strength; revenue was taken for this land for those years in which it was cultivated. The third kind of land, of which the name was 'chachar', gave no return for three or four years, and also required expenditure to fix it up. In the first year of use, two-fifths was taken, and then the amount increased until in the fifth year it was complete. The fourth kind of land, of which the name was 'banjar', gave no return for more than five years; for it there were even gentler terms.
The conversion of the in-kind settlement into cash was in this way: the harvest of every bigah, and every kind of land, was taken according to the average weight of its grain. For example, from a bigah were previously taken nine maunds of grain, and to take from the farmer three maunds of grain from that bigah was fixed as the Government's share. Then the value of the grain was fixed according to the average current price, and that was fixed as the cash value of that bigah. Then a great advantage in this was that if the farmer considered the cash value to be greater, he had the right to give three maunds of grain. Within the governmental settlement, many matters had not been taken into account. To land lying fallow *143* the same assessment was attached. Lands that had to remain fallow for some time in order to increase their fertility were not exempted.
From being farmed continually every year, the fertility lessened, the harvest began to decrease. The account that was made at the time of the settlement no longer remained. In a number of districts every single settlement became harsh, the landlord and farmers suffered harm; gradually they became impoverished. Their implements became very few, and for this reason from the land they farmed they didn't earn what they ought to have. From this reason too, a reduction in the harvest occurred. In order to pay the revenue, they incurred debt. The interest and the debt began to increase; many wealthy landlords, who used to have very good property and made prudent expenditures, became poor. Those villages in which there was an unusual amount of land lying uncultivated became even more wretched. The Honorable Thomason Sahib Bahadur in his instruction-letter, section 64, writes that in the settlement of Regulation 9 of 1833, on the whole it could be seen that the collection for good villages was devised to be somewhat mild, and the collection for poor villages became harsh.
The landlords' illegal extortions gradually ended; although this was a very good thing, at the time of the arrangement they should have received indulgence, which didn't happen. In short, for these reasons poverty had *144* overtaken landlords and farmers, for which reason, despite the security and ease that the landlords had, the memory of previous regimes was not erased.
[2.09] The crushing of the Taluqdars, especially in Avadh.
The crushing of the Taluqdari system, although we don't say that there was any injustice in it, nevertheless became a prime cause of the agitation, especially in the Avadh region. These Taluqdars had become Rajas, in their territory they exercised full powers. They collected revenue. That kingship and income of theirs suddenly vanished. In this matter too, if the government had not done this, then how would the actual landlords have emerged from the hands of these tyrants-- on this occasion we will not discuss this. Rather, discussion of it is contined in another [expression of] opinion of ours. Here, it's necessary to say only that the defeat of the Taluqdari system too was a cause of the agitation.
The use of stamps is entirely a *145* European creation. It is the practice of a land where it's as if the income [from land] is not taken. Its introduction into Hindustan, and then the gradual increasing of its price, of which the extreme limit is in Regulation X of 1829, were without a doubt contrary to the temperaments of the people of Hind. Rather, with regard to the state of poverty of the people of Hindustan, earlier people have had much discussion about the introduction of stamps, and many items of evidence have been presented. The actual case is the opposite of this [pro-stamp case].
But on this occasion we want to ignore all these discussions, and we consider it sufficient to write only this much: that the need for these discussions is in countries where the people are educated and affluent and perceptive and quick of understanding. The people of Hindustan, who grow day by day more impoverished, are absolutely not fit to bear this burden. All wise men have disapproved of this form of taxation; their view is that however blameworthy and merely unreasonable to levy a tax on title-deeds, a tax on that paperwork which is done for the sake of justice is even worse. Besides the burden of expense, in many circumstances it circumvents the dispensing of justice. Accordingly, Mill Sahib's book *146* "Political Economy" and Lord Brougham's "Political Philosophy" are on the undesirableness of this. And to whatever extent it is to be avoided in Europe, its adoption in Hindustan is very much more blameworthy.
[2.11] The Civil Court system [in Bengal and Agra] is better than in the Punjab, but is in need of revision.
The system of civil courts that is in the Presidencies of Bengal and Agra is extremely creditable; it has no involvement in this sedition. I know that the opinion of a number of government officers will be contrary to this, and they will prefer the system of the Punjab. But this topic requires a good deal of discussion. The 'law of the Punjab' is an overview term for those laws that are in force in that region. Rulebooks have not been established for their application and scope. Every official is himself in authority over them; it's not necessary that the officials' opinions would be in accordance. Then, to what an extent flaws in it are bound to result, can only be imagined!
The civil court is the best of all the courts, to which the greatest trust should be given. *147* On this court depend the security of the land and the transport of merchandise and the increase of commerce and the establishment of rights. In the Punjab, this court is coming to be held in extremely little respect. The officers pay it absolutely no attention-- rather, we say that they have no time to pay attention. To the extent that cases in governmental courts in these regions are scrutiny-requiring because of deaths and many matters and the passage of long periods of time-- as yet these are not there in the Punjab. And when they will be there, then beyond all doubt the laws of the Punjab are not sufficient to decide them properly.
