« AnkstesnisTęsti »
It is to be doubted, moreover, that the provisions of the Covenant, as they at present stand, will, in actual practice, abolish The authors refuse to go to the root of the trouble. The language employed in proposing the reduction of armaments is halting. They refuse to end the private manufacture of armaments. They do not provide foreign international police force to belong to the League and to be exclusively controlled by it. If the statements made by Lord Robert Cecil is correct, they propose to perpetuate, in a measure at least, the mistake which wrecked the usefulness of the Hague Convention's unanimous decision. They see fit to ignore the suggestion made by General Smuts that no resolution of the Council will be valid if a minority of three or more members vote against it." While it appears that many of the principles suggested by General Smuts have been embodied in the Covenant, nearly all the safeguards proposed by him have been disregarded.
The provision that is made for disposing of the German and Turkish possessions is half-hearted, though it is far better than open annexation, based on the right of conquest. While the territories wrested from the enemy are not to be regarded as integral parts of the British and French colonial systems, yet some of them, at any rate, will be administered as if they were integral portions of such systems. While geographic propinquity is to be recognised as a qualification for a nation to hold the League's mandate, no test has been prescribed to determine whether such a nation is fit to be made a trustee for an undeveloped people. Moreover, the League excludes from its protecting wing all the "peoples not yet able to stand by themselves" other than⚫ those formerly subject to Germany and Turkey.
The machinery designed to accomplish the dual purpose of promoting international co-operation" and securing "international peace and security," is elaborate. The Covenant proposes to set up (1) a Body of Delegates; (2) an Executive Council; (3) a permanent international Secretariat; (4) a series of commissions including one for regulating armaments and another for regulating the administration of the colonies that have been wrested from enemy Powers; (5) a permanent Bureau of Labour; and (6) a Court of Arbitration. It also proposes to take over all "international bureau already established by general Treaties if the parties to such Treaties consent," and further stipulates that "all such international bureau to be constituted in future shall be placed under the control of the League."
As at present designed, the Executive Council will dominate all the other organs of the League of Nations. This Council will be composed of Prime Ministers or Foreign Ministers who will be in no way responsible to the body of Delegates, which will be little more than a debating society. The majority in the Executive Council will be commanded by the five great Powers which conjointly have won the war. The remaining four seats will be divided among such of the rest of the nations as may be admitted into the League. While enemy countries are not specifically debarred, their admission, even after they possess democratic and stable governments, will depend entirely upon the fortunes of an election entirely under the control of the five associated Powers, and will not belong to them as a matter of right. The same condition will apply to Russia.
The Covenant expressly limits admission into the League to "fully self-governing" nations and dominions, and if India as a part of the British Empire, is admitted, it would merely be an act of grace.
Compared with the Hague Convention, the League of Nations is distinctly inferior in res
pect of its international, and democratic character. Curiously, while every sovereign nation had a right to be present at the Hague, and enjoyed equality of status, the League of Nations will be little more than an extension of the existing alliance-an extension to be solely controlled, at first, by the associated Powers and later by them in conjunction with such other nations as they may choose to take in with them.
No wonder that both in the United States of America and Europe, democrats and internationalists are criticising the Covenant and demanding drastic amendment. If it is to appeal to the world-democracy, the Executive Council will have to be so constituted that it will be truly international in character, so that it will represent peoples rather than governments, and so that it will be responsible directly to the Body of Delegates composed of duly elected representatives of all the nations, large and small, Eastern and Western.
The functions entrusted to the League of Nations will, moreover, have to be extended to embrace all forms of international activity. The League will also have to be given sufficient power to cope efficiently with international strife.
Any one who is gifted with vision can see that the supernational State is coming. The world has advanced to a stage where it cannot do without such an institution. If the League of Nations is not constituted upon a sufficiently broad foundation to make it serve as the nucleus of the world-State, it will have to be discarded soon.
To us Indians, this international activity in the Western world has a special meaning. We are being left farther behind by the progressive peoples. We are still in the patriarchal and agricultural stage of civilisation. We have not yet succeeded in convincing outsiders-even the British with whom our destiny is interlinked—that we have achieved nationhood. Whereas at one time we were the leaders of civilisation, now the world classes us with backward people "not yet able to stand by themselves."
When are we going to wake up, demand our Imperial right to be a free community within a free Empire, and make our influence felt in the councils of nations?
Is it no incentive to us to see that Dominions that were born but yesterday, that do not possess a tittle of India's heritage, have forged far ahead of us in domestic, Imperial, and international affairs?
ALL ABOUT THE WAR: THE INDIAN REVIEW WAR BOOK.
