Colonial Administration and Social Developments in Middle India: |
The Central Provinces, 1986-1921. Ph. D. 1980 dissertation by Philip McEldowney]
Part I. The Indian and British Settings
The British Community and Its
Interaction with Indians
[Table 6. English Population in the Central Provinces]
In my study of colonial rule it is useful to examine the character of the rulers themselves. This chapter examines the character of the British colonial community and their relationship with Indians in a province in central India in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It indicates first who the Englishmen were, then the character of the social environment in which they lived, and finally how they related to Indian society around them.
The entho-centric British colonial society which developed along with the creation of a provincial administration in the Central Province after 1861 differed mom in degree then in kind from British colonial societies at Benares and Guntur five decades earlier.(60.1) British Communities in India still looked back to England, and to her Englishmen in India, for cultural and moral sustenance; they attempted to recreate little England enclaves wherever they lived and worked, remaining socially and culturally segregated from the Indian community. England and various parts of India, however, had become closer and more accessible to each other during the intervening decades. Transportation had improved and
furloughs for the English were more frequent. By the late 1860s the Suez canal had opened; in India, at the same time, railways linked northern Central Provinces with Bombay and Calcutta and a terminal line penetrated from Bombay into southern Central Provinces as far as the capital at Nagpur. Since the days of the hybridized English-Indian Nabobs of the late eighteenth century, fewer and fewer Englishmen showed their admiration for Indian customs and practices by imitating and adapting their life style to that of a maharaja.
In addition to greater contact and communication with England and between English social centers in India, other changes were taking place. British administrators worked under stricter regulations; they received a more thorough professional training, and they had higher salaries. All these changes worked to end the relative isolation of Englishmen from Englishmen in India while the same had extricated most Englishmen from close, personal involvement in Indian life. Within the province, small groups of Englishmen were still often isolated from one mother in district outposts, but the opportunities and occasions for social contact and intercourse had so increased that their physical and cultural isolation seemed less severe.
Compared to British communities in other provinces, British society in the Central Provinces was never large. Like other British communities, most of the members concentrated in one or two provincial towns and a station at a higher elevation in the hot season, while the rest were dispersed to many district outposts. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the four to five thousand British residents of the province constituted less than four percent of the entire British population in India. (See table.) Of the major provinces only Assam had a
smaller number of British residents. More than two-thirds of these British residents were stationed at the two largest towns: Nagpur, the capital, and Jabalpur, the northern trading and administrative center. Almost half (40 percent) of all British residents in the province were British soldiers, living in separate military cantonments, mainly at or near these two towns. Excluding these troops in the large towns, the British population was dispersed to sixteen other district headquarters and small out-posts, such as Balaghat. By 1911, out of 6,808 British subjects in the province, 1,463 or twenty-one-and-a-half percent lived in Nagpur, 3,822 or fifty-six percent in Jabalpur, while, in comparison, there were only 61 or nine-tenths of one percent in the hill district of Balaghat.(63.1)
Excluding the British troops, most of the English community were directly involved in the provincial administration. They consisted of administrators in various departments along with their wives and children. Unlike some other parts of India, the Central Provinces never included a substantial number of non-official Englishmen. There were no indigo or tea planters and only a few commercial agents and missionaries. Though the first Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces had proposed a scheme for European colonization on the sparsely populated highlands, it never attracted my English colonizers. A few foreign exporters stationed their agents in the province. In the early twentieth century, these traders were supplemented by a few engineers, managers, and agents when manganese mining began in the Satpura plateau. At about that time missionary effort increased. Before the famines of the late nineteenth century, the few
missionaries had lived in the large towns managing the activities of their educational and charitable institutions, such as Hislop College, Nagpur. There had been three exceptions: Stephen Hislop, O. J. Lohr, and J. Lampard. Stephen Hislop of the Scottish Free Church had worked with Goad tribals in the Nagpur area in the 1840s and 1850s. O. J. Lohr founded a mission in a Raipur village to work with the Chamars in the 1860s. In Balaghat district, J. Lampard began work with Baihar Gonds and Baigas in the early 1890s. It was the famines, however, which stimulated missionary efforts in the province. Within one decade (1891-1901) the number of Indian Christians almost tripled, mostly because of the "conversion" of famine orphans.(64.1) Even with the gradual increase of commercial and missionary activities, the main character of the British community in the province remained official. One observer characterized Nagpur society in the early twentieth century as "desperately official." It was
rather unique; other big Indian stations had a healthy mixture of civil, military, and commercial folk, but in Nagpur it was all civil. Even the parson was an official. (64.2)
The status of British administrators in the province remained low as compared to other provinces. Living conditions were more difficult and primitive, especially in the first decades-of British provincial rule, The pay and prospects for promotion were almost the worst in India. in the mid-1860s while Alfred Lyall was traveling -from Agra to his new appointment as District Commissioner in Hoshangabad, he reflected, "All civili-
zation ceases abruptly as soon as you leave the Ganges valley." After his first Christmas at Hoshangabad he remarked on how very dreary and stiff the celebrations were compared to the cheerful society of Agra. (065.1) He determined that he would not stay at Hoshangabad more than two years. (65.2)
Three decades later (in the 1890s) Henry Sharp expressed a different reaction to conditions in the province. By then government buildings, officials' houses, and a network of railways had been constructed, end this improved living conditions in most of the headquarter towns. But Sharp was stationed to one of the up-country towns, and he accepted things as they were, adjusting to the simple life. He expressed his enjoyment of the
pleasant simplicity and unconventionality of life . . . . Nobody minded if your dwelling was of sun-dried bricks covered over with a roof of untidy thatch, your ceiling-cloth scampered across by rats and other beasts, and your furniture of the shabbiest wicker- work . . . . Things were used and enjoyed in common. The custom had. only recently ceased of taking your own knives, forks and spoons when you went out to dinner. But you still took your own servant . . . . Your door was always open, literally and metaphorically, to all comers--including fowls of the air and beasts of the forest . . . . Not all the visitors were harmless . . . . I should be sorry to say, least I be thought to exaggerate, how many scorpions and black kraits I have killed in the house.(65.3)
Not all British administrators acclimatized themselves so easily and appreciated the living conditions in the remote areas of the province as Sharp did. Only two years before (1889), the provincial administration
had requested the Government of India to improve the pay and position of its commissioned officers. The Chief Commissioner informed the central government that Central Provinces officers ere "at presently gravely dissatisfied with their position and prospects," though they did not allow their personal grievances to interfere with their public duties. The Chief Commissioner realized that the Central Provinces was not a popular place for service in comparison with other parts of India. Most officers in the province had selected the North-West Provinces or the Punjab for service after passing their examination in England, but they had been sent to the "jungle of the Central Provinces" irrespective of their choice. The Central Provinces had a worse climate; and its officers were never selected for prize appointments in the general service. Even though the railways had made the province more accessible, the Chief Commissioner recognized that "the Central Provinces will never hold a high place in popular estimation as a desirable residence." (66.1) Improved pay scales were granted, but two decades later the position of Central Provinces administrators had again fallen behind other areas. Once more in 1913 the case of the Central Provinces officers was reviewed extensively with a similar conclusion that "it would be inequitable my longer to deny the members of the Central Provinces commission equality of treatment with their conferees in the Punjab."(66.2)
There were two factors which helped to compensate the Central Provinces official community for its sense of isolation and inferiority. One was the
development and perpetuation of a close "family tradition" among them. The other was the re-creation and maintenance of British social and cultural custom wherever officials went in the province.