In this sedition the effect of the civil courts that is found, it is only this much: first, the transfer of rights upon a death; and second, the affairs of debtors and indebtedness. Both these matters became the cause of mutual agitation, not of confrontation with the government. From these matters there was inward grievance. And it's a rule that when governance is slack, then mutual tension gives rise to agitation. Then, of those two matters because of which people had grievances against each other, the greatest cause of this was that unwarranted death transfers, and unjust debt judgments, had come down on people's heads, and they became indebted through false decrees, and for this reason *148* blame is placed on the civil courts. It's necessary to reflect that to the extent that inattentiveness and inadequacy and superficial investigation and arbitrariness by the officers of the civil court courts exists in the Punjab, will create even more evils than these. The effect of the civil courts does not become apparent in ten years; after fifty years, rather than now, the court system and the effects of the civil courts in Punjab ought to be compared with those in the Northwest. We acknowledge that the law of the civil courts of the Bengal and Agra Presidencies is capable of being improved. In the decision of cases there is much delay. Because stamps are costly, because many levels of appeal have been established in every court, people are burdened. Because the court officers had not been given some kinds of authority, there was damage to the decisions of the cases. Thus Act 19 of 1853 made some improvement, and to the extent that [the problem] remains, it is in need of correction. If anyone would care to see more discussion of this, look at our other opinions that are in our work on the government of Hindustan.
[Urdu 1859] [3.0] THE THIRD CAUSE -- The ignorance of Government of the true circumstances and ways and habits of the people; and of the difficulties which befell them, and because of which the hearts of the people went on becoming torn away from our Government. [*commentary on the Third Cause*]
[3.1] The ignorance of Government of the state of the people.
Beyond all question, our Government had no awareness of the circumstances and ways of the people, and of their sorrows. And what cause was there for them to be aware? Because awareness of circumstances and ways comes from affection and connection and informal mutual coming and going; and when one community [qaum] mingles into the other, and creates love and goodwill in the way of fellow-countrymen, and adopts [the country as] a homeland, the way the Musalmans, belonging to another religion and dwellers in another country, adopted Hindustan as their homeland, and created [such affection], and created brotherly interactions with those from the other country. But *150* in truth our Government was not able to obtain awareness in this way, which is the true cause of knowing the circumstances of the people, nor does our Government seek to settle down here and intermingle.
Now there remains this: if the people themselves would have announced their difficulties, then the people had no power to do it. Because the people of Hindustan had not the slightest means of access to the government. And if someone spontaneously sent some petition or letter, or presented it to Huzur the Governor General, then it was considered as a form of complaint, not as a form of rightful access to the Government, and for this reason it brought no benefit. Now it was necessary that some other person would make the Government aware of the condition of the people; that awareness was dependent upon the reports of the local officers.
[3.2] The local officers were absolutely unacquainted with the conditions of the people.
They themselves were unacquainted with it, and there was no way for them to obtain information. And their non-attentiveness in this matter and their temperamentalness *151* is a well-known fact. Everyone was afraid of their oppressiveness. No one had the nerve to tell them the truth about anything-- especially something contrary to the officers' wishes and desires. Everyone, both subordinates and elite courtiers, flattered them out of fear.
And our Government, which in reality is a [genuine] (?) kind of Government, from those matters created the aspect of an authoritarian (?) Government. Then, this form of information about the conditions of the people through the local officials was not merely insufficient, but rather in reality was nonexistent. For this reason the conditions of the people always remained concealed from our Government. The new law that was promulgated by the Government, the damage it did to the situation of the people and their welfare and prosperity-- there was no one to rectify it and to convey information about it. In actions of this kind there was no sympathizer for the people. Except for their tears of blood, which remained burning within their bodies, and except for their helplessness, at which they themselves wept, and remained silent.
[3.3] The poverty of Hindustan, especially of the Musalmans.
*152* Under the rule of our Government, why would there not have been poverty and straitened circumstances in Hindustan? The biggest livelihood of the people of Hindustan was service, and this was considered a special profession. Although the people of every community [qaum] were aggrieved about there being no livelihood, this complaint was especially that of the Musalmans. One ought to reflect that among the Hindus, who are the original dwellers in this land, in former times no one used to take service; rather, everyone was absorbed in traditional work. The Brahmins had no connection with service; the Vaishya caste, as they were called, were always absorbed in business and money-lending. The Kshatriyas, who at one time had also been the rulers of this land-- it is proved from ancient chronicles that they too did not seek service, but rather kept land as an estate, and maintained family control over every single scrap of land. They had no soldiers among their servants, but in time of need gathered together through family loyalty, and used to fit themselves out as an army, just as, *153* to provide something of an example, used to be found in the lands of Russia. Indeed, the Kayasth community [qaum] can be seen to take service, from ancient days in this land.
[3.4] The service positions of the Musalmans in particular were very few; the service professionals, who were generally Musalmans, were in very much straitened circumstances.
The Musalmans are not the [original] inhabitants of this land; rather, they came into Hindustan with former kings, in search of livelihood, and settled here. Thus every one of them was dependent on service; and through the shortage of service they had more complaint, compared to the original inhabitants of the land. Honorable service in the military, at a rank higher than that suitable for the uneducated people of the country, was very scarce under our Government. Well-born people considered it a defect to take employment in the Government's army, which was largely made up of common soldiers. Indeed, there was still service for the well-born in the cavalry, but the number of posts was so small compared to the cavalry of former times that there was no comparison. In addition to Government service, in former eras the well-born used to take service in the retinues of provincial governors and chieftains and nobles, and we ought not to assume that these posts were few in number.
Now this situation, under our Government, doesn't exist. For this reason there was the most extreme shortage of service posts. The result that came of this was that when the rebels wanted to employ people *154* in their service, thousands of people gathered for employment. And the way in time of famine a hungry man falls on grain, in that very way people fell on the posts in service. A [Persian] verse: [call it 'a hungry heretic in an empty house' / the intellect did not believe that he thought of Ramzan].
[3.5] Because of this poverty, people's acceptance of posts with the rebels that paid one anna, or one and a half annas, or a seer of grain per day.
Many men took service in posts that paid only an anna or an anna and a half per day. And many men received, instead of a daily salary, a seer or a seer and a half of grain. From this it is clearly proved that to the extent that the common people of Hindustan were eager for service, to that very extent they were in needy and straitened circumstances through poverty and lack of resources.
[3.6] From the termination of charitable pensions and stipends, Hindustan's becoming poorer
There was one more path under former rulers to the well-being of the people-- that is, jagirs, *155* allowances, and other grants and favors.
When Shah Jahan ascended the throne, only in honor of the occasion he gave away four lakh bighas of land and 120 villages as jagirs, and lakhs of rupees as grants. Not only was this practice entirely given up by our Government, but even prior jagirs were seized-- through which seizure thousands of men were deprived of their daily bread. We have already described the state of the landlords, and the poverty of the cultivators. The livelihood of the craftsmen, because of the opening up of trade in things from Europe, has been severely declining-- so much so that in Hindustan no one any longer even dreams of finding any needle-makers or match-makers in Hindustan. The thread of the weavers has entirely snapped-- those wretches who were the most fervent of all in this turmoil. Since it was through the Lord's grace that Hindustan too entered the empire of Great Britain, it was certainly the government's duty to pay attention to this straitened condition of the people, and to attempt to remove their mental grief and inward sorrow.
*156* [3.7] The indebtedness of the country to the Company's notes.
Through Company notes, the country came under a new kind of indebtedness, which had no parallel under any former government. The amount of rupees that were borrowed, the means for paying the interest on the debt, even the means for paying interest and costs, and the profit-- in short, in every way the country became poor and needy.
[3.8] Only because of poverty did the people want a change in government.
Old families, who used to receive thousands, were in dire straits even for their livelihood, and this was a real cause of the disaffection of the people with the Government. People wanted a change in government, and were eager for a new government, and were pleased about it from the heart; I say truly that it was for this very reason. We say truly-- and again, we say truly-- that when the Government conquered Afghanistan, people were very much grieved. What was the reason? Only because now religion would be openly taken in hand. When Gwalior was conquered, the Punjab was conquered, Avadh was taken, people were utterly sorrowful. Why so? Because from these nearby Hindustani *157* states, the Hindustanis received great comfort. Positions in service were usually available; every kind of Hindustani merchandise was saleable. When these governments were ruined, then the Hindustanis grew steadily poorer and more needy.
In the rule of our Government there were also extreme excellences and virtues. I don't point out everything as a flaw. As some [Persian] poet says, [you've spoken of all the faults, now speak of the virtues too / don't deny wisdom for the sake of a few common hearts]. Peace and tranquillity and freedom; the clearing of the highways; the wiping out of dacoits and highway robbers; the fixing-up of the roads; the convenience for travellers; the way merchants' goods are sent for long distances; the chance for poor and rich alike to send letters to remote lands; the ending of blood-spilling and affrays; the lifting of the power of the oppressors from off the oppressed; and many other things like this, are so good that they have never existed in any government, nor will they. But reflect that because of these things the difficulty *158* about which we are speaking does not go away.
Consider another point: that this gain from the government that has been mentioned-- for which people was it greatest? First of all, for women, who were benefited in every way: to have their children killed in affrays; to be looted at the hands of 'thugs' [thag]; to have their husbands and children not safe from the hands of the administrators-- from thousands of such difficulties they were protected. So look at what well-wishers and admirers of the Government they were! The merchants and traders were greatly benefited-- so among them not one was an ill-wisher. The conclusion is that the people who had not been harmed by the Government, not one of them became an ill-wisher.
[Urdu 1859] [4.0] THE FOURTH CAUSE -- Not doing those things that it was incumbent upon the Government to do. [*commentary on the Fourth Cause*]
[4.1] Not doing those things that it was incumbent upon the Government to do
The abandonment on the part of our Government of tasks that it was incumbent upon our Government to do, for the rule of Hindustan, *159* and that were necessary.
Although the matters about which we write at this point may be distasteful to some rulers, it's necessary for us to write the truth and open our heart. The thing we speak of is something that ensnares wild animals of the jungle, and tames beasts of prey-- not to speak of human beings. Are Lord Bacon's 'Essays' not enough, that we would here speak of the laws of friendship and affection and connection and unity? But indeed, we must at least say this much: that through mutual affection and neighborly friendship the amity between the government and the people is greatly increased. A friend is obliged to be friends with a single individual; and a government, with the whole of its people. The lover and the beloved are only two individuals, and through heartfelt connection they are counted as one. The government is obliged to create with the whole people such a connection that the people and the government would all come together and become a single body.
[4.2] Want of cordiality towards the Indians.
A [Persian] verse: *160* [the peasant is a seed, the sultan a tree / my son, the tree is stronger than the seed]. Was this situation impossible for our Government to create in Hindustan? Why could it not have existed? Because night and day we find heartfelt agreement between two men from different countries and different religions, in cases where they wanted to agree. And we also see in two men of the same group [qaum] and the same religion and the same homeland [vatan], completely enmity and hostility. This proves that for affection and agreement and friendship, it's not necessary for people to be of the same religion and the same homeland and the same group [qaum].
