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India and the Indians   By:

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[Illustration: FELIX TIPNIS.]

INDIA AND THE

INDIANS

BY EDWARD F. ELWIN

OF THE SOCIETY OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST, COWLEY

AUTHOR OF "INDIAN JOTTINGS," "THIRTY FOUR YEARS IN POONA CITY," "STORIES OF INDIAN BOYS," ETC.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.

1913

PREFACE

India is really waking up, but she is doing so in her own Indian way. For some years past it has been one of my daily duties to arouse an Indian boy, and I know exactly how an Indian wakes. It is a leisurely process. He slowly stretches his legs and rubs his eyes, and it is at least ten minutes before he can be said to be really wide awake. And every morning I have to say exactly the same thing: "Now remember, Felix, to say your prayers; then go and wash your hands and face, and then feed the pony." And if on any particular morning I were to leave this reminder unsaid, and Felix left any, or all of these duties, undone, and I were to ask him the reason, he would reply, "You did not tell me."

With India waking up, there never was a time when she stands more in need of some kindly person at her side to tell her what to do. She needs to be taught to say her prayers, because with the old religion gone and the True Faith dimly understood, India would be in the appalling condition of a great country without a religion. We need to tell her to wash her hands and face, because there are certain elementary matters of sanitation which must be attended to if India is ever to become a wholesome and prosperous country. And we have got to teach her how to work, because India wide awake, but idle, might easily become a source of great mischief.

Every Englishman who takes pleasure in the sense of Empire ought to realise that it brings with it great responsibilities, and therefore that every Englishman has a measure of responsibility towards India. We must be taking care that, if when she is wide awake she fails to fulfil her great vocation, at any rate she shall have no cause to utter against us the reproach, You never told me.

A better understanding of what India and the people who live in it are really like, seems to be the necessary preparation for sympathy and work of any sort connected with that country; and to help, in however small a degree, to bring about this end is the object of this book. I have had unusually favourable and varied opportunities for getting to know intimately the inner side of Indian life and character during a somewhat long residence in this country. The contents of the book are exceedingly miscellaneous because the daily experiences have been equally so. Everything that is told is the outcome of my own personal observations amongst a people to whom I am deeply attached, and I have taken the utmost pains to record nothing of which I was not sure, and to verify everything concerning which I was doubtful.

The photographs were all taken by Brother Arthur of our Society.

EDWARD F. ELWIN.

YERANDAWANA,

POONA DISTRICT, INDIA.

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. INTRODUCTORY 1

II. INDIAN HOSPITALITY 11

III. THE INDIAN VIEW OF NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE 17

IV. INDIAN EMPLOYEES OF LABOUR 24

V. THE INDIAN POSTAL SERVICE 32

VI. INDIANS AND ENGLISH CUSTOMS 40

VII. INDIAN UNPUNCTUALITY 48

VIII. INDIAN POVERTY 54

IX. INDIAN ART 60

X. THE INDIAN VILLAGE 66

XI... Continue reading book >>




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