Puslapio vaizdai

she was at the beginning of the last century. We have no reason to expect anything great from a psychically devitalised people like the Italians or a rudderless people like the Russians. And Germany's future, no one dare predict with certainty !.

With America's tremendous rise in the world, what reason have we to think that great art, true contemplation, and profundity of religious feelings will flourish in the West? If there is an intellectual reaction in the West against its Materialism, it is confined to those few who are considered 'cranks'! What precedent is there in European history of a country which after having indulged in an unsurpassed orgy of luxury, has suddenly become the mother of great dreamers, of great philosophers, of great poets and artists ? It is good to hope beautifully. It is saddening to think that your civilisation will perish with the march of Time. But what use in closing one's eyes to the inevitable!

Western applied science are, it is true greedily absorbed at present by Japan, and are rapidly entering China, India and other Eastern countries. But it must be remembered that unlike Europeans, our higher men are objecting to their entrance into our midst. Therein lies our hope. Oriental Spirituality is too strong, too deeply ingrained in us to succumb to such forces. We have fashioned an ideal of life which cannot be dislodged or completely broken by foreign enemies. It will reel; it will be hurt; it will bleed; but die it will not! It will rather transform the gross foreign forces into things of beauty. It is left to the East to make future industry artistic. It is left to the compassionate East to make the factory labourer happy and satisfied. Our temperament, together with our climatic conditions will prevent us from being transformed into hustling hucksters like the Western races.

We know and so we admit, that Western ideals are invading eastern countries, and that they cannot escape them even if they would like to do so. But that the East will pass through the same stage of Materialism through which Europe is just now passing, we cannot admit. Western commercialism and industrialism,

The hope, the future salvation of the world lies in the Eastern temperament. The wheel of history turns. Power and perhaps civilisation have now moved from Europe to America-that is from the near and middle West to the farthest West. And from there-sooner or later, they must go back-first to the Far-East, and then to other Eastern countries.





FTER reading the reports published by Rev. C. F. Andrews on Labour in Fiji and in other Colonies, one is naturally tempted to ask the question, 'Is emigration after all essential to India?' 'Why should our Indian brethren and sisters undergo so many hardships and sufferings in a foreign land? Why not we put an end to the system of emigration which is a hot-bed of so much of vice and immorality?"


'Is it absolutely necessary for a part of the population of India to emigrate and thereby get wrecked physically and morally?'-such are the questions which instinctively arise in our minds when we sit down to think coolly and dispassionately, on the thorny problem of Indian emigration.

When impelled by the instinctive force of these questions which demand a definite answer from

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

MAY 1919]

us, we resort to the available statistics on Indian
emigration with a view to discover how far the
system is a benefit to India-we find that the
number of Indians now emigrating to the
Colonies is too small to put up with on that
account. The latest figures available show that
on an average about 14,000 Indians, emigrate to
the Colonies except Malaya and Ceylon and that
their number is fortunately decreasing year after
year as can be seen from the following figures:





[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





[ocr errors]

If emigration should continue to grow as unpopular as these figures show, then the number of Indians to be benefitted (if there be any benefits flowing out of the system of emigration at all) by it will be practically infinitesimal. For if it is true that on an average about 6,500 of the emigrants are returning every year and even if 10,000 Indians are emigrating every year-only about 4,000 Indians will annually secure the advantages, whatever they are, of labouring in the Colonies. And when we see that India is a country with over 300 million inhabitants, any student of Elementary Mathematics can discern the almost infinitesimal part of the Indian population benefitted by emigration which is 4,000



th. Therefore the

300,000,000 75,000 question is whether such a small "outlet for our surplus population" is worth being kept up when