Is not this advice of Saint Paul full of wisdom, that "And the Lord make you increase, and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you." (1st Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians Ch. III, Verse 12)? The result of which is that we ought to feel true affection not only for our fellow-countrymen and those of the same community [qaum], but rather for everyone, even for enemies. And that affection and kindness should keep increasing. *161* And is not this saying of the sainted Messiah comforting to the heart, that "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the Prophets" (Matthew VII, 12)?
The point of the sainted Messiah in this advice was affection. In short, no wise person can deny that affection and agreement are an excellent thing, and give many very good results, and prevent many evils. To this day, our Government has now created this affection with the people of Hindustan. It is also a common rule of affection that naturally grows up among people and even beasts, that affection flows from the high toward the low. The father's love first flows toward his son, not the son's toward the father. In the same way, a man's love toward his woman is prior to the woman's love toward the man. On this basis, if *162* a lowly man would begin to show affection toward a lofty one, it is counted as flattery, not affection. The result of this is that our Government ought to have first shown affection toward the people, and first taken a step toward agreement. Then this rule of affection that has been acquired from thousands of experiences, that willy-nilly the affection has an effect on the other's heart, and draws the other toward itself, would have had an effect on the people's heart, and the people would have felt even more affection toward our Government-- in fact, they would have been infatuated with it. A [Persian] verse: [love is that destruction of households / that brought you to our house]. But alas, that our Government didn't do any such thing. If our Government would claim that this statement is incorrect, that 'we have not acted in such a way-- rather, in return for affection and goodwill we have found evil', then we will appeal to the Government itself: if this were so, then undoubtedly the people would feel even more affection than the Government did.
Beyond question, affection is a thing of the heart, that doesn't come into being from words or contrivances. Although its effects are outwardly manifest, *163* the truth is that it itself can neither be described, nor can any token of it be pointed out. But the heart knows it very well; rather, in its hand is a true balance-scale, and it recognizes deficiency and excess. A [Persian] verse: [a heart has a path to a heart, through the dome of the heavens / hatred from hatred, and kindness from kindness]. To this day, our Government has kept itself as separate from the Hindustanis, as unmingling, as fire and dry grass. Our Government and the Hindustanis are two fragments of rock, one white and one black, that are recognized as separate. And then, between the two there's a distance that day by day keeps growing. Although with our Government and the Hindustani people it ought to have been like a mottled stone, that is one despite having two colors. In a white color black dots look very beautiful; and in blackness, whiteness shows an extraordinary verdancy. We don't speak unjustly. Undoubtedly our Government *164* ought to have a special religious affection toward the Christians. But we want from our Government toward the people of Hindustan that brotherly affection, and on top of it that brotherly love, that has been advised by Saint Peter: "And to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, charity" (II Peter 1,7). Now reflect: our rulers and the Hindustanis were not one in blood; they were not one in religion; they were not one in customs and habits. The people felt no inward acceptance, there was no affection and agreement between them. So on what grounds did our rulers expect faithfulness from Hindustan?
[4.3] In previous regimes, until affection was established with the Hindustanis, there was no tranquillity.
Look at the situation under Hindustan's former sultanates: first the Musalmans were victorious. In the sultanate of the Turks and Pathans, affection and mingling with the people of Hindustan did not take place until the sultanate had taken on an aspect of confidence and ease. In the sultanate of the Mughals, *165* excellent mingling began from the era of Akbar I, and it continued until the time of Shah Jahan. Although in that time too troubles came to the people through the irregularity of the system of the sultanate, that wound used to be eased by this brotherly affection that existed between them. In 1779-- that is, in the time of Alamgir-- this affection broke off; and because of the rivalry and revolt of the Hindu community [qaum]-- for example, the Maratha Shivaji, etc.-- Aurangzeb became angry with the whole community of Hindus and sent orders to his Subahdars that they should treat the whole community of Hindus with harshness, and take jizyah from every single one. Then, the injury and disaffection felt by the people are clear. In short, even in a hundred years of rule our Government has not created affection and love with the people.
[4.4] Contempt toward the Hindustanis.
No one can deny that to treat the people with honor and conciliate them-- that is, to hold their hearts in your hand-- is a very great *166* cause of stability of a government. If a man would receive little but would be honored, then he is very much happier than if he would receive much but would be little honored. To dishonor a man is a kind of thing that causes sorrow at heart; it's a thing that, without any outward harm occuring, creates enmity; and it causes such a deep wound that it never heals. Verse [in Arabic]: [ the tongue's own wounds have a remedy / but what the tongue wounds cannot be cured]. The quality of conciliation is contrary to this: it's a thing from which an enemy becomes a friend, and friends' affection increases, and a stranger becomes one with you. It's this thing through which wild beasts of the jungle become obedient domestic animals. Then if it would be used with the people, to what an extent they will become docile and obedient to orders! In the beginning of the [Company's] rule this thing was there, and it drew everyone's hearts toward our Government. It created a heartfelt obedience. Beyond question, our Government has forgotten these things; undoubtedly the whole of the people of Hindustan maintain that our Government has treated them with great disrespect and contempt. A man of the *167* gentry of Hindustan has not even as much worth before a petty European, as a petty European has before a very great duke. Thus it used to be imagined that in Hindustan there's no such thing as a gentleman.
[4.5] The harsh temper and rude speech of local officials.
