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EveRY principality, from the Himalaya to Cape Comorin, and from near the banks of the Indus to those of the Berhampooter, may be considered to bow in implicit obedience to the will of the British Government—all look to it as the supreme ruling power— all acknowledge and appeal to it as the arbiter of foreign relations with neighbouring states—all submit with apparent good will to the relations and conditions by which they are bound to that Government. The power of uniting, or of being individually able to free themselves from that supremacy is now less obvious than at any former period of our history. Prolonged peace will tend to remove still further that hope and that power, so that with what may be considered the internal states of India, there is every prospect of permanent tranquillity. With the external powers there is nothing that immediately threatens to disturb our relations; but with them those relations must rest on less secure grounds than with states more immediately in our neighbourhood, more within the influence of our power, and to whom the extent and presence of that power are more obvious; yet the very remoteness of their position, the little intercourse we hold with them, and the few interests we have in common, are reasons why our relations with them should long remain undisturbed. Our treaty with Runjeet Singh has lasted longer without modification, than any other in India.
Over our own subjects our sway seems complete. Its object is to extend the greatest good to the greatest number, and although with particular classes of the community, and with particular tribes, our rule must ever be unpopular, yet all submit to their destiny ; some cheerfully from the good it brings them, and all patiently, perhaps because in their eyes it is their destiny, and the day has not yet arrived which opens to them any prospect of a beneficial change.
The Indian Army, by which principally these results are produced, like every other army, naturally looks forward to war and its advantages as the time of promise; and reverts to the period of its triumphs with pride and satisfaction. Those periods, although aiding foreigners in the conquest of their country and of their own
tribes, seem to bind the old soldier in sympathy to us and to our cause; and there will, I think, be found a heartiness and frankness in the soldier of those days, which are wanting in him of a later period. The Hindoos, of whom the great majority of our army consists, have no national cause of their own to support, nor is there any period in their history to which they can revert as furnishing them with any thing national. India, under its Hindoo dynasties, was apparently split into numerous petty states, each contending with the other for supremacy, some of them obtaining it for a time, and extending their empire over tracts of country equal to European kingdoms of the first magnitude. But these have ages ago passed away; the Hindoo of the present day knows not to which dynasty his forefathers belonged, nor does he care. He belongs himself to some great class or portion of the Hindoo people. The religion and privileges of that class are things very sacred in his eyes; and these give to him and to them a separate political existence, which is unconnected with Government, and which is apparently sufficient to all. The tribes accustomed to the use of arms either are, originally, or very soon became, distinct from the great body of the Hindoo people. Those who are disciplined in our ranks have undoubtedly a character which separates them in a great measure from their own families, and which unfits them in old age for those pursuits, and tranquil and domestic enjoyments in which their childhood was spent. They have but little interest in or concern with the form of our civil institutions; they are generally employed in camps, and separated from the great body of the people; and although they watch with interest and anxiety the effect of our administration on their own villages or possessions, yet this is the extent of their anxiety; and the most arbitrary Governments in India may calculate with certainty on implicit obedience and support from its mercenary soldiery in the most tyrannical of its measures towards its subjects. A great majority of the Hindoos in the Bengal army unfortunately belong to foreign possessions; they are more liable to be influenced by our political than by our domestic economy, and the former has been throughout our career less defined and worse regulated than the latter. The Hindoo sepoy of the Madras army is still further removed from the great body of the Hindoo people than his brother of Bengal. He is very generally of low caste, born and bred in camp. His regiment is his home, he neither knows nor cares for any other. It is a little moveable colony, separated in a great measure from every other regiment, and from the rest of the world. The Hindoo and Jew of the Bombay army, are perhaps less removed from civil life than the Madras soldier; but they too, that is, the Hindoos, are very often of separate caste from the great majority of their fellow-countrymen, have
no rights or privileges in civil society worth defending, and like the
Madras sepoy, are satisfied with their condition in our army, because they have advantages there which would not belong to them elsewhere.
The Indian Mahommedan, whether in our ranks, in cities, or in villages under our Government; whether in the ranks, the cities, or the villages of foreign states, will every where be found nearly the same. He belongs to a great family, having a united religion and united interests. He will every where be ready to support with his services or with his purse his national cause against all others. Religion and Government with Mahommedans are never separated, and it is never forgotten that the supremacy of the Mahommedans in India has been finally overthrown by us. The eyes of the whole Mahommedan population of India will be turned towards him who shall successfully proclaim a crusade against infidel Governments and infidel people. He in the most remote village of the Dekhan will turn towards such a prospect with the same anxious attention as he of Calcutta or Dehlee. No one in communication with the Mahommedan population of India was blind to the anxiety with which the crusade preached by the late Seyud Ahmed against the Sikhs and against us was watched by that united people. In his triumphs over the fanatical army of Seyud Ahmed, Runjeet Singh claimed our sympathy and congratulations, considering them triumphs in a common cause. Levies of men to the extent or five or six hundred might be seen assembling in the neighbourhood of Dehlee from our own provinces, and traversing desert and hostile regions to join his standard in his well selected position (the Mahommedan world in his rear, the infidel world in his front) in the neighbourhood of Peshawur; contributions in money and goods and jewels were freely given from the palace at Dehlee, from the cities of Lucknow, Calcutta, Hyderabad, and the palace at Triplicane; all Mahommedans, whether Sheeas or Soonees, and although professing tenets differing widely from the Wahabeeism and purer doctrines of Seyud Ahmed and his disciples, joined in prayers and more substantial offerings for his success. It is more difficult to say what effect was produced on the minds of the Mahommedans of our army, for it was of course more hidden. They are more mixed up with their Hindoo fellow-soldiers, and more watched by them and by us than the inhabitants of cities. They have other duties to attend to, and their minds are more subdued by discipline and a long course of service. It may therefore be fairly supposed that they would be the last of the Mahommedan population whom this infection would reach. Fortunately the Sikh army of Runjeet Singh stood between us and these crusaders, and we never camein contact with them, and wisely never noticed their proceedings in India. Seyud Ahmed and his Moolavee instructors and friends struggled for a time with adverse fortune, supported principally by the Yoosuffzies and levies of men and money from India. Could he have called to his support the Afghauns or Tersians as he expected, defeated the armies of Runjeet Singh and gained possession of Lahore, our position would have become more precarious than a combination against us of all the princes of India could make it. The doctrines of Seyud Ahmed