[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


th. part of the Indian population do


not find work and scope for keeping their body and soul together, that they are forced to emigrate in search of brighter prospects and a higher rate of wages for honest labour'. Profound as the argument appears on the surface, still under the searchlight of a critical examination, it loses its sting; for, in the first place, in the case of emigration there is a gulf of difference between 'promise and performance', because people seem to be enticed by a picture of the bright side of emigration rather than employed after being forewarned and fully informed about the evils of the system. But even if we discard this point of view, cannot the industrial conditions of India be managed in such a way as to accommodate the 10,000 Indians who emigrate to Fiji and other colomies? Cannot the industries and the agriculture of India a little improved and be


enlarged to afford ample scope for the

part of the population of India to get honest wages for honest labour? And even if it be contended that we are talking beside the point,— for it is not a case of getting wages but getting a higher rate of wages,-will not the establishment of a few more factories and mills on a grander scale than that of those already established and with a less avaricious and more self-sacrificing spirit on the part of the factory owners and mill-owners, be sufficient to employ even 20,000 Indian emigrants on a higher rate of wages,


[ocr errors]


nay on the rate of wages promised them by the recruiting agents of emigration in India? Fortunately, as experts on all hands acknowledge, there is ample scope for improving the resources of our country which exist now profusely in latent abundance, waiting to be unearthed as it were and used by honest labour for honest ends. This being the case, why not instead of attempting to control emigration we curb it once for all?

It is really very gratifying to note that the British Government has taken pains to do something, nay much, in this direction; and the Report of the Indian Industrial Commission which, after two years' work, has been submitted gives on the whole promises of a successful industrial future for India-only, of course, if the main principles ennunciated therein are put into practice by the Indian Government as early as possible. To go into the details of this Report is not within the province of this subject. But purely in the interests of clearness, it is rather necessary to glean from this Report some ideas which throw a flood of light on our topic. It is first of all recognised in unmistakable terms that unless India emerges from its hitherto economic backwardness, she will be failing in her duty to herself and to the Empire. Further we have to appreciate wholeheartedly its exhorting the Government to give up its old policy of indifference and laissez-faire.

For example the Report says:


Frequently therefore there has been displayed by Government officials an apparent indifference to industries which has been confirmed in public mind by the absence of any openly expressed policy of encouragement."

And it deplores the limits placed on the activities of the Indian Government by the Despatch of Lord Morley (No. 50-Revenue dated 29th July 1910) in which it is insisted that the Government should avoid "the semblance of a commercial venture and confine themselves strictly to industrial instruction." (The italics are ours)

[ocr errors]

But can we not persuade the Government, especially when the outlook on industrial matters is growing favourable, to give industrial instruction to Indians on as perfect a scale as possible? "Educate the artisans," say the Industrial Commission, "and raise their selfrespect". Then another important point in the Report of the Industrial Commission is the principle that "Equal proficiency should be equally remunerated" as against the policy now in vogue in the Railway workshops where European and Anglo-Indian apprentices are shown preference in every respect over Indian apprentices. Now suppose the Indian Government gives effect to these two important principles formulated by the Holland Commission and "educates the artisans' and follows and makes others follow the maxim Equal proficiency should be equally. remunerated'-why should ignorant people emigrate for the sake of higher wages to foreign lands?—because people with technical instruction will be paid the wages which Europeans and Anglo-Indians with the same qualifications are paid to-day which will be, at least for the time being, quite enough for them. But there comes a distressing thought at this juncture that " the experience in India in regard to the recommendations from commissions whenever they coincided with popular feeling has not been very satisfactory ", because nothing practically has as yet happened as regards the outlay on irrigation recommended by successive Irrigation and Famine Commissions and the Government programmes with regard to compulsory technical instruction and primary education are still incomplete and some of the more important recommendations of the Decentralisation Commission have not, as yet, been carried out. But to the student of human nature or history, it does not seem improbable that under the present circumstances and in the light of the magnificent services rendered by India to the


Empire in this War which has now ended that the dawn of a great industrial reconstruction in India, of which the summoning of the Indian Industrial Commission is the earnest and the promise, is quite near. This being the case, why not we ask for the abolition of the Labour Emigration Act?