All these things-- that is, affection and love and honor and conciliation-- toward the people on the part of the Government are manifest. Except by means of those local officials, through whom our Government in Hindustan functions and maintains relationships and connections with the people, no matter how virtuous the Government's intention may be, it will never be expressed-- not until these people would set themselves to express it. The habits and ways and manners of the rulers of the earlier time were very much the contrary of those of the present rulers. Those former people used to show great respect; they used to look out for the Hindustanis in every way; they used to hold their hearts in their hands. In a friendly *168* way they shared in their grief and joy, although they held very great lordship and rule in Hindustan, and although they didn't let slip from their hands the grandeur and imposingness and pomp proper to the rulership. Then, they showed such love and honor to Hindustanis that every single person used to become infatuated with their courtesy and their love, and used to say with surprise, 'What good people these are, that despite grandeur and loftiness and rulership, they are without pride; and with what courtesy they meet with us!' In Hindustan those people who were counted among the venerable elders [buzurg] used to behave toward them in exactly this way.
Undoubtedly those people were among the followers of St. Peter, and to brotherly affection they added love as well: "And to Godliness, brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness, charity." (II Peter V, 7). Among the rulers of the present, the temperaments of a number of them are the opposite of this. Has not their pride and arrogance made all Hindustanis *169* nothing in their eyes? Has not their ill-temper and indifference placed in the hearts of the Hindustanis an inappropriate dread? Does our Government not know that the greatest, most honorable Hindustanis trembled before the rulers, and were intimidated by the fear of dishonor? And is it a hidden thing that when a nobly-born secretary is reading out a case before a Sahib, and is speaking with hands joined [in humility], he is is suffering at heart over the Sahib's ill-temper and harshness of speech and even abuse? And he says [to himself], 'Alas, what a pity that I can't earn my bread somewhere else-- to earn a living by cutting grass would be better than this!' I don't accuse all rulers of this defect. Undoubtedly there are also some rulers that are known to everybody for their affection and courtesy and good qualities, and all Hindustanis recognize them as 'the moon and sun', and consider them a replica of the former rulers.
And in truth, they are guided by the advice that the holy Messiah *170* gave to the sainted Simon [Peter] and Andrew, when they cast their net into the sea for fish: "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew, IV, 4). They, through their good character, have drawn the people into the net of their affection. These rulers have both retained the dignity of their rulership, and have also not shown inappropriate pride toward the people. And they have earned that blessing that the holy Messiah had spoken of: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew, V, 3). These rulers have treated the people with fair-minded forbearance, and have ruled the land the way the holy Messiah had said: "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew, V, 5). These rulers have also, according to the saying of Jesus the Messiah, shown their light to the people: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven" (Matthew V, 16). Rulers of this kind, although they were few, wherever they were, were cherished.
[4.6] These things were more displeasing to the Musalmans; and the reason for it.
*171* There is also no doubt that these things were displeasing to people of every single community [qaum], but seemed more oppressive to the Musalmans. But the reason for this is very clear: for centuries the Musalmans have been coming into Hindustan too with honor. In their temperament and disposition there is a sense of honor. In their hearts is very little greed for money; they don't want to lose their honor through some greed. There must have been a great deal of experience that those things that other communities will do without sorrow, even less lowly things [than those] are extremely difficult for Musalmans to endure. We acknowledge that this disposition in Musalmans may indeed be very bad, but there's no choice: the temperament that the Lord has created cannot be changed. This may indeed be the Musalmans' ill fortune, but it's not a sin. These were the sorrows because of which the heart wanted a change in the government, the heart became happy on hearing news against the government. But it's a pity-- for our Government was not neglectful of the welfare of the Musalmans; their capability and education, their culture, everything was before its gaze. But these people were not aware of it, and the intention of our Government *172* and its inner purpose were not made clear by the rulers.
[4.7] Hindustanis' not making progress; and the progress that Lord Bentinck made was not sufficient.
A major cause of the dissatisfaction of the people of Hind, and especially the Musalmans, was that there was very little progress in the high positions. Very little time had passed since these people were respected in all Hindustan, and they obtained lofty positions. Their resolve and intention now too was exactly the same; thus they wanted positions according to their worth, and apparently no prospect could be seen. At the beginning of government rule, people who were of fine family and honorable rank used to be selected, and they received positions. Gradually, this practice ended. Undoubtedly, some among these people did not have capability. Thus the practice of examinations, in our opinion, is not in any way deserving of blame, nor in truth is anybody [entitled to feel] aggrieved by it. Beyond doubt, through examinations excellent officers would come to hand. But such people were appointed to those honorable posts who were, in the eyes of the Hindustanis, extremely unworthy. In receiving a certificate *173* very little consideration was given to the person's being of fine family and honorable rank. The extent to which Lord Bentinck Bahadur arranged for the progress of the Hindustanis has never since been exceeded. Unquestionably that progress was extremely inadequate, because of the insufficiency of positions. Many highly-placed rulers affirm that the kind of progress by the Hindustanis that was needed, did not take place.
[4.8] The nonexistence of regal durbars.
It was the ancient practice of the people of Hind that they used to be in attendance in their kings' durbars; having seen the glory and grandeur and pomp and circumstance of the king, they were happy. There is a natural rule innate within a human, that having met with his king and master he is inwardly happy: he knows that 'this is our king and our master, we are his servants and people'. Especially the people of Hind have had from ancient times this practice-- which had now for some time been unavailable. Although the Navab Governor General Bahadur *174* held durbars while on tour, this was not sufficient to fulfill the wishes of the Hindustanis.
Although Lord Auckland and Lord Ellenborough Sahib Bahadur held regal durbars, perhaps this behavior was somewhat displeasing in England, but the truth is that it was extremely appropriate to the conditions in Hindustan. Or rather, even with those, there were not as many as their ought to have been. The Lord is always the protector of our exalted Queen Victoria; the Lord is always the protector of the Ruler of the Land of Hind, the Ruler of Rulers the exalted Queen, and the Governor General Bahadur of Hindustan. We hope that now no longing of the people of Hind will remain unfulfilled.
[4.9] The durbars held by Lord Auckland and Lord Ellenborough Sahib Bahadur were extremely proper.
It is true that the real kingship belongs to the Lord Most High, who created the whole world. But God the Most High has created kings as an illustration of His true kingship, so that His servants would recognize from this illustration their True King, and render thanks to Him. Thus many great *175* learned ones and wise men have declared that the qualities and bounty and generosity and graciousness of the True King ought to be illustrated in those merely human kings as well. It's for this reason that many wise men have declared the king to be the 'Shadow of God'. From this the conclusion emerges that the way the Lord Most High shows limitless generosity toward all of his servants, in the same way kings' generosity and bounty ought to be shown toward their whole people. Although at first the thought comes to mind that to give rewards and benefits for very little things is to empty the treasury for no gain, but it's not like this. Rather, the great advantage of rewards and benefits is that the people's affection for their king increases. It's a universal rule that 'man is a slave of benefits'; thus the whole people, having seen their king's rewards and favors, willy-nilly come to have heartfelt affection, and are eager to do him many good services and be his well-wishers.
It is clear from books of history that it was very customary under previous governments for every kind of reward and favor to be given to the people and the chieftains. Very expensive robes of honor and excellent *176* gifts and money in cash and land in jagirs used to be bestowed. Men of fine family obtained titles, and these created honor for them among their peers, and made them very zealous at heart. And the people of Hindustan were very pleased with this practice; in fact, they had been accustomed to it for centuries. Our Government put a complete stop to this tradition: no one among the people any longer had any expectation of this kind of outward rewards and favors. And for this reason their hearts wanted a change in the government-- so much so that when they heard the news that the contract of the Honorable East India Company was ended, and about the rule of the exalted Queen, they were happy.
Under the rule of former kings, rewards and favors used to be of two kinds. One was what the king used to spend in caring for his debauched companions and those of undesirable character. In truth, this was undesirable, and the Hindustanis too disliked it; in fact they used to be angry at rewards given to immoral people and those with no claims. The second kind of reward was what the king gave to his well-wishing servants and victorious chieftains, to the learned ['ulama] among his people and to the virtuous and to ascetics [faqir] and poets and *177* recluses and the poor. All the people long for this type of reward, and are displeased at its nonexistence. Although from these things people become spiritless and ease-seeking, and don't remain industrious and able to earn their bread with the strength of their arms. Thus it's better for the king to ignore this kind of rewards, and give another kind of reward-- that is, freedom, so that he [the recipient] himself would have the scope to earn his bread. This is true, but this reward can only be in force as long as the people would be comfortable and educated, not that one would remove the bit from animals' mouths and drive them into the jungle without food and water and tell them to search for their own food and water. What will be the result of that, except that they will either die, or act like those same wild animals? The result of which intention of ours is this revolt in Hindustan.
[4.10] The extent to which the real revolt happened in Hindustan was shown as greater than it was.
Anger is a thing such that it hides from the eyes the truth of affairs. *178* The temperament turns its attention toward vengeance and punishment. It's true that the events that took place in Hindustan in 1857 were such that to whatever extent our rulers became angry, and to whatever extent they would avenge and punish, it is all appropriate. But we ought to reflect on the condition of Hindustan: to what extent there was in reality a genuine revolt in Hindustan, and why it increased to such an extent, and why it appeared to such an extent, and why the ill-fortuned Musalmans appeared in some districts to be more rebellious.
It's a cause for reflection that for centuries the governance of Hindustan had been unstable. For the people of Hindustan it was a customary habit that when some leader or chieftain or king became more powerful, thousands of men rallied to him. To take service with him, to act on his behalf, to administer on his behalf, they didn't consider a sin on their part in any way. It's proverbial in Hindustan that there's no sin in taking service. Whoever retained a man as a servant and gave him a salary, that's whom he served. Although when a chieftain would be displaced, and another would be established in his place, not to obey him [=the new chieftain] they considered a sin. The leaders and chieftains of Hindustan-- *179* and especially those who ruled Hindustan before the regime of the Government, and because of whom Hindustan was becoming a crossroads of the nations-- never placed any blame on those who served with the sword or pen. That custom had taken hold among all the people of Hindustan.
When in Hindustan the agitators raised their heads and wanted to take people into service, thousands of men who were in need of bread and desirous of employment went and took service. Everyone said, 'What sin is it of ours? We are professional servants.' From among the common people many persons became retainers of the rebels, according to this ancient custom that they would obey whoever was now the ruler, that they were the people and would obey whoever had the power. Many government servants considered that they would make a show of obeying the rebels and save their lives, and when the Government would return, they would again be obedient to the Government. They too became criminals, although there's no cause at all to doubt that they were at heart followers of the Government. A number of people and government servants, on some occasion, whether out of compulsion or stupidity or because they were merely human, got involved in something. They thought, 'Now we have committed this sin *180* by chance, or under compulsion, or from ignorance; the Government is not one to overlook it, and will punish us'. Helpless through this fear and dread, they went and joined the rebels. Many men had in reality done nothing, but through fear and other thoughts gradually went and joined the rebels. Many people at that time did this, who in their own mind and their own understanding didn't consider it the crime of opposition to the Government.
