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no delusion. It was the greatest and most unflinching of English individualists who, in his great defence of the liberty of the individual conscience, spoke also of the awakening of the national soul :-“Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself as a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks.” In the life of nations the intervals of sleep, when the unity of the national spirit is broken and its moral forces are dispersed, are long, and the times of awakening are few and soon over. But these rare times of awakened life and conscious and resolute will, show that nations are moral beings, because each can feel its freedom in choice and its unity in action ; and that they may become truly Christian in learning the lesson “ Die to live.” If the peoples could but remember the inspiration of their passing moments during the common days and rediscover in the face of ordinary needs and duties the unity of spirit and the readiness to face pain and loss which they show in face of an outward enemy, they would become Christian indeed. But no single act, however heroic, can achieve this end. It cannot be attained by even an honest and repeated profession of faith, whether by monarch or legislature ; though the ethical and religious conviction of a nation, if it be living and dominant, will find its own means of expression through laws and institutions. But it can be attained through the steady exercise of the national will in the endeavour to realize the Good, as it is seen in moments of vision, in all the relations, internal not less than external, of the country's life.
G. F. BARBOUR.
A GERMAN ON INDIA.
BY STANLEY RICE.
past Germany, under a thin guise of superficial friendship, has been nursing a deep-seated hatred against England and all her works. We know now that that hatred has been sedulously fostered by her political writers and carefully inculcated in her schools. “Gott strafe England” has long been her motto even though it may only recently have taken definite shape. England is the robber state which it is not only permissible to rob but which ought to be robbed in the name of righteousness and justice: she is a tyrant under whose yoke millions are groaning all over the world, and it is the glorious mission of the German Siegfried to deliver the world from the English Fafner. In India especially she has brought nothing but vulgarity, coming to it with the Bible in one hand and the opium pipe in the other. The mysterious glamour of the East has melted away under the cold breath of her utilitarianism. That religious neutrality is the very bedrock and foundation of our Indian Empire, that the people are for the most part free to follow not only their own religion but also their own customs and to live their life as they have been accustomed to live it; that the people as a whole have the most implicit faith in British justice, that in the consciousness of it they are tolerant of mistakes - these are things which such writers find it convenient to ignore, because their object is not honest : their purpose is not to present a faithful picture but a plausible caricature. Historical truth is nothing : political capital is everything.
I suppose it may be taken as axiomatic that a man will generally tell the truth unless he has some special purpose in lying. It may therefore be not uninteresting
to consider for a little while what a German has said of India at a time and in circumstances which make it difficult to believe that he meant to imply anything but what he said. The lecture, which is the subject of this paper, was delivered before a scientific society in Berlin, it was published in the journal of the Society and was probably therefore never intended either to be translated into English or to get into the hands of the people at large. The lecturer was Professor Wegener who toured round India with the Crown Prince and whose opinions may be taken to be genuine except in so far as they may have been coloured by pleasant memories of hospitalities received. That is the only conceivable reason for discounting what is otherwise a fair and judicious eulogy. The lecture was delivered in 1911 and some of it-notably the part which deals with the Partition of Bengal—is now out of date, but it is still of interest as showing what a fair-minded German really thought before the War.
The whole tone of the discourse is contained in the last few words in which he wishes England success “in defending for a long time to come her remarkable empire in India." He does not conceal that relations were strained even then or that his pious wish was by no unanimously endorsed in Germany; indeed, he hints that the prevailing opinion was that it would be a distinct advantage for Germany, wenn die englische Herrschaft in Indien zusammenbraeche."
The special interest which this Professor found in the country-and this is all the more remarkable, in view of the fact that Germany claims to be the salt of the earth, and to govern the nations by right of her transcendent superiority in civilization, as well as in the “wille zur Macht and by right of her imperial mission-was that England was ruling it. “Say what you will of the English," he says, “nobody can deny that they are the most experienced and successful colonists in the world . We too have colonies and must learn as beginners," and India is the
best school to learn in. And again further on in the lecture he pays another tribute to Imperial England at the expense of the German claims. He speaks of “the quite extraordinary genius for administration which is peculiar to the English, as it formerly was to the Romans. Their greatest gift is not their business capacity : in that they have rivals : but they are unrivalled in their instinctive ability for organization and government.
We need not read these flattering remarks in any spirit of self-conceit: the point for our attention is rather the light which they throw on the professedly political writings. Bernhardi, with a political axe to grind, announces to the world at large that Germany “not less than England is dowered with a genius for empire.” Wegener, with a firsthand knowledge of English empire and all that it really means, whispers to a confidential circle of friends, that England is the expert authority and Germany only the beginner, and that there may be no mistake about it, whereby the critic may say that this is to confound a capacity with a fact, an aspiration with an experience, he adds that this special gift is peculiar to the English. The point may be only of academic importance, or the future may prove Bernhardi to be right. But there are probably many thinking men in Germany who recognize that, whether the genius be there or not, they are "only beginners," and for them tropical colonies are still an experiment, a leap in the dark, which might conceivably end in disaster.
Germany at the outset of the War looked upon England as decadent, a flabby and emasculated nation whose Empire would fall to pieces at the first hint of difficulty. The self-governing colonies would cast off the Mother Country. The suzerainty over Egypt would vanish. South Africa would rise in revolt and would make common cause with the German “Sud-West." India would prove to be a source of embarrassment and entanglement, if nothing worse. We know now to what extent these political prophecies have been fulfilled. They seem to have been born of the dreams and the desires of theorists, for of all nations the Germans seem least capable of understanding the attitude of other nations towards one another and of realizing the causes of their own unpopularity. Wegener is under no such delusions as regards India. He recognizes fully that there are many and serious problems in India and he discusses in some detail the causes which led to the unrest of that period : but he ends with his conviction that “take it all in all I see no acute danger for England's position in India.”
The Professor is no subscriber to the dogma of the opium pipe and the Bible, if by that dogma it is meant that the English are seeking to eliminate the native religions and the native morality in favour of the European brands. On the contrary, he considers that the English
. carry a “careful circumspection” (peinliche Vorsicht) in religious matters almost too far. Not only does such scrupulosity, according to certain missionaries whom he consulted, sometimes lead to a bias in favour of the “ heathen” as against the Christian but obviously important measures have had to be dropped in deference to the religious attitude of the people, notably the campaign against the plague, which he admits was attacked with workmanlike energy and unbounded enthusiasm and devotion. Towards the end of his lecture, however, he commits himself to the opinion that the most threatening of Indian problems is what he calls the “Reaction of the Hindus against Western culture and its followers. In this respect he seems to be wrong, and it is perhaps just these transient ebullitions which the Germans have mistaken for permanent tendencies and which have led them into false conclusions. There can be no doubt in the minds of observers in India, that religion was freely used as so much political capital, and that any reaction against Western culture was chiefly, if not entirely, an invitation to the people upon the lines of least resistance to join the ranks