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he consented to accept the office of president had been most fully realized. He would further congratulate the Association on having added to the Council two distinguished men, Sir Charles Roe and Sir William Rattigan, who were prepared to give their time to the service of the Association. Sir Charles Roe had already delivered a very interesting lecture before them, and Sir William Rattigan was now investigating the somewhat obscure question of their Indian trusts, and had made suggestions which he hoped when carried out would result in a satisfactory conclusion of a matter which had caused them much anxiety and trouble.

The Chairman desired, in addition to the collective opinion of the Council which had been expressed in the report, to add his personal expression of grief at the loss the Association had sustained in the death of Dr. Leitner, who had been his close and intimate friend for many years. When Dr. Leitner first came to the Punjab, the Chairman was associated with him in all his schemes for educational and social progress, and took a large part in founding the Punjab University, the idea of which was Dr. Leitner's, and its success chiefly due to his earnest and untiring efforts and great organizing power. No one who was not in intimate relations with Dr. Leitner could have any idea of his immense energy, his enthusiasm for all good and worthy objects, and his love and devotion for the people of India, which was returned by them with a confidence and esteem which were rarely shown by Indians to any European. It might truly be said that his intellectual labours for the good of India, and in the interests of Oriental science, caused his premature death, which was so much lamented by the Association, a loss which was felt to be irreparable.

On the next subject mentioned in the report, the grievances of Indian British subjects in the Transvaal, and in the South African colonies of England, the Chairman observed that the attitude of the Council had been that it was illogical to attempt to remove the mote from our neighbour's eye until we had taken the beam out of our own. He did not mean to imply that the injury and degradation which Indian merchants suffered in the Transvaal were not more severe than in Natal and other British districts; but the British Administration had higher aims and a higher standard of civilization than that of the Transvaal, and our first efforts must be to obtain for Indians in British colonies the rights which belonged to all honest, loyal, and well-conducted subjects of Her Majesty. The Association considered the matter one of the highest importance, and were preparing a reference to the Indian Government embodying the arguments and suggestions which had already received the general adhesion of the Association.

Although the year under review had not been an exciting one, the Chairman thought that a perusal of the report would show that it had been neither undignified nor unfruitful, that a good deal of work had been done, and that the Association had been able to place distinguished lecturers and subjects of interest and value before the members and the public. Much still remained to be done, and he trusted the Council and the general body of members would continue to exert themselves in furthering the objects of the Association, and in obtaining new members. He considered

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it a special honour for the Association that the late Viceroy, the Earl of Elgin, should have chosen one of their meetings at which to make his first public utterances of great interest on his return to England, and he trusted that ere long he might be included in the number of their vice-presidents. An invitation to join that distinguished body had been made to H.H. the Maharaja of Durbhanga, as it was felt that it was most desirable to obtain the name and co-operation of one of the princes of Bengal.

SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE, in moving the adoption of the report and accounts, said he wished to draw the attention of the members of the Association, and of the British public at large, to the especial value and importance of the functions of the Association just at the present time.

We are all aware that the Government, on the report of the Currency Commission, are about to take measures which, whatever other effects they may have on the interests and well-being of India-and personally he thought they will be altogether beneficial-will, at any rate, have this momentous result: that they will do away, once and for ever, with that one great terror of Indian financiers and English investors-the Exchange demon.

Now, it is obvious that this must mean the beginning of a new era in the development of the resources of India, and of the financial relations between England and India. The one great bar to the free use in India of unlimited amounts of English capital will be swept away at one blow; and those who are acquainted with the vast resources of India still undeveloped, and almost untouched by reason of this bar, will best be able to foresee the immense commercial and industrial changes on the threshold of which we now stand in India. Our Association is instituted "for the independent and disinterested advocacy and promotion, by all legitimate means, of the public interests and welfare of the inhabitants of India generally." We are the only Association in England that attempts to deal with the political and commercial or industrial aspects of Indian questions, and to bring those aspects before the British public with the aid of local knowledge and experience. He ventured to submit, therefore, that such a crisis, such a commercial revolution, as that with which we are this year brought face to face in India, will impose on this Association responsibilities such as it has never borne before. More responsibilities will deserve and demand the closest attention from the office-bearers and members of the Society, and will, he hoped, largely increase its influence and authority as the exponent of instructed and expert Indian opinion.

MR. LESLEY PROBYN moved a hearty vote of thanks to Sir Lepel Griffin for the zeal and ability he had shown in the interests of the Association.