If the circumstances of the whole of Hindustan with regard to the rebellion will be looked at, then we believe that both communities [qaum] that live in Hindustan will be seen in this agitation, each one more than the other. And for proof of this, all the circumstances of Hindustan are present in witness. But as for those districts in which Musalmans were seen to be mostly agitators, we ought not to think that the cause of this was only that a Musalman king had made a claim to the sultanate of Delhi, and that in truth the Musalmans had become agitators as would appear to be the case. The temperament of the rulers sometimes became angry over those things that seemingly the Musalmans had done. Their enemies came to have great scope-- in order to present self-interested concerns, they greatly magnified small things and told about them. On the one hand the rulers became more angry, *181* on the other hand the Musalmans mostly felt fear and despair; and through their destiny, they appeared more as agitators than they were. No doubt among Musalmans there was much rebellion of the 'fifth kind', and they were happy at the thought of a change in government-- the reason for which we have been recounting in every section.
Nevertheless the knowledge will not be hidden from our Government, despite all this, of who in this turmoil show rised their lives and showed the most loyalty. Before the Lord, Whose is the true kingship, and before the kings of the world whose contingent rulership the Lord has bestowed, all are sinners. Saint David, may peace be upon him, truly said, "Enter not into judgement with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified" (Psalm cxliii, 2). *182* "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sins" (Psalms li, 1 and 2). The Lord is always the protector of our exalted Queen Victoria; I cannot express the excellence of that merciful proclamation that our exalted Queen issued.
[4.11] The exalted Queen's proclamation is extremely praiseworthy; rather, it has been issued through the Lord's inspiration.
Undoubtedly the Lord's hand is on the head of our exalted Queen; undoubtedly this merciful proclamation has been issued through inspiration. A very ancient custom has come down in Hindustan that when a new king is established on the throne, whether by right or without right, all the regional chieftains used to submit to him. In this turmoil too this happened: when the King of Delhi seated himself on the throne, and news reached the regions that the King of Delhi had taken control of the throne, they all submitted themselves to the king. Since the King of Delhi has been seized, and the kingship has come into the grip of our Government, everyone has believed that all the agitators who *183* had raised their heads high, will obey. Perhaps the people of the rebel army would not do so, but we don't consider it necessary, in our view, to discuss the reason for their not having done so.
[Urdu 1859] [5.0] THE FIFTH CAUSE -- The poor arrangement and neglectedness of the army. [*commentary on the Fifth Cause*]
[5.1] The paucity of the English forces.
Our Government's arrangement of the army was always deserving of criticism: the shortage of English troops was always an occasion for criticism. Ever since Nadir Shah conquered Khurasan, and the two different lands of Iran and Afghanistan came within his grip, he organized two equal armies: one Persian and Qizlbash, the other Afghan. When the Persian army sought some change in government, then the Afghan army was there to subdue it; and when the Afghan army grew arrogant, then the Qizlbash one *184* was there to put it down.
Our Government did not do this in Hindustan. We considered that the Hindustani army was the government's great supporter and well-wisher and life-sacrificer. But where had any vow been taken, that there will never be any order contrary to the wish of this army, and that this army will not be dismayed at some order? Then, in the case of this army's becoming disaffected, as happened, what means had our Government retained, through which this refractoriness could at once have been resolved?
[5.2] Taking into service Musalmans and Hindus in mingled platoons.
It's true that our Government took into service Hindus and Musalmans, both communities [qaum], which are opposed [mukhalif] to each other. But because of both those communities' becoming mingled in every platoon, this division [tafriqah] didn't remain. It's obvious that in a single platoon *185* however many are serving, because of their living in a single place and being arranged in a single line, among them unity and brotherly connection used to develop. The sepoys of a single platoon used to consider themselves a single brotherhood [biradari], and for this reason there was no distinction of Hindu and Musalman. Both communities considered themselves brothers; whatever the men of that platoon did, they all participated in it; they used to become each other's supporters and helpers.
[5.3] If there had been a separate platoon of Musalmans, then perhaps the Musalmans would not have objected to biting the cartridges.
If the platoons of those very two communities [qaum] had been arranged in such a way that one platoon had been only of Hindus, in which there had been no Muslim, and one platoon had been only of Musalmans, in which there had been no Hindu, then this mutual unity and brotherhood would not have managed to exist, and the same division [tafriqah] would have remained established. And I think that perhaps the Musalman platoon wouldn't have had any objection even to biting the modern cartridges.
[5.4] The Hindustani army's becoming extremely arrogant, and its causes.
Because of the English army's paucity, whatever fear the people as well felt *186* was only of the Hindustani army. In addition to this, the Hindustani army too was extremely arrogant: they had no regard for anyone except themselves. They considered that the English army was worthless; they believed that the victories in the whole of Hindustan were due only to the power of their own swords. It was their dictum that 'from Burma to Kabul, we've given the government victory'.
Especially after the conquest of the Punjab, the arrogance of the Hindustani army had become greatly increased. Now their arrogance reached such a degree that they were ready to object to the smallest things. I believe that the arrogance and haughtiness of the army had reached such a degree that it wasn't strange that they would have objected to both setting out and halting.