A COMPREHENSIVE AND AUTHENTIC ACCOUNT OF THE WAR WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, PORTRAITS, CARTOONS, MAPS & DIAGRAMS EDITED BY MR. G. A. NATESAN, B.A., F.M.U.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY H. E. RT. HON. LORD PENTLAND. Patronised by The Secretary of State for India, the Government of India, Local Governments, Native States, Directors of Public Instruction, District and Taluq Boards and Municipalities.
Price Rs. Four. Special offer Rs. 3. Ten copies at a time at Rs. 2 (Two) a copy.
G. A. NATESAN & CO., PUBLISHERS, GEORGE TOWN, MADRAS.
THE HON. MR. JUSTICE T. V. SESHAGIRI AIYAR
It is with great pleasure not altogether unmixed with some anxiety that I read the very interesting notes on Indian Culture written by Sir John Woodroffe. His attachment to religious and philosophic India is very great; and he is more anxious to guard its good reputation than we are. In his foreword to these Essays, he rightly draws attention to a noticeable defect in Indian character. The Hindu mind has a peculiar antipathy to advertisement. During all the long ages, it was never thought necessary by the orthodox to undertake the work of propagandism. Wave after wave of spiritual unrest had come and gone only to find the orthodox unmoved and unmoving. Abuses and misrepresentations found the unshaken phalanx of the old faith not perturbed or hitting back, but only supercilious and unconvinced. "Truth will prevail and neither exaltation nor mud-throwing can seriously affect the citatel." This has been the view-point of the philosophers and the common folk have imbibed that idea.
We do not hear of religious preachers being appointed by the ancient Kings. Yet, teachers there have been and have been recognised by Sovereigns. It is not because of Governmental encour. agement they impressed their personality on the public. It was the other way. They lived their lives untouched by ideas of princely recognition. It would have struck at the root of their usefulness, if they began their career as Government nominees. Their aim was Jivan Mukti, and it is their indifference to worldly property that was their real attraction. This aloofness from the world, this indifference to praise and blame is in the blood. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Indian is often misunderstood. Strenuous religiousness there is and even religious restlessness: but all this is in the inner self of the man'
Is India Civilized? By Sir John Woodroffe. Ganesh & Co., Madras.
outward decorum is unruffled by what would have hurt the susceptibilities of other people. Sir John Woodroffe rightly points out that this callousness has been carried too far, and I think he is right. The world we live in demands that there should be constant iteration of our rights, the repudiation of falsehoods and the refutation of unfounded aspersions. But the most educated of us do not consider it necessary to give the lie direct to calumnies on our national character, our religion, and our morality. It was only the other day that I read in the papers that a gifted European lady described the high caste Hindu ag wholly hostile to the elevation of the Depressed Classes. She is reported to have said that not a single high-caste Hindu has worked for the amelioration of these classes. I know something of statistics regarding the work done by the higher classes in this direction: but as the words were spoken on a political occasion for a political purpose, I considered it would not be right that I should answer the charges. But there was no excuse for others as well posted with the facts as myself for not venturing a reply. Fortunately, an Englishman who had lived amongst Hindus in Bombay came foreward to refute the statments. Similarly it has been left to Sir John Woodroffe to take the cudgels on behalf of India, while her sons have been content to ignore the attacks of Mr. Archer. India is grateful to Sir John Woodroffe for this championship.
I agree with him that if the word culture is given its natural significance, no nation has greater claim for such a distinction than India. There is a saying in the Mahabharata that men are on ⚫birth all barbarians; and it is only when they realise the supreme consciousness that they become civilised. In this sense, taking the peoples of the world, the number of the awakened souls in all of them put together would hardly reach the sum
total which India can number on its rolls. Even apart from this super attribute of civilisation, among Indians will be found a type of men of whom the Gita said, "whose lives have been so regulated as to resemble the light that shakes not even when blown against by a mighty wind and who are numerically larger than those found in other countries.