At a meeting of the East India Association held at the Westminster Town Hall on Friday, November 24, a paper was read by Sir William Rattigan, Q.C., on "The Mogul, Mahratta, and Sikh Empires in their. Zenith and Fall." Sir Lepel Griffin, K.C.S.I., presided. The following, among others, were present: Lady Rattigan; Surgeon-General Penny, M.D.; Colonel A. T. Fraser; Colonel Seddon; Captain and Mrs. Brander; Captain Seddon; Lieutenant H. C. Macdonald; Mr. William Hanbury


Aggs; Shaikh Mohad Akbar; Mrs. C. W. Arathoon and the Misses. Arathoon; Mr. Reginald Brown, Q.C.; Mr. C. Bulnois; Miss Bulnois; Mr. J. Bowden; Surendra Nath Chandra; Bhupendra Nath Chowdhry; Mr. H. R. Cook; Mr. T. J. Desai; Mr. R. W. Frazer; Miss Gawthrop; Mr. J. Harding; Mr. E. Horritz; Miss Hughes; Mr. B. Kureshi; Mr. Louis; Mrs. C. C. Macdonald; Mr. M. G. Harriot; Mr. C. G. Master; Mr. Syed Alay Mohamed; Mr. Guru Das Nanda; Mr. K. Narain; Mr. P. Justin O'Byrne; Mr. John Parkinson; Mr. Ebrahim M. Patail; Mr. Sundar Dass Pasrisha; Mrs. Peile; Mr. J. B. Pennington (retired M.C.S.); Mr. Gulla Ram; Mr. Bhai G. Singh; Mr. K. Harnam Singh; Mr. Alfred Inman; Mr. Beverley G. Ussher.

In introducing the lecturer, the Chairman took occasion to invite the native gentlemen present, and others, who were studying at the Universities or Inns of Court, to become members of the East India Association, which was a progressive, and not an old-world Conservative association, but one which tried to be in the forefront of the times.

Sir William Rattigan, Q.C., then read his paper. (See page 1.)

The CHAIRMAN: I am expected, as Chairman, to say a few words on the eloquent lecture which we have just heard; but it is somewhat difficult, without having had the opportunity of carefully reading so elaborate a paper beforehand, to make any remarks on it which are worthy of your acceptance, and I would accordingly only make one or two observations which seem obviously natural deductions to draw. I would express my acquiescence in almost everything which our lecturer has so well said. In his really eloquent eulogy of the Emperor Akbar, I think almost everyone who is at all familiar with Indian history must agree. But I would go further, and say that we, living in this remote end of the nineteenth century, can hardly compare the practice and procedure of monarchs who lived three hundred years ago with our elaborate and complicated machinery of to-day. We must judge Akbar by the time in which he lived, and I venture to say before this mixed company of Indian and English ladies and gentlemen that there was no contemporary prince in Europe who could compare in ability and genius with the Emperor Akbar. Nor do I really think it would be an exaggeration to say that history contains no name more illustrious than that of that great emperor. From every point of view he was a man of the very highest distinction. I see here a gentleman who is a distinguished writer on Muhammadan subjects, and I will say no more on this particular point. I shall ask Moulvie Ruffi-uddin, whose articles I have read in the Nineteenth Century with the greatest pleasure, to say a few words on the subject.

I should like to mention one or two matters relating to other heads of our lecturer's paper. With regard to Mahrattas I will not say much. I have had much to do with Mahrattas, and the two great reigning sovereigns of that race-Holkar and Scindia-I have had the great honour, under the orders of the British Government, of myself placing on their respective thrones, and I have been many years in diplomatic connection with the great Mahratta States; but looking at the fugitive names of Mahratta princes, I can see nothing in them which compares in interest and import

ance with a name so world-known and illustrious as that of Akbar. With regard to Maharajah Ranjit Singh, I must say our lecturer has not given a very attractive picture. On Sikh history the native gentlemen present will perhaps allow that I have some right to speak with authority, as I, perhaps, have written more on the subject of Sikh history than any other Englishman, at any rate, living to-day. Maharajah Ranjit Singh was not altogether an attractive personality, but I trust that in the work on this great Maharajah which I wrote for the University of Oxford I have done justice to his great qualities. No one wishes to place Ranjit Singh on an ethical pedestal, but he was above all things a strong man. He knew what he wanted, and he got it. If his successors had only been his equals in courage and capacity, I do not think there would ever have been the Punjab War, and possibly the Punjab would now be in friendly alliance with England instead of being absorbed in the British Empire. Maharajah Ranjit Singh was a man of the greatest genius, and being myself a Punjabi, and having myself received a Sikh baptism in the Durbar of Umritsur, I must assert his claim to have been one of the most distinguished and brilliant characters that have flashed over the page of Indian history.

The conclusion I would draw from the lecture is that the secret of success in India-the success of Ranjit Singh, the success of Akbar, and the success up till now, and I trust hereafter, of the British Government— is toleration. The Emperor Akbar was tolerant of all religions. The Maharajah Ranjit Singh had none of any sort or kind, as far as I ever have been able to make out, but was tolerant of all, and his chosen servants were Muhammadans, Brahmans, and Christians. The British Government has maintained a strict and honourable toleration of all the creeds of the subject races, and there is no Muhammadan gentleman, or Hindu gentleman, or Sikh, to-day in this room who can stand up and say that the British Government has oppressed the religion of any of the races which are subject to Her Majesty the Queen. This is, gentlemen, the source of strength in the East, and we shall remain strong so long as we maintain these healthy traditions. If a foolish desire for interference with the creeds of others, and a desire for missionary proselytism, ever seