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But this we think we may without boasting say, that Britain's crimes in India have been of a different complexion from those of Portugal. She may have failed to introduce a good system of law and police, because she was so fettered by routine that she would practically maintain that her own home institutions must necessarily be best for a people so differently situated; but she has never attempted or desired to introduce a system like that of the Inquisition. And therefore if now, which we cannot bring ourselves to believe,-or at any time in the distant future, it should be England's doom to be supplanted in India by a native or a foreign power, we think that we can predict for her that she shall receive at least this grace, that she shall not stand forth, like Portugal, an object for the finger of scorn to point at, that she shall be saved from the extreme humiliation of gradual but sure decay, but that, like one of her own sea-castles, she shall sink grandly into the abyss, or be shivered into irrecoverable fragments by an instantaneous explosion. This is the death that, if die he must, the old lion should die. But may God deliver him from that life-in-death, that soulless existence, that incapacity for good or harm, which has befallen the first European power that effected a settlement in this land ?
Art. V.-The Friend of India ; The Hurkaru ; The Englishman ;
The Phenix. May to September, 1857.
MHE extensive and deeply laid scheme of revolt, at present
being developed throughout the length and breadth of the land, naturally engages universal attention. It is pre-eminently the subject of the day, and must give rise to the most marked and extensive changes. Above all, the army must be thoroughly re-organized on a new and different system. It is to the discussion of such a system that we propose to devote the following pages. It matters little how the mutinies arose, whether they were the offspring of mistrustful dislike to recent innovations, improved by the Mussulman princes, as the feeling presented itself; or whether it was a carefully prepared scheme hatched by these princes long ago. For our own part, we are inclined to the former hypothesis ; but it is of small consequence. The glaring fact is before our eyes. It has written its foul existence in the best of British blood, and the means by which a recurrence is to be prevented, is a problem of first rate importance. It of course strikes every one that the first thing needful is a great increase of British troops. The national element of the governing race has been neglected. We have trusted to a broken reed. We did not even try to pit race against race, or religion against religion, but drew our soldiers almost entirely from one locality. We have digested a bitter lesson, and one that will never be forgotten, as long as the British nation has a iame. What are now the massacres of Vellore, Amboyna, Patna, or the black hole of Calcutta? Did the far-famed cruelty with which Tippoo treated his prisoners, produce aught like this? It is reserved for the nineteenth century, for the times when men prate of peace-congresses, and fancy that a few honest philanthropists can control all the bad passions in this world, to develope a revolt which, in horrible cruelty and coldblooded treachery, displays features in the Asiatic character, which should never be forgotten in Europe. Black and white are not equal. They are not to be governed by the same laws. The immutable decrees of providence have ordained it otherwise, and the conduct of the Asiatics themselves forms the clearest proof of it. It is not however with the civil government of the people of these lands that we have now to do, but with the military defence of the country, with the protection of the highest British rights and interests here, and with the constitution of an army, which shall be at once formidable to the enemy, and obedient to the state. A large European force is a sine
qua non, but the native element must also enter largely into any Indian army. We would propose to have, as it were, two military bodies in this country. One, the regular army, European and native, liable to serve by sea and land, in any part of the world, cantoned in large bodies at well chosen stations, commanded by selected officers, smaller in number than that existing before the mutinies, but infinitely greater in force; and so constituted that its fidelity might surely be depended on. The other should be a subordinate, local, police army, native entirely, having no cannon whatever, raised entirely in bodies in certain districts, for service in others, and their own Zemindars to be held responsible for their good behaviour. We propose to develope a scheme for both of these, and affirm that the expense would not be greater than that now incurred, while the efficiency would be ten-fold. We propose first to consider the regular army, in its constitution, discipline, and expense, comparing it with what existed before the mutinies. Secondly, to do the same for the subordinate force, though we confess that the comparison in expense with what now exists as a substitute for it, will be impossible, as we have no account before us of the present rate. Should, however, these views attract attention, this desideratum may be easily supplied for the consideration of the Authorities : and while we affirm our confidence that the expense will be found scarcely, if at all, to exceed what it now is, we shall, by directing enquiry to the matter, have fully attained our object in the composition of this paper. On a reference to the Bengal army list before the mutinies, it will be found that the regular Bengal army consisted of
ARTILLERY. Three brigades horse artillery, containing thirteen troops, of which five were native.