Even if the Government be rather slow in giving effect to the proposals of the Holland Commission, it is a matter of very great satisfaction that economic evolution is visible throughout the length and breadth of the country, that India is now passing through a happy process of progressive evolution in industrial affairs. The spirit of advancing the cause of indigenous industries had been present for a comparatively long time in latent form and the birth of the Swadeshi movement in 1905 gave it a form of visible reality; and within the span of five short years, factories have sprung up like mushrooms. "The torch of Swadeshism has diffused the light of industrialism through every stratum of society" with the result that the spirit of promoting the industrial welfare of the country has become a passion. We meet in every town of some importance some factory the origin of which can directly or indirectly be traced to the happy Swadeshi movement. Then why not we hope that if a few more Swadeshi factories are established the 10,000 Indian emigrants would cease to go out of India? But a very discouraging idea crosses our mind when we see that, in spite of Swadeshism, out of the 1,000 crores of rupees which are employed as capital by all companies in India (as Mr. Jogeshchandra Mitra tells us) about 700 crores of rupees are foreign while only Rs. 300 crores form the capital used and manned by Indians in their commercial concerns. This backwardness of Indian industries is caused by what may be called the shyness of Indian capital which can be traced to the belief Indians have "in visible wealth." But

suppose the lamentable spirit of hoarding of money is exorcised as it were by education and suppose Indians are taught in the industrial instruction which even the Despatch of Lord Morley allows the Indian Government to impart to the inhabitants of our country the advantages of investment,' can we not hope that the present paucity of Swadeshi capital will be removed and the need for emigration gone with it?

Even if it be contended that it will take sometime for educating the ignorant masses of India on the benefits of investment, there is yet another way in which emigration can be put an end to, viz, by sending Indians to lands owned or rather, to be owned by the British other than those to which Indians emigrate at present. If President Wilson's peace terms could be relied on as final, Mesopotamia and German East Africa would become soon parts of the British Empire. Now the Government has already sent some thousands of men to Basra and other places. Then why not the Government send some more thousands so that there would be no need for the 10,000 emigrants to go over to Fiji and other colonies?-so that Indians might emigrate safely feeling sure that their lives would not be wrecked either physically or morally. Now is there any more objection to abolishing the emigration system?

Therefore our conclusion is that the Indian Government can well afford to end all Emigration -Indenture or Free. Even Free Emigration should be ended, because, according to Mr. Marjoribanks' and Khan Bahadur Marakkayar's Report there exist even in Malaya and Ceylon several of the evils of the Indenture system like the low proportion of emigrant women (62,950 females to 204,220 males in Malaya) and the danger of the illegal injuring of the character of Indians from the nature of the emigrant coolies. Now it may be contended that we have based our conclusion on several 'if's and suppose's; but these 'if's, we must reply are practical 'if's and not, impracticable 'suppose's. It may seem that we are taking a very extreme and one-sided attitude and that it I would be better to resort to a moderate policy. But our answer is, that compromise so often necessary does not hold good or is futile in the present case. It is only when the extreme position is impracticable that we have to resort to makeshifts and compromises, but when, as we have shown, our attitude though one-sided is practical, it is ipso facto' justifiable. Therefore our great question is, "Why not the Indian Government abolish Emigration altogether?"

HE room was suffused with the autumn twilight. Outside a thin mist hung in the air caressing the tree-tops. And through the window I could see glorious colours dance and disappear in the west.

"It is getting rather cold; won't you come Persian nearer the fire ?" I said to my new friend, pointing to the sofa near me; and he complied, thanking me with embarrassing polite

MR. K. GURUSWAMI REDDI, B.A., (Principal, Hindu College, Tinnevelly.)

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

was trying hard to recollect something, and finally seemed to give it up in sheer exhaustion. "Pardon, I cannot remember the word-English: this language is so bad-in their faces there is such....such....” He stopped, unable to find the word he wanted.

"Loveliness?" I suggested, trying to help


"No," it wasn't that. "Charm?"

"No," again.

Oh, no!?

"Grace?" I brought forth doubtfully. He shook his head violently.

"That's not it at all. Yes, all this right; but such in their faces there is such He closed his eyes.

"What can it be?" I wondered, and then made my final effort almost desperately. "Do you mean expression?" I had not even uttered the new word fully, when to my surprise he jumped up with joy and shook me by the hand very thankfully, all the while repeating the word: expression." "There is such expression in their faces. Express.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"Is that the sole difference then?" I asked. "Yes that is the soul difference, was his ready reply," that is the difference of the soul. He smiled and I smiled too.


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »