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cumstances of this case are, that from time immemorial the Jarejahs have never reared their daughters, nor can it now be the case."
From the Mother of JEHAJEE to Colonel Walker,
24th Sept. 1807.
6 Your letter has been received and its contents understood. You have called upon Koer Jehajee to rear up his daughter ; but it is so, that for many years past none of the Jarejah tribes have ever reared their female offspring. Further particulars of this concern you will learn from Koer Jehajee's writing; and you must excuse him on this score."-See No. 13, referred to in Colonel Walker's Report.
Letter from FUTTEH MAHOM ED, Jemadar to
Colonel Walker, 21st Oct. 1807.
“ It is notorious that since the Avatara (or Incarnation) of Sri Chrishna, the people (Jarejahs), who are descended from the Jadoos, have, during the period of 4900 years, been accustomed to kill their daughters : and it has, no doubt, reached your knowledge, that all of God's creation, even the mighty Emperors of Hindostan,—besides all others, the conductors of the affairs of this world, have preserved friendship with this court, and never acted in this respect (female infanticide) unreasonably. But you, who are an Amir (Lord) of the Great Sirkar, the Honorable Company, having written to me on this subject, I have derived much uneasiness, for it does
not accord with your good character. This Durbar has always maintained friendship with the Honorable Company; and, notwithstanding this, you have acted so unreasonably, in this respect, that I am much distressed. No one has, until this day, wantonly quarrelled with this Court, who has not, in the end, suffered loss.-Do not again address me on this subject.”—See No. 20, as above.
How conclusive, in regard to any further interference, would these letters have been deemed by some! “What more" it would be said, “ can be done with prudence. — Enthusiasm " alone would dictate further solicitude about " this matter." But Colonel Walker did not desist from his benevolent purposes, on account of his having met with some obstacles ; because it appears that he wished to overcome them.* He sought opportunities of
* When Mr. Duncan, the Governor of Bombay, apprized the Supreme Government in Bengal of his intention to endeavour to abolish the practice of murdering female children in Guzerat, he received in answer, an expression of their approbation in the following measured terms ; dated the 31st July, 1806.
“We cannot but contemplate with approbation the con“siderations of humanity, which have induced you to com" bine, with the proposed expedition, the project of suppress"sing the barbarous custom of female infanticide. But the “speculative success even of that benevolent project, cannot
informing the understandings of the people in respect to the nature of the crime; and he discovered that it was generated directly by Pride, Avarice, and the alleged inferiority of women. " By discussing the subject frequently in the “public Cutchery, (the Court of Justice) and “exposing the enormity of the practice, as
contrary to the precepts of religion, and the “ dictates of nature, every cast came at length " to express an abhorrence of Infanticide; and “the obstinate principles of the Jarejahs began “to be shaken.” Par. 247. And what was the result! Within twelve months of the date of the foregoing letters,Jarejah JEHAJEEhimself, JEHAJ'EE's mother, and FUTTEH MAHOMED, formally abjured the practice of Infanticide, and were soon followed by the Jarejah tribes in general. JEHAJEE first transmitted a writing to the following effect:
“ From motives of friendship “ the Honourable Company have urged me to “preserve my daughters. To this I consent, “ if the chiefs of Nowanagger and Gondal
"be considered to justify the prosecution of measures, which
may expose to hazard the essential interests of the state ; " although, as a collateral object, the pursuit of it would be
worthy of the benevolence and humanity of the British « Government,”—Moor's Hindu Infanticide, page 37.
agree.” Shortly after, these chiefs did agree, and bound themselves by 'a solemn engagement, in 1808, to discontinue the practice.
About the end of the year 1809, many of the Jarejah fathers brought their infant daughters to Colonel Walker's tent; " and exhibited them " with pride and fondness. Their mothers and
nurses also attended on this interesting occa“ sion. True to the feelings which are found s in other countries to prevail so forcibly, the ss emotions of nature here exhibited were ex“ tremely moving. The Mothers placed the “ infants in the hands of Colonel Walker, calling
on him to protect what he alone had taught them to preserve. These infants they emphatically called his children."*
The following is an extract of a letter from the government of Bombay to the Honourable the Court of Directors, dated 20th of January, 1809.-" We congratulate your Honourable Court on the prospect thus afforded, of extirpating from the Peninsula of Guzerat a custom so long prevalent, and so outrageous to humanity. This object will not be lost sight of: and, trusting to the aid of Divine Providence, we look with confidence to its gradual,
* Moor's Hindu Infanticide, p. 308.
but certain, accomplishment, to such a degree as may form an Era in the History of Guzerat, lastingly creditable to the English name and influence."
This event affords an invaluable lesson concerning the character of the Hindoos, and the facility of civilizing them. What was effected in Guzerat in regard to the murder of children, is equally practicable in Bengal as to the burning of women, and at Juggernaut as to self-murder under Moloch's Tower. By dis“cussing the subject frequently,” says Colonel Walker "in the public Cutcherry, and expos“ ing the enormity of the practice, as contrary " to the precepts of religion, and the dictates “ of nature, the obstinate principles of the Jarejahs began to be shaken.”
Now we would ask, what is there to prevent the custom of BURNING WOMEN ALIVE from being discussed in the public Cutcherry of Calcutta, and “ exposing the enormity of the practice as
contrary to the precepts of religion and the " dictates of nature ?"
The English nation have a right to demand an answer to this question from the supreme Government in Bengal.