The development of family tradition among the British community grew out of several circumstances. Officials were tied to each other by more than their common cultural and national background. Especially in the 1860s several administrators were related by marriage to others, and by common experiences of training and service with each other. During Richard Temple's appointment as Chief Commissioner, his cousin, Harry Rivett-Carnac, and his younger step-brother, John A. Temple, served under him. Several of Richard Temple's fellow officers from the Punjab also joined the Central Provinces administration. They included Henry Morris, W.S. Brooke, John S. Campbell, Robert Egerton, Hector Mackenzie, W. B. Jones, F. Venning, and Malcolm Low. Among some of these men there were additional ties. John Campbell's brother, George Campbell, became the second Chief Commissioner after Richard Temple. Malcolm Low's father, John Low, had commanded troops in the province during the Third Maratha War of 1818-1819. Besides these, Charles Bernard's uncle, John Lawrence, was Richard Temple's mentor in the Punjab. Charles Grant came from a family which had served in the East India Company.
Although the decade of the 1860s was unusual for the high number of family and provincial ties, similar situations also existed in the following decades. Both brothers Charles H. T. Crosthwaite and Robert J. Crosthwaite became Chief Commissioners in the late 1880s. The son of Charles Crosthwaite, Henry Robert Crosthwaite, achieved prominence as a Central Provinces administrator in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The brothers Lindsey and John W. Neill filled secretarial posts and headed de-
partments during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Of nine Chief Commissioners after Temple and Morris, two more came from the Punjab (1). Fitzpatrick and B. Robertson) , four from the North-West Province (C. H. I. Crosthwaite, J. Woodburn, J. P. Hewett, and J. 0. Miller), two from Bengal (A. Mackenzie and A. MacDonnell), and one from Bombay (F. Lely). None came from Madras. Such a pedigree of family and provincial ties indicates me of the ways in which Englishmen in the province felt a strong sense of community.
The policies and ideas of Chief Commissioner Henry Morris gave further shape to strengthen the family feeling among the official community after Temple's departure in the late 1860s. Morris not only used various in- formal procedures to bring administrators closer together, but also insured that his methods would continue after his long tenure in office (thirteen years in the 1870s and early 1880s) by personally training several young officers. Morris stressed the importance of open and frank discussion, and of regular visits and communication between British officers at all levels--between the heads of departments, between the separate department heads and their subordinates, and between divisional commissioners and their district officers. In the appointment and transfer of officers he tried to reduce the distinction between military and civilian members of the administration by utilizing their knowledge of the local countryside and their particular talents of supervision and bureaucratic management.(68.1) About two-thirds of the core group of administrators, i. e. those who be- longed to the Central Provinces Commission, were military officers who
became civil servants under "staff" appointments in the early 1860s. By the mid-1870s less than half of the Central Provinces Commission were military officers. Their numbers steadily dwindled until only me or two remained in the commission by the turn of the century.
Morris equally stressed warm social relations between officers as much as cordial administrative relations. When J. B. Fuller arrived at the summer capital of Pachmarhi for his new appointment as head of the Agriculture Department, the first question which Morris put to him was "Can you dance?"(69.1) Morris's policies and ideas concerning the relationship between administrators eventually "led officers from other Provinces to describe the Central Provinces Administration as a 'happy family'."(69.2)
Morris left the Central Provinces in 1883 and until 1907 most of the Chief Commissioners were "outsiders" who had no previous experience in the province but had served in other parts of India. Nevertheless subordinate administrators effectively perpetuated and elaborated the "family tradition" during the two-and-one-half decades of rule by "outside One such administrator, Andrew Fraser was in a special position to feel the influence of Morris's policies. Arriving in 1871, Andrew Fraser rapidly advanced to different positions in the secretariate and was in charge of different departments by 1877. For the next six years he was directly under the supervision of Morris at Nagpur. Later, when he was appointed (in the late 1880s and early 1890s) Commissioner of the eastern division (Chhattisgarh), Fraser instituted a system of monthly conferences with district officers. Every last Saturday and Sunday of the month officers came to met with one another and Fraser. Those conferences produced
valuable discussions on administrative problems and also provided a "relief from the monotony and loneliness of District work." They engendered "a sense of solidarity" toward government activity in the Division.(70.1) When Fraser advanced to the highest post of the province in the early twentieth century, for three years he extended the system of conferences to include annual discussions between commissioners and heads of departments at Pachmarhi during June.(70.2)
Fraser's career and his Promotion of close relations between officers provided a continuity of a particular style of provincial administration from Morris's time into the twentieth century. But Fraser was not alone: other officers reinforced the provincial tradition and carried it even further into the twentieth century. The careers of J. B. Fuller;, Reginald H. Craddock, Benjamin Robertson, and Frank Sly were interrelated with Fraser's and with each other's. Fuller first served in the Central Provinces under Morris as Director of Agriculture, at the time when Fraser was Morris's secretary. In the late 1880S Frank Sly began his civil ser- vice career in Sambalpur and Raipur under Fraser, who was Divisional Commissioner. During those years Fuller's assistant in the Settlement Department was Reginald H. Craddock. In the early 1890s Fuller, Craddock, and Benjamin Robertson were in Nagpur together: Fuller was Settlement Commissioner, Craddock continued as assistant to Fuller and later became Settlement Officer for Nagpur district, and Robertson joined the Central Provinces from Bombay to conduct the census operation of 1891. In the mid-1890s Craddock continued as Nagpur Settlement Officer and periodically relieved the Settlement Commissioner while Fraser was Commissioner of
Nagpur Division. Sly continued also as Settlement Officer in Hoshangabad while Robertson was District Commissioner in neighboring Nimar. Both were briefly under Fuller when he became Narbudda Divisional Commissioner during 1894. In the late 1890s Robertson again served under Fuller, this time as District Commissioner of Jabalpur when Fuller was the Divisional Commissioner. When Fuller left the province in the early twentieth century, Robertson succeeded to the Commissionership. Both of them, as well as Craddock as Settlement Commissioner and Sly as Raipur District Commissioner, came under Fraser's direction when he attained the Chief Commissionership from 1899 to 1901. Fuller and Fraser went on to head the two Bengals in the early twentieth century. The remaining three officers eventually advanced to the Chief Commissionership of the province and succeeded each other, Craddock in 1907-1912, Robertson in 1912-20, and Sly, 1920 onwards. The interrelated careers of these five officers and others provided both continuity and strength to the provincial tradition.
The effects of a strong provincial tradition among subordinate officers during the years of the "outsiders" did not go unnoticed by either the officers or the Chief Commissioners. Fuller, for instance, finding that Chief Commissioner Dennis Fitzpatrick did not support his policy of government rent fixation, simply waited until the next Chief Commissioner, Alexander Mackenzie, who approved his ideas, was appointed. In a similar vein, Fuller instructed Anthony MacDonnell during his first months of Chief Commissioner in the details of land revenue policy. He pointed out MacDonnell's mistakes and suggested ways in which MacDonnell's ideas could be revised to conform to provincial policy.(71.1) MacDonnell's predecessor
Mackenzie, had found that "his programs of reform were hampered by dis- agreement with military members of the provincial commission." In the early twentieth century Chief Commissioner John 0. Miller reported that his predecessor, Frederick Lely, had had to persist against local officers, ideas to get his policies accepted. Miller himself felt "the Central Provinces officers [formed] somewhat a family party and (discussed] matters among themselves to an extent unknown elsewhere."(72.1)
Thus from almost the beginning and all during the six decades of British provincial rule in the Central Provinces, a strong tradition of close and personal relations between local British officials emerged,and endured. It was based on the common family, provincial, and military character of the first decade which Morris strengthened and promoted as a continuing pattern. Later, others ensured the family tradition persisted into the twentieth century.
The development of a family tradition was only one way in which th British community succeeded in accommodating itself to isolation from British life in England and in other Indian provinces. In daily life t:ey discovered others ways to retain their British social customs and cultural heritage. The members of the British community lived in three different social contexts--one was in the large towns such as Nagpur, Jabalpur, and the summer capital of Pachmarhi; the second was as smaller groups in , district headquarters and outposts; the third, as officers periodically toured the Indian countryside by themselves. In each of these social
contexts British officers developed ways to retail, their English life styles in India.
Nagpur, Jabalpur, and Pachmarhi were the centers of the largest British communities. The most important officers resided at the capital of Nagpur. They included the Chief Commissioner, his Secretarial staff, the heads of departments such as Land revenue, Education, Police, Public Works, Forest, the Divisional staff, and the district administrators. Almost all of these journeyed to the summer capital of Pachmarhi for three months each year. They were joined by other British administrators from other divisions and departments. A large number cam from Jabalpur, which was often considered the second capital of the province. The town plan of Jabalpur typically represents the way in which a physical and social English enclave was separated from Indians. The town consisted of four sections. The old and crowded Indian residential and business center was located north of the Umti strew. South of the strew and north of the railway tracks most of the government buildings and offices had been constructed. Beyond the tracks European officers lived in spacious houses separated from the cantonment of British troops by a parade maidan (field). A secondary market center, called the Sadr grew up in the area south of the tracks which served the needs of the European population. Similar types of segregation were found in Nagpur and other district headquarters. Pachmarhi, the summer capital, was almost entirely a European town. Originally only the site of a hunting lodge, the local administration selected it as their summer retreat. At 4,800 feet elevation it gave relief from the summer heat for the officials. By 1872 the main buildings and residences had been constructed. By the early twentieth century its population swelled to around six thousand during the summer months when British
officers arrived with their families and servants. The climate was not as cool as Simla or England, but it was the closest approximation in the province.
Gradually social life among the British community developed in the large towns and the summer capital. There were teas, dinners, dances, and various ceremonies to attend, and Christian and English festivals to celebrate. In addition there were English recreational activities. By the late 1860s Kamptee, a suburb of Nagpur, had a race-course.(74.1) In the late nineteenth century scores of people developed a craze for golf. Participants at Nagpur's new golf course were regularity reported in the English paper, the Pioneer. (74.2) Chief Commissioner MacDonnell played golf for the first time at Pachmarhi, but he could not understand why people raved about it. By the early twentieth century Nagpur presented a social atmosphere similar in most ways to other large centers of British communal life. Official members of the British community came into close and almost continuous contact with one mother-they worked "in one mother's offices," saw "me another and their wives every evening in the club," and played "tennis together most days in the week." Nagpur had its Gondwana Club and Jabalpur its Narbudda Club. One Forest Department officer even com- plained that the highly developed official etiquette in Nagpur went too far, that he and his bachelor friends were forced to remain at dinner parties until the lady of the highest rank had departed. Calling at the residences of superior officials "was considered so important that a junior
officer could always get away from office."(75.1)
The social life of British officials outside Nagpur, Jabalpur, and Pachmarhi was not as formal and grand. Yet, even the small groups of British residents at district headquarters maintained a separate British community through their contact and activities. Like the larger towns , the British officers lived separately. At Balaghat me of the smallest district headquarters, the officers' houses were located far to the west of the town and the railway station. East of their houses was a "buffer zone" of public buildings, schools, and the town hall. Further east was the market of Guzri Chauk, then Devi lake with Indian residential wards around it, and finally the railway station.(75.2)
By the early 1880s at least five to ten British officials with their families lived at each district headquarters. British social and administrative activity in a "Humdrum District" centered around the three most prominent administrators - the district commissioners, the British Superintendent of Police, and the Civil Surgeon. As described by a Central P:vm:sjmior civil servant in early 1880s, each of the "board of Guardians" of Humdrum District had thankless, routine tasks to perform at the office. The head of the district spent most of his time "either writing or hearing writing read."(75.3) His position was over-rated, as he possessed little "original authority," rather he was "only a ganglion in the nervous system of administration." He could "do little without reference to superior authority," he simply drove his Indian subordinate administrators, the tahsildars. The District Superintendent of Police
was the District Commissioner's "co-adjuster and terrible shadow." en- forcing the law by investigation and punishment. He spent most of his time, however, listening to his clerk sing-song and nasal voice reciting police diaries sent in from outposts, and keeping alert to determine if he should record a particular crime as having "occurred" or "not occurred." In doing this for his reports, he needed to fine a balance between showing crime was on the wane, but that his peace-keeping service was still vital. Occasionally he escaped the office drudgery to rush to the scene of a re- ported crime to take evidence on the spot. Neither the District Commission- er nor the District Superintendent of Police normally remained posted at the same district more than two years. The Civil Surgeon, on the other hand, was rarely transferred. For this reason he was the "patriarch" of the district, a fund of local lore, and a source of the latest gossip within the British community.(76.1) He rarely practiced medicine, leaving service to his assistants at the dispensary. Nevertheless, he needed to make his daily rounds to check and initial lists prepared by his assistants. More, important, he often held the post of Jail Superintendent and dealt with the details of prisoner discipline and their work as oil pressers, stone breakers, or weavers. Annually he went out on vaccination tout and also noted the "filthy state of village sanitation," writing "admirable suggestions on sanitation improvements" which "could not possibly be carried out."(76.2)
Apart from this monotony of work, the administrators carried on a simple social life among themselves. Often they dined together for early morning breakfast. In the evening the Civil Surgeon joined in a game of badminton "with the D. C.'s wife for his partner, and the D. C. and D. S. P against him." Each Sunday they came "together for baking penance in the oven-like" and "much buttressed" little church under its iron roof, the District Commissioner reading "the prayers and the others murmuring responses in the intervals of mopping."(77.1)
Social life was enlivened by the occasional visits of various officials. Two or three times a year the priest of the Established Church came to the district to minister to the European congregation and inquire about the condition of the Indian Christians. He would conduct the European services before going to the bazaar to receive reports from the local Indian catechist. Soon he returned "gladly to his European flock," who enjoyed his company war when he forgot his religious position and played lawn-tenuis or conversed cheerfully with them after dinner.(77.2) In their separate residential quarters, in their social, recreational, and religious activities, the small British communities at district headquarters maintained English life-style..
In the third setting, that of touring the Indian countryside, the English administrator was physically the most isolated from the British -unity. There was neither the lively activities of official society at the capitals nor the daily rounds of the Guardians of the Humdrum
district headquarters. Yet, lonely camp life had its own pleasures and excitements. And the touring administrator was not completely isolated from communication with the British community; his daily mail brought family and personal letters, official correspondence, and news literature on events in the province and the Empire. English food, drink, manners, and attitudes were maintained in the relative solitude of the Indian countryside and forest. Annual touring groups ranged in size and importance from the Chief Commissioner's large entourage visiting district headquarters for the purpose of holding darbars (official audiences or public meetings) to a lone forest officer inspecting fire lines accompanied by one or two servants. On some occasions there were special tours, such as the tridecennial settlement investigations, or for famine work. But the most usual touring group consisted of a lme British officer with his staff and servants, going out on the annual winter inspection duty. J. B. Fuller, as Settlement Commissioner, recounted his own experiences in the Central Provinces.
During the five months of November to Match one toured by camping . . I had two tents, with smaller ones for my clerk and servants ' One went on in the very early morning--some twelve .iles--to the next camping ground, where it was pitched by the time of my arrival . . . . I' the course of the morning ride from one camp to the other I ordinarily inspected three or four villages . . . . This brought me t o the next camping ground about ten o-clock, and thence onward to dinner time I was engaged in office work . . . . I generally put in six or seven hours at the office table. My papers reached me by spec a, runners . . . . Generally I received two mail bags full each day . . . . I often took a late afternoon - and sometimes a whole day--for shooting.(78.1)
Shooting game was not only a most enjoyable sport in the jungles of the Central Provinces, but English officers rationalized it as a necessity while they were away from their usual food supplies of the district headquarters. Henry Sharp created his own food resources- while on tour, he kept a buffalo in camp for milk and butter, and chickens for eggs. At first he contented himself with Indian unleavened bread (chapattis); later his higher position and salary allowed him to hire a cook to bake bread in camp. Meat was a real problem as it was "practically =obtainable in the villages; and to carry about a flock of sheep [was] apt to be a nuisance. So me shot birds and beasts and lived on game."(79.1) Though Sharp shot for meat, he also found it a =at enjoyable sport in India. It was almost better than hunting back home in England, for in India it was
inexpensive . . . . There are no limits, no marches-all the world is before you. You wander where you will, and none can stop you; for there are no game laws, nor, except in government forest, any restrictions. In small game shooting there is none of the artificiality that robs the sport in the British Isles of some of its charm.(79.2)
Other autobiographies of Central Provinces administrators are full of similar fond memories of their hunting experiences while camping or while living in the forests.(79.3) Condemned to the "Jungles of the Central Provinces" British administrators enjoyed a sporting life reminiscent in some ways to aristocratic recreation in England.
The creation of a distinctive social and cultural world among the members of the British community had a double-edged effect. On the one hand, it brought British residents of the Central Provinces closer together and softened the harshness of their exile from their English home. On the other hand it buffeted them from the intrusion of India into their lives and reinforced the isolation of the British community from Indian society. All this tended to separate the rulers from the ruled and limit, if not exclude, most interaction except on a formal and administrative level.
The British community consequently had a very limited and uneven interaction with the Indian population of the Central Provinces. Few Indians came into direct, personal, and long-tam contact with the English community or with individual English administrators. Villagers had the least contact. Occasionally an officer passed by their village on tour, or requisitioned some villagers for a hunting expedition. In the towns and at district headquarters Indians became accustomed to the "white faces," but, unless they were somehow involved in the provincial administration or with the British community, their contact was slight.
Three sections of Indian society did have more contact with the British community - (i) personal servants of British families, (ii) Indian assistants to British officers, and (iii) some of the Indian urban elite. Personal servants sometimes became closely attached to British families, but their servile position restricted the. from full participation in the British community, Nor did servants transmit much of their rudimentary Anglicization to other Indians as they and their families frequently lived in special servants quarters in the
British section of town ; and they also often accompanied their masters from me post to mother.
A few Indians, as administrative assistants or as prominent urban leaders, attained positions in which they came into fairly frequent and free contact with members of the British community. These Indians had to transcend several barriers which divided the British community from the general Indian population. There were barriers of education, knowledge or acquaintance with the English language and culture, and membership in a family which the British community recognized as obtaining a high social and economic standing. Even when Indians overcame, these, other barriers still remained which excluded them from complete and equal participation in the British community. Social institutions, such as the clubs, allowed only English membership. One British administrator noted the detrimental "two-fold effect on relations between Europeans and Indians" because of these clubs. He observed that they tended, first, to make Europeans
a self-contained and rather isolated community. The British me ts the Indian in the office, in the law courts, in business promises, but social contacts, which would produce much mutual understanding, are often slight and formal. In the second place, Indians resent being excluded flom European clubs . . . . This produces a regretable cleavage.(81.1)
One Indian newspaper editor of Hoshangabad also remarked on the aloofness of Europeans toward Indians which prevented the development of "mutual friendship and sympathy." He recounted a recent, unusual event when a British administrator invited Indian friends to his daughter's wedding
and said, "it would be well if other Europeans followed his example."(82.1)
Besides exclusive British social institutions, recreational activities of the British community were beyond the reach of mat Indians and attracted few Indian participants. It was only after four decades of rule in the Central Provinces that the decennial review (1901) observed that a small number of educated Indians had finally began to imitate some aspects of European life styles:
They build larger and better houses, more often the model of those occupied by Europeans . . . . They dress more in European styles . . . . many smoke cigarettes, drink soda water and cool it with ice; . . cricket, tennis and other games are more popular.(82.2)
Game hunting was also difficult for most Indians. Except for a few Indians with special status, the population was prohibited from owning and using guns by the Arms Act. Unlike the Englishmen who constantly wrote of their hunting exploits in the Central Provinces, Indians had little experience and wrote very little about it. The first book on hunting in the province written by an Indian finally appeared in 1938.(82.3) The limited influence of the British community on the lives of Indians is evident in other ways. Upper-class Indians, even those associated with the British community, adopted only a few English social and cultural customs. Indians working in professions associated with
the new colonial administration expressed criticism and resentment against the superior and exclusive world of the British rulers. Only on special occasions, such as the celebration of the Queen's Jubilee in 1887, did a slightly larger number of Indians find an opportunity to symbolically participate in the world of the British ruling community.