The theory of world formation and of world development in India is that the Universal Spirit has for its own delectation chosen to spread itself out into forms of animal life, and that like the tortoise, It will draw back to Itself at the time of the final conflagration what It has spread out. The incessant work of conceiving, creating and of destroying is being done by a force of which we have no visual cognisance; what is required of man is the performance of his alloted sphere of work without calculating upon the results of his activities. As Sree Krishna said to Arjuna, the conception of duty is:- "Duty for dutys sake." If all nations are actuated by the same ideals or as Sir John Woodroffe puts it, 66 were all men of this spirit we should not see unjustified aggression." But unfortunately nations on earth have far different ideals. The American Doctor of Divinity gave expression to a grossly material dogma of man's functions when he addressed a religious discourse to the crew of submarines, in these terms: :"When I stand before the judgement seat of the Almighty I want to be able to look my God in the face and tell Him that I gave the Germans at least one good wallop before I shuffled off." The German ideal was undoubtedly worse. In this clash of ideals, is there not danger that by adhering to the Indian view of life and of its denoument, our foothold upon progress and material development would be very much weakened. It may be that in the end the spiritual ideals for which the Indian civilisation stands sponsor may prevail over the baser ones of which men of the calibre of the American Doctor of Divinity are
the prototypes. But what about the way to that stage? Is it not incumbent on us to attempt a more virile adaptation of the principle of the rights ts of man and a little relaxation of the spiritual attitude? Further as a guide to individual salvation, the Indian view is probably the noblest. Schoppenbaur is reported to have said that Vedanta has been the solace of his life. In a highly trained intellect this faith may do no harm. But to those who are not so gifted but whose consciousness are not capable of grasping the eternal verities of physical and material life, can we say that the lofty spiritual conception of men being but the instrument of a Higher Power would suffice for the daily concerns of life? The contact with other nations have rendered it nescessary that we should work out our salvation not solely in the light of the great truths which are our proud inheritance, but also in a spirit of being able to counteract the mischievous tendencies of others who are not looking up to the same goal of life.
Sir John Woodroffe says:- "We are each instruments in the enternal struggle of matter to free spirit. Know this and serve rightly. If man so understands the cosmic process he will know why it is a struggle: and if he both thus knows and identifies himself in fact with it he will be freed of fear even in the presence of its most terrible forms. If beings fight with and devour one another in the early stages of evolution, it is to subserve the evolution of spirit." This excellent precept would be a very good guide to men who can appreciate the higher aspect of religious life. No doubt if all men gain in moral value, this clash of interests would disappear. But as the learned author rightly points out:-"One being lives on another; one conflicts with another in the process of evolving and perfecting forms. In this conflict of unequal forces can we trust to the higher Indian culture alone to withstand the onslaught that is being made on our material well-being?
I am rather inclined to agree with Mr. Archer there is something of medievalism in our conception. I do not say it is wrong. But if we do not adapt ourselves to the requirements of the times, our ideals like medievalism may be trampled under foot. Mr. Archer is at great pains to proclaim himself a non-christian; but curiously enough he asserts that India's salvation can only come from its adoption of Christianity as its national religion. Impertinence cannot go further than this. If this gentleman had taken the least care to understand the underlying principles of Hindu religion, he would not have talked all this nonsense. Mr. Archer conveniently forgets that the purest of religions according to him was unable to prevent persons from murdering each other, lying towards each other, coveting each other's property and committing other untold crimes. Probably this self-satisfied critic thinks that Germans are the most civilised people on earth.
Although I admire the spirit of absolute fairness with which Sir John Woodroffe has approched the task, I think India would be more grateful to him if, in addition to championing our ancient civilisation he had advocated a spirit of ter robustness and self-reliance among us in fighting the battle of life. As regards cultural superiority no man whose vision is not jaundiced can honestly say that from an intellectual and moral stand point we are not among the highest. But
THE GENESIS OF LABOUR UNREST
from the point of view of the necessity of coping with the problem of every day life and of meeting on equal terms persons of different faiths and of different cultures, it must be confessed that unless there is a great infusion of a spirit of adventure and of aggression which have characterised other nations we are sure to be left very much behind in the race. Indian civilisation is defective in this respect, and I think the remark made by an Indian leader to which Sir John Woodroffə takes exception is not altogether beside the point. That gentleman said:-"English institutions are the standards by which our aspirations were set." If that leader had qualified his remarks by saying "provided we do not lose sight of the high ideal of life which is embodied in the teachings of our sages," his remarks would have been perfectly in point. The Essays of this learned Judge should serve as an eye-opener to persons who, without any knowledge of Indian life and conditions, have presumed to criticise our character and morality. It should serve also as an eye-opener to many an Indian who has no conception of the great lessons which are capable of enabling India to influence world thought, although in material prosperity it has lagged behind many of them. This volume of Essays should be studied carefully by every Indian who aspires to lead the people and to mould the aspirations of his countrymen.
factories and an attempt to secure higher wages. The considerable rise in the cost of living-houseaccommodation, foodstuffs and clothing, in particular, has no doubt told heavily on the wageearning classes. But it is a novel sensation for the ignorant and imperfectly organised workmen -mostly the erstwhile villagers—to be up in arms and unfurl the standard of rebellion in a body.