Six battalions European foot artillery, of twenty-four companies, with twelve field-batteries attached, of which three were bullock batteries.
Three battalions native foot artillery, of eighteen companies, with eight field-batteries attached, of which two were bullock.
3 Ditto Company's European infantry, 74 Ditto native infantry.
The regiments of Kelat-i-Ghilzie, Ferozepore, and Loodhiana, and the Ghoorka battalions, are also corps of the line, but we do not mean to include them, as they are officered from the other regiments. Nor yet do we include the sappers, nor further allude to them than by pointing out the advisability of separating them a little more. For this we propose to substitute an army as follows :
ARTILLERY, ALL EUROPEAN.
25 Ditto native light infantry on a new organization. Such an army we affirm to be cheaper than the one above, and immensely more powerful, while we think it, in conjunction with the subordinate police military force, numerous enough for the requirements of the Bengal presidency. It consists of, in round numbers, thirty-six batteries of 216 guns, eighty-four squadrons, and fifty-seven battalions, in all 75,000 men; an army, which, on an emergency, could spare 40,000 men for foreign service, of whom 25,000 should be Europeans. Along with the new system one measure would be advisable, and that is the complete disarming of all the natives who are not soldiers of the state. We now proceed to the constitution of our new army, commencing with the artillery.
ARTILLERY.— In the Bengal army before the mutinies, no one can fail to be struck with the number of guns left by the dominant race in the hands of the subject one.—Of the regular field artillery, twofifths of the whole were in the hands of natives, besides that of the Punjaub and Oude irregular forces, the Gwalior contingent, and the guns attached to the smaller contingents, as well as those scattered over the country, and called post guns. Of the horse artillery, five out of thirteen troops were native. Now it appears to us that there is no necessity for this. Artillery is an arm that can only be required with considerable bodies of other troops, and where the services of Europeans are necessary. It is not required unless real force takes the field, and it performs no duties which in quarters require the exposure of the men.
There is nothing that the natives have such respect for, and terror of-nothing which, being deprived of, would so completely convince them of their weakness and of their inability to cope
For these reasons we would recommend that the artillery should be European only, and that no guns at all should be left in the hands of natives, or if there be an exception, it should be the Punjab irregular force only. Posted judiciously through the country, we think the force we have mentioned enough. There is however margin for its increase, should it be deemed necessary. We would have the drivers as well as the gunners European, so that we may be sure of the whole of this arm, even in the most desperate emergencies. A small detail of
gun lascars would be attached to each battery, as at present to the horse artillery. This simple change would leave nothing to be desired in this arm. We would propose an increase of eight captains and eight lieutenants to the regiment. One question will occur. What is to become of such golundauzes as have remained faithful ? As to their fidelity, we do not believe in it. The horse artillery at Jullunder is reported to have acted against the mutineers; but we will not believe in any native loyalty, which does not make a clean breast of it, and disclose the origin of this conspiracy. Government is justified in summarily dismissing from its service such of its Poorbeah soldiers as it pleases, without pension of any sort, Is it to be supposed, that because at certain stations, fear has kept down revolt, that the Government, in re-organizing the army, for the welfare of the empire, is to be stopped in its career by the personal claims of a set of men, who, at the very least, are, one and all, guilty of misprision of treason? God forbid that such weakness should be shown. Nay, rather let it be proclaimed in the market place that the native army has violated its faith to the Government, which has treated it so well, that it has forfeited its rights, collectively and individually, that it has no claim to either future service or pension, and that any cases of good service subsequently performed will be made the subject of special consideration, and owe their recognition to the mercy of the Government, and the consideration it has for its subjects. Each man when enlisted swore on his colors or on his gun, that he would at once report to his commanding officer whatever he heard that was seditious or prejudicial to the state. Have the native officers done this? That they might keep that oath the Government gave them honors, and titles, and very high pay. Except only in the irregular cavalry, they were recognized as having no other value than this. How have they discharged their trust ? Not one has kept his faith. They swore at the hazard of their lives