At such a time-- when the army was in this state, and their heads were full of arrogance and haughtiness, and in their hearts they believed that *187* whatever they set their minds on and demanded the government would be forced willy-nilly to grant-- the new cartridges were given to them, about which they confidently believed that there was an admixture of fat, and from the use of which their religion [dharm] would cease to exist. They refused to bite them. When the platoon at Barrackpore was disbanded for this offense, and the order was read out, then the whole army became extremely grieved. Because they considered that by reason of the harm to religion [mazhab], the Barrackpore platoon had committed no crime, and had only been disbanded without cause through the government's injustice. The whole army was very grieved: 'we were loyal to the government, got our heads cut off conquering land after land for the government, and the government is out to take away our religion, and for an obligatory thing has disbanded them!' At that time there was no agitation, because other than disbandment no other violence had been done to the army. But in the hearts of the whole army, partly because of the belief of there being fat in the cartridges, partly because of grief at the disbandment of the platoon at Barrackpore, and most of all because of pride and self-regard, and with the thought that 'whatever we are, we are our own selves', a fixed resolve developed, that 'among us no one at all will bite the cartridges, no matter what may come of it'.
*188* [5.5] After January 1857, the army's taking counsel and sending messages that 'we will not bite the cartridges'.
Without a doubt, after the events at Barrackpore, the army began to write and correspond among themselves. Messages arrived that no one would bite the modern cartridges. Up to this point there was no doubt dissatisfaction and anger in the hearts of the whole army, but in my opinion there was no intent of agitation.
[5.6] In Meerut, the existence of inappropriate punishment, and because of grief and arrogance the army's taking to revolt.
In the course of destiny the wretched month of May 1857 came. In Meerut the army was given harsh punishment, which every single wise person considers to be very bad and displeasing. The grief that this punishment caused to the hearts of the army is beyond expression. They remembered their medals, and seeing themselves instead wearing leg irons and handcuffs, they wept. They thought of their acts of faithfulness, *189* and looked at what reward had been given them in recompense. And in addition to this, in their heads was limitless arrogance, because of which they considered themselves extremely great, and which gave them more grief. Then the whole army stationed at Meerut became convinced that either they would be compelled to bite the cartridges, or this very day [of punishment] would be allotted to them. In this state of grief and anger, on the 10th of May that misdeed was undertaken by the army, of which the equal is perhaps not to be found in any history. What recourse did this army have, after this misdeed, except as far as possible to complete the agitation?
[5.7] After the agitation, the Meerut army's no longer trusting the Government.
Wherever in the army this news reached, the whole army became more aggrieved. Because of the misdeed done by the Meerut troops, the whole Hindustani army confidently believed that now the government no longer had trust in the Hindustani army, that the government would find an opportunity and punish them all. And for this reason the whole army *190* had no trust or belief in the words or deeds of their officers. They all said among themselves, 'at this time there are such words; when the time comes, they'll change their tune'.
I say on very trustworthy grounds that in the rebel army that had gathered in Delhi, thousands of men felt grief over this inappropriate misdeed and profitless rebellion. They used to weep and say, 'Our destiny caused us to do this deed'; then with much regret they used to say 'If we had not done it, then what would we have done? One day or another the government would have destroyed us. Because now the government no longer trusts the Hindustani army. When they found the chance to seize us, they would have destroyed us.' In the beginning of the rebellion when there was an intention of sending an army to the Hindan, but the army had still not as yet set out, it was the clear opinion of some men that at the time when an attack by the army on Delhi would begin, then undoubtedly the whole Hindustani army would prove disaffected. Accordingly, exactly this happened. The reason for this was that after the army began the fighting, it was not possible that the rest of the army would remain confident in the government. They certainly considered that 'when they/we kill our brothers and comrades, then they will turn their attention to us'. For this reason they all girded their loins for agitation, and became disaffected; those *191* too in whose hearts there was no agitation, because of being part of the army, could not separate themselves from the majority. The Hindustani people considered that all that the government had was the Hindustani army. When it became widely known that the whole army had become disaffected, all lifted their heads [in arrogance], the fear of the government left their hearts, and agitation arose everywhere.
[5.8] The reasons for there being no revolt in the Punjab.
Now apply my opinion to the situation of the Punjab. The Musalmans of the Punjab had endured great tyranny at the hands of the Sikhs; from the rule of the government they had received no harm. In the beginning of the government's rule in the Punjab it had practiced great severity, and now day by day it gradually relaxed this-- in contrast to Hindustan, where the situation was just the opposite.
In the beginning of its rule the weapons of the whole land had been taken; no one had the power for agitation. Although that wealth that formerly existed was no longer possessed by the Sikhs, the earned money that they had saved had still not been spent; and that poverty that there was in Hindustan *192* had not as yet come there.
In addition, three other reasons that the Punjab did not become disaffected were very powerful. First, that an English army was present there. Second, through the intelligence of the rulers there, the weapons of the Hindustani army were suddenly, without warning, taken away. Because of the turbulence and numerousness of the rivers, and the shutting up of the crossing-points, the Hindustani army became powerless. Third, all the Sikhs and Punjabis and Pathans who were capable of agitation had entered government [military] service, and they had a great greed for loot. That which the people of Hindustan obtained with difficulty and humiliation from the rebels, was vouchsafed to the people of the Punjab obtained honorably and without trouble. Thus the circumstances of the Punjab were entirely different from the circumstances of Hindustan.