The activities of a few Central Provinces' families exemplify the trends of the influence of British culture in the lives of upper-class Indiana. The Chitnavis family of Nagpur became the most renowned of Indian collaborators with the British during the first decades of the province. As a high-caste Maratha Prabhu family, they had followed the Bhonsla rulers from Berar to Nagpur in the middle of the eighteenth century. At the Nagpur Bhonsla court they had served as secretaries and ministers until the middle of the nineteenth century. When the Central Provinces was formed in the 1860s, the British had given Gangadhar Rao Chitnavis the title of landlord over a large and wealthy estate. Both of his sons, Madhav Rao and Shenker Rao, were sent to Poona and Bombay for higher education in British-supported colleges. On the death of his father in 1871, Madhav Rao took charge of the family estate. From then until his own death in 1929, Madhav Rao actively participated in both Indian and British organizations. He helped in the establishment of the Rajya Sabha in 1886, and later attended meetings of the Indian National Congress and joined the Cow Protection Society (Gorakshini Sabha). For several years in succession he was elected to the presidency of the Nagpur Municipal Committee, and was made the first Indian representative for all of the Central Provinces on the Governer-General's Legislative Council in the mid-
and late 1890s. Madhav Rao's brother, Shenker Rao, joined the Indian provincial civil service in 1873 and rose to become me of the first two Indians to be appointed District Commissioner. Shenker Rao also visited England with his wife in the 1880s, She was quite exceptional for an Indian woman, insisting on accompanying Shenker Rao wherever he was posted, learning English on her own, and acquainting herself with English manners so she could entertain English officials in her home. She wrote of her travel and other experiences in a Marathi book.(84.1) The activities of the Chitnavis family exemplify an -usual degree of participation in the two worlds: both the British community and Indian society.
The Bose family also exemplifies this combination, though the family did not arrive in Central Provinces until shortly after the province was formed. Bepin Krishna Bose grew up in a Vaishya family outside Calcutta and attended college in that city. He married the daughter of a Bengali public works engineer in the Central Provinces and began law practice at Jabalpur in 1872. But Nagpur promised a more lucrative practice, so he moved there in 1874. He soon began to participate in numerous activities, one of the first being a debate with Mr. Fraser on Utilitarianism. He also joined the municipal committee and boards of higher educational institutions, In 1888 he was appointed to the post of Government Advocate which he held off and on for several years. In the first decade of the twentieth century he succeeded Madhav Rao, serving three terms as the member from the Central Provinces on the Legislative Council, Bose wrote briefs and
pamphlets for various Indian organizations such as the Nagpur Landholders' Association. He promoted the activities of the small Bengali community in the province, especially supporting the education of Bengali boys. Bose participated in the worlds of British officialdom, of Indiana in the Central Provinces, and of the dispersed Bengali community.(85.1)
The Association of the Aulad Hussain family with the British community consisted primarily of official ties. In the middle of the nineteenth century the British awarded a compensating pension to the Aulad Hussain family because of the murder of their father, Sabit Ali, by a rebellious Hindu ruler in northern Central Provinces.(85.2) Aulad Hussain rose to various positions in the administration, reaching the height of his service when he was appointed Settlement Officer for Jabalpur and Seoni districts in the 1890s, Although he was acquainted with English, he felt more at home with his mother tongue, Urdu. As Settlement Officer he translated the Settlement Code into Urdu and wrote his Settlement Reports in that language.(85.3) Aulad Hussain's son, Syed Ali Muhammad, after a college education at Agra, joined the Central Provinces provincial service. Along with 9hanker, he became the first Indian to be appointed as a District Commissioner in the province.(85.4)
The Chitnavis, Bose and Hussain families represent upper-class Indian families who participated in the life and culture of the British community in varying degrees. Only a few other Central Provinces families attained similar positions which allowed them to bridge directly the worlds of the British community and Indian society.
Those in a position somewhat below these prominent families, were a larger number who were aware of the activities of the British community though they did not associate freely with Englishmen . They included lawyers, doctors, teachers, lower Indian officials, and newspaper editors. They expressed their opinions about the influences of the British presence especially in non-English newspapers. The Indian-language press developed rather late in the province, from the 1870a onward, and voiced the sentiments of this second segment of Indian society. Much of their criticism centered around the British community's feelings of superiority and ethnocentricity, These Indians felt excluded from almost all British policy-decisions and became offended and expressed their displeasure about the demeaning disregard and ignorance of the English about Indian customs , activities and every-day life, Their sentiments appeared in Indian-language newspapers from the 1870s to the 1890s.
One of the objections of this section of Indians was the superior position of Englishmen. The discrepancy in salaries between British and Indian officers, who had served the same length of time, irritated Indians. Twice in the late 1880s newspapers called for the reduction of high salaries given English officers. They claimed that India w too poor to afford this luxury.(86.1) The Khandwa. Subodh Sindhu hinted
that the British government's purpose in paying such high salaries was "to enrich its countrymen at the expense of the natives," and to pay such high salaries to Englishmen was "downright robbery." Contrary to one British Finance Committee's recommendations, the newspaper suggested that the number of English officials and the amounts paid them be reduced and the number of lower Indian officials increased.(87.1)
The same section of Indians expressed their frustrations for being unable to influence British policy. Though they presented their opinions to the administration on British laws and policies, they received little recognition or consideration, During the controversy over the Ilbert Bill in 1883, the Nyaya Sudha reported that the Chief Commissioner of the province "did not consider it worth while to consult a single native."(87.2) Later in the same decade, when the land revenue and tenancy laws were under revision, the Legislative Council requested people to submit their opinions. Several individual Indians, different associations, and various newspapers offered their suggestions. But the opinions of "hundreds of men in the Central Provinces . . . were not taken into consideration by the Legislative Council."(87.3) Another newspaper concluded that because of the utter disregard of public opinion, the "Legislative Council could be abolished without the least disadvantage."(87.4)
Another aspect of British administrators' activities which annoyed Indians was the British disrespect and disregard toward Indians of recognized status and position. It seemed to some Indians that Englishman, whether deliberately or accidently, treated Indians as inferiors. Examples of this type of treatment were reported by the Nyaya Sudha in 1887 on the occasion of a darbar (ceremonial meeting) in northern Central Provinces. The Chief Commissioner was to met with the titled Indians (darbaris of the Narbadda and Jabalpur Divisions at Jabalpur on the morning of February sixteenth. To begin with, the British administration had failed to maintain a proper It of darbaris in their order of precedence. Consequently some darbaris did not receive invitations, "while ordinary peasants were invited." When the darbaris finally arrived at the proper time (9:30 A.M.) "they found to their disgust" that the Chief Commissioner was still break- fasting with the District Commissioner; "they therefore had to stand in the sun for a long time." During the meeting they were not seated in the proper order of precedence, so "there was a great deal of ear-burning among the darbaris." No seating arrangements had been made at all for the four young Chhattisgarh princes who were students at Jabalpur's Rajkumari College.(88.1) On another occasion (1895) police kept high-ranking darbaris and zamindas from greeting the Chief Commissioner at the railway station on his arrival in Raipur.(88.2) At still another ceremony at Nagpur, the descendants of the pre-British ruling family, the Bhonsla Raja and his brother, "had to stand like other gentlemen."(88.3)
When the same Bhonsla. Raja was insulted by an English ticket collector at the Nagpur railway station, the Nagpur Railway Gazette (English), rather than apologizing, called for a censure of the Raja's behavior. An Indian newspaper dolefully remarked, "There was a time when high European officers had to enter the Court of the Bhonsla rulers with great respect, and now a European boy and an ordinary editor are able to insult and abuse the descendant with perfect impunity." The newspaper ended with stoic consolation--"Such great changes are brought about by time."(89.1)
Indian newspapers objected to the derogatory British treatment, not only of darbaris, but of others. At a sub-committee meeting of the Saugor Municipal Board, the only European present, J. May, threatened to beat a Brahmin clerk with his shoe (as leather is considered ritually polluting, this would be an extreme insult) if the clerk ever again forgot to remove his footwear upon entering the sub-committee room. The Indian editor remarked - the Brahmin clerk "is a very respectable gentleman and able to give lessons in manners for years to Mr. May who is a lad hardly out of his teens."(89.2) In 1895 Nagpur students were upset by the anti-Hindu remarks of a missionary. In Rev. Evan's speech at Hislop College, he "abused the principal Hindu gods to his heart's content." The students disapproved in a loud voice and showered abuses on him as he left. The newspaper complimented the students for their "praiseworthy moderation." (89.3)
At various times Indian newspapers also objected to British activities which used or exploited or misused Indiana. One was the Westernized prostitution of Indian women for Englishmen. In 1874 the Jabalpur Samachar complained that the prostitution registration procedures were so lax, and informal that they effected "virtuous women." Any woman , who was not living with a husband or for other reasons, could be brought before a lower court judge and registered as a prostitute. The editor personally visited the court and learned of cases where women's reputations were ruined on a simple, uninvestigated complaint.(90.1) In 1888, the Subodh Sindhu strongly condemned the order that they should ensure British soldiers were provided with a sufficient number of prostitutes.(90.2) The Mauj-i-Narbadda of January 1893 described the conduct of a Hoshangabad official who employed one servant to procure women for him. It mildly suggested that the Chief Commissioner look into the matter.(90.3)
Mistreatment of Indians was noted in other circumstances. In 1892 English soldiers in Nagpur cruelly beat an old "Indian baker." Though the Nyaya Sudha asked that an example be made of the assailants, the soldiers received only six-weeks' imprisonment, without any fine or compensation to the hospitalized Indian.(90.4) In 1873 the Jabalpur Samachar reported that the Hoshangabad District Superintendent of Police had gone hunting with two police constables. Both Indian assistants were attacked by a tiger; one died. The paper politely requested English officers not
to employ public servants for private business, and in this case requested the English police officer to compensate the deceased's family.(91.1) A year later the same newspaper reported that the Civil Surgeon of Bhandara District, Dr. French, had tied an Indian to a tree on a hunting excursion "to serve as tiger bait," The man luckily freed himself before any harm came to him.(91.2) Finally, an English newspaper, the Pioneer, reported in 1891 that shooting accidents around Jabalpur had recently increased in number. Two persons had narrowly escaped serious injury, and a third was fatally wounded. The death had been caused when the District Commissioner accidentally shot the Indian.(91.3) The English newspaper made no suggestion that the deceased's family should be compensated.
So, while an upper section of Indian society participated in the activities both of the British and Indian worlds, at least in a superficial way, mother section existed on the fringe, almost entirely excluded from the British community. Though they worked in professions associated with British rule, this section was both highly envious and critical of British administrators and of their official and non-official activities and attitudes. They envied the position and power and pay of the British officials; often they tried to influence the direction of British policy by expressing their opinions about the revision of laws. They criticized the derogatory manner in which Englishmen acted and thought about Indians and Indian values. When Englishmen. insulted, snubbed, harmed, or killed Indiana, they
became defensive and even dared to instruct Englishmen how to correct their behavior and advised them on how to compensate Indians for those insults. This section of Indian professionals experienced the deep frustrations inherent in their existence on the fringe of the British colonial world. Their suggestions for policy changes, their publicity of unhealthy interactions between Englishmen and Indians, and their advice for correcting abuses fell on deaf ears. Only the exceptional Englishmen read (or could read), subscribed to, or paid serious attention to local Indian language newspapers, and few skimmed through the confidential translations of selections from those papers that the Government collected for their information. Rather than attending to the mild criticisms and advice of Indians, English administrators concentrated on the Indian activities and attitudes which displayed support for the world of the British community,
There were periodic occasions when Indians publicly participated in and seemed caught up in the British world. One example was when India celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign, in June 1897.
During the Diamond Jubilee observance of Queen Victoria's rule as Empress of India, Englishmen were joined by Indians to celebrate British rule in India, This occasion differed in several ways from the Silver Jubilee festivities of a decade earlier.(92.1) Instead of being sponsored and managed by the provincial administration, am-administrative organizations and individuals were encouraged to plan the activities. The
actual celebrations were greatly effected by two conditions that prevailed at the time : the province was suffering from its worst famine of several decades, and the monsoon rains, when they did come, fell intermittently during the days of the celebration in late June.
Most of the festive activity was concentrated at the four Divisional headquarters. At Nagpur, both a Divisional headquarters and the provincial capital, a public meeting at the Town Hall launched the celebrations. In spite of heavy rain, the building was "literally packed" with a representative assembly of the population, Speeches were read, loyal hymns sung, and the Manager of the Empress Mills, Benzonji Mehta, closed the proceedings by leading the assembly in "three hearty cheers for the Queen-Empress."(93.1) The Divisional Commissioner announced his gratitude at "such a spontaneous demonstration of loyalty," and felt the affair had been "carried off with much eclat."(93.2) Several prominent Indians held receptions at their homes; even "many of the European Community" attended. G. M. Chitnavis and other Indians arranged for the poor to be fed in the city and in the Sitabaldi area. In the European Civil Station area all the poor Christians of several denominations, including some non-Europeans, were fed, entertained by acrobats, jugglers, a hand, and fireworks, and given a packet of tea as a memento. The "middle class community" (probably Anglo-Indians)
collected a subscription which provided tea and sports for the children and a dance for the adults. By these arrangements, the Commissioner felt, the -in object of the celebration had been accomplished-- "no class of the community [had been] neglected or omitted from the public rejoicing."(94.1) In addition 205 prisoners were released fro. the Nagpur Central Jail.
However, me activity proved a failure. Originally the Nagpur Municipal Committee had selected members of a provincial delegation to personally present an address of congratulations and loyalty to the Viceroy at Simla. In the and, each one of the delegates excused himself, "for different reasons, principally illness."(94.2)
Raipur was the headquarters of the most isolated Division, Chhattisgarh, in eastern Central Provinces. The population there evidently had not yet developed the clear class distinctions which the Nagpur Commissioner had observed. Yet the festive activities continued for three whole days, the longest period for any of the Divisional Headquarters, During that time, public offices were closed, and the laborers on the town's famine relief works were given three day wages and told to go home.(94.3) The celebrations began on the morning the twentieth of June at the Town Hall, where school children performed physical drills and sang the National Anthem--first in English by the Mission School boys, then in Hindi by others, and finally in Urdu by
the Urdu Branch School children. Most of the students received sweets and some were awarded cloth which had been woven by famine-distressed weavers. Next the City Girls' School was visited. More sweets and cloth were distributed and the National Anthem again sung. Finally sweets were distributed to the paupers in the poorhouse and to the Inmates of the leper asylum and the orphanage ward. In the afternoon about three thousand of the town poor (or more than one-tenth of the town's 1901 population) were fed a free dinner, "consisting of a mass of rice and pulse mixed." The morning of the twenty-first opened with activities to reclaim Lendi tank. It was converted "into a people park" to be known as "the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Commemoration Park." Sixty trees were planted and a fountain declared open with a speech by a prominent local lawyer, Hari Singh Gour. The second Madras Infantry conducted regimental sports on the parade ground that after- noon. In the evening the Commissioner entertained European residents with a dinner followed by fireworks and illuminations, Unfortunately the illuminations "did not come off wall owing to the wind." On the twenty-second the police and office servants held sports events near the Commissioner's Court House. The District Commissioner reported that the activities of "these days were characterized by cheerfulness and loyalty. "
The town of Jabalpur, headquarters of the northern-most Division of the province, celebrated the Jubilee on the twenty-first and twenty- second of June. Unlike Nagpur with its class distinctions or Raipur with its government-subsidized participants of students, poor, military, and police, the celebration at Jabalpur was organized along
religious lines. Although there was an overall Jubilee Committee, the Hitkarini Sabha, the Anjuman Islamia, and the Oriental Club all had separate committees and activities. The membership of these associations was almost exclusively Hindu, Muslim, and British respectively. As a result of the general meeting a month before the celebrations, fifteen hundred rupees were pledged in subscriptions. The money fed two thousand paupers with puris and sweetmeats on the twenty-first of June at Raja Gokuldas' garden. Of it, Rs. 253 was used to purchase a special silver casket to contain an engrossed and printed congratulatory address to be presented to the Viceroy at Simla. Raja Gokuldas, the most prominent landlord and business man of the town led the Simla delegation.(96.1) Also, on the twenty-first the Oriental Club held a morning thanksgiving service with speeches of praise for Her Majesty and an evening musical service. The following morning the Hitkarini Sabha met "to give expression of their joy on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee." It was well attended in spite of bad weather, Speeches were made, Hindi poems read, and three pundits "dilated one after the other upon the virtuous and noble life led by the Empress," The meeting closed with three cheers of "Maharani Victoria ki jai."(96.2)
The Anjuman Islamia also met the same morning at their High School Hall. The Hall and courtyard were decorated with garlands and flags "in regular order like brave and faithful soldiers." The ceremony
included a "long and fervent speech" by Maulvi Saiyid Ali Ahmed Khan, an original Arabic poem by professor Abdul Jabar, and Persian and Urdu poems by the teacher Muhib Khan and the student Abdul Kadir. In conclusion a prayer was offered for Her Majesty's long life. Five thousand of the city's poor "were fed sumptuously," as Muslims received bread and meat and Hindus khichree and ghee. Fireworks were planned at the Anjuman Islamia school in the evening, but rain postponed them until the evening of June twenty-fifth, when "me hundred and one bombs were fired in salute."(97.1) Like Nagpur, the Jabalpur celebration included the release of prisoners, in this case two hundred and twenty-seven.(97.2)
Hoshangabad was the seat of the fourth Division, The district's celebrations were unique in that in no other District had so many towns--five in all--celebrated the festival. Besides the headquarters town of Hoshangabad, Seoni-Malwa, Sohagpur, Harda and Pachmarhi all celebrated the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria's reign. In Hoshangabad, on the morning of the twenty-second "all classes of the community" gathered at the Government High School to present "eulogistic" speeches in English, Hindi and Urdu, on Her Majesty's reign. "All classes" included "Hindus, Muhamnadans, Gonda, Korkus, and Native Christians."(97.3) In addition the students were "urged to be loyal to the Queen and never to mix in politics." Following the meeting about two thousand poor people were fed from a subscription fund. Two hundred thirty-four prisoners received remissions. Other towns also held celebrations.
At Harda three thousand poor were fed; Europeans and Indians joined in sports followed by a nautch (Indian popular dance presentation); the Police and Volunteers paraded, and a c ommemo ration service was held at the church. At Pachmarhi a commemorative church service was held on the twentieth of June, attended by the Chief Commissioner and most of the English community, In the evening the Chief Commissioner gave a State dinner; and subsequently, money was raised by a subscription to purchase food for the poor. Unfortunately, in Hoshangabad district "the inclemency of weather" destroyed illuminations everywhere.
These celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign in 1897 formed one of the high points of British colonialism in the province. The variety of activities and organizations involved in the celebrations provides a capsule glimpse of British-Indian society in the province at this special occasion when relations between the British community and the Indian population was perhaps the most extensive and convivial ever during colonial rule. Reports on the celebration noted both the similarities and differences evident in the different Districts. Nagpur had its "classes," Raipur its officially subsidized or supported groups, Jabalpur its ethno-religious associations, and Hoshangabad its five separate festive canters. All followed some similar patterns. In all there were both general and special group meetings, where loyal speeches were made, the national anthem sung, and the Queen cheered. In addition, prisoners were freed in the Queen's name, the poor entertained and fed, sports events held, and fireworks illuminated, where the monsoon cooperated. The focus of attention was
the Queen-Empress, honored with such high esteem and at such a distance by the Indian participants that she almost seemed to acquire an abstract, ideal and quasi-religious quality. Indeed many of the activities were reminiscent of Indian religious festivals with pious offerings of words, money, wears, and food for the diary. It is bard, thus, to know exactly how the Indian participants perceived the celebration--as a symbolic affirmation of British rule, or just one more Indian festival among others. The failure of the Nagpur delegates to go to Simla, and the unrperesentative character of the Jabalpur delegates who did go, does not altogether land support to the British official opinions that it was a spontaneous occasion, or that it was an all-inclusive, enthusiastic demonstration of loyalty to the distant Crown.
Even during the Jubilee celebrations, the activities tended to reiterate rather than dispel the impression of a separation of the British community from the rest of the population. At each town the British community held exclusive gatherings--at Nagpur in the Civil Station area, at Raipur with the commissioner's private evening dinner, at Jabalpur with the Oriental Club's thanksgiving and musical services, and at Pachmarhi with the Chief Commissioner presiding over European activities, Throughout these celebrations, which symbolically celebrated the ties between India and England, the English retreated for some activities into their social and cultural world apart from Indians. Perhaps it is not surprising that the Nagpur delegation may have lacked some enthusiasm, or that the recipients of sweets and food may not have fully understood who was the distant and abstract Empress of India. To many Indians the Diamond Jubilee celebration my not
have appeared a very appropriate time for praising British rule, nor a very jubilant occasion in the lives of those who were literally dying during the wide-spread f-ine that coincided with the celebration.
However, the Diamond Jubilee did repreaent an unusual event in the interaction between the British and Indian worlds of the province. For two or three days, more Indians than ever before were momentarily drawn into association with the British world. Normally few Indiana were more than remotely concious of or had more than official contact with the British community. Only a few prominent Indian families such as the Chitnavises and Boses succeeded in developing closer associations with the British world. The fringe section of Indian professionals were not really included in the British world, They were conscious and critical of the effects of the British presence, but largely ineffective in participating or influencing the activities of the British community or the administration. The rest of the population rarely came into contact with or were offered more than a distant glimpse into the life of the British community within their own country. Momentarily the Diamond Jubilee celebration offered an occasion which gathered together participants from prominent Indian families, professionals, officially supported groups, the lower section of the urban population, and the British community to commemorate British colonialism. Still the British community remained primarily within the walls of its own world.
The survey of these decades has drawn attention to a number of important developments and interactions. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a small but active British community
was created, developed, and maintained in the Central Provinces, It was homogeneous in character, consisting mostly of British official. and their families, and it modeled its social and cultural beha~ior on the examples of other British communities in India and England. Though the British community was small in numbers and dispersed to over a:::h different district centers, its members developed a "family tradition" which ensured close communication and periodic meetings, Samll enclaves of English life were found in a number of settings: in the larger towns, in district headquarters, and even while on tour. Members of the British community lived physically apart from the Indian population, pursued typical British recreational activities, and maintained domestic habits of English clothes and food as much as possible.
One of the main reasons for the limited social and cultural interaction between the English and the Indiana was the character of this British community, Rather than taking clues and models for social behavior from Indians in the Indian setting, members of the British community looked outside and beyond the province. Most Indiana were excluded from the British community. Consequently there was little, and sometimes no direct contact or opportunity to interact between the two communities.
With the arrival of the British administrators to the Central Provinces in the 1860s, still another world of activity was added to the already diverse Indian setting. Though these worlds were adjacent in time and geography, there was little interaction. A fw Indians gradually adapted English dress, language, recreational activities,
and even religion, But there were few if any English who took on equivalent and corresponding Indian aspects of behavior or thought. The underlying reasons for this are several, and would emphasize the position of British administrators as foreign colonial rulers, most of whom grew up, furloughed, and retired in England, after spending their working years in India. As administrators in India, their status pay, and position was determined by an English colonial system. They lived independent of Indians and of the local social structure and economic conditions. In their British enclaves they were Englishmen in India but not of India. As this chapter shows, a primary goal of British administrators was to re-create an English way of life at the exclusion of Indian influences as much as possible. only a small section of Indians were able to penetrate into the periphery of the British world while most Indians felt excluded from all but official contact with the colonial community.
Back to the top.
60.1. Bernard S. Cohn, "The British in Benares: a Nineteenth Century Colonial Society," Comparative Studies in Society and History 4 (January 1962): and Robert Eric Frykenberg, "British Society in Guntur during the Early Nineteenth Century," in Ibid., 4: 200-208. Back
65.3. Henry Sharp, Good-bye India (London: Oxford University Press, 1946), pp. 16-17. Sharp arrived at the place and during the time which is the setting for R. Kipling's story of a British officer's son and his pet mongoose, entitled Rikki-tikki-tavi. Back
82.1. Mauj-i-Narbadda, 1 May 1891, in Selections from the Vernacular Newspapers, or SVN. Unless otherwise indicated all quotes and references from Indian language newspapers are in the SVN. pp. 341-42. Back
84.1. Amcha Jagacha Pravas, "Our Tour All over the World," listed in The Commercial and General Directory of the Central Provinces and Berar, ed. Shridhar Narayan Huddar (Nagpur: T. N. Joshi, 1939), p. 962. Back
85.2. IFP, Judicial, July 1865, #5-11, "Murder of Meer Sabit Ali of Bijeragogarh;" and on the same subject, IFP, Judicial, September 1865, #19-20. Aulad Hussain also refers to this in his Report on the Land Revenue Settlement of the Jabalpur District (Nagpur: Secretariat Press, 1896), p. 5. Back
87.4. Nyaya Sudha, 13 November 1889, pp. 721-22. The same paper had earlier run a series of articles when the Tenancy Act was being formulated. Nyaya Sudha, 8 November 1882, pp. 764-67; 29 November, pp. 820-24; 6 December, pp. 849-50; and 13 December, pp. 868-72. Back
96.1. Although the delegation included another Indian and a European it was hardly representative. Ballabhdas, the other Indian, was Gokuldas' nephew and Mr. Wright was manager of Gokuldas' cotton mills at Jabalpur. Back
Back to the top.
[From Colonial Administration and Social Developments in Middle India:
The Central Provinces, 1986-1921. Ph. D. 1980 dissertation by Philip McEldowney]
Webbed by Philip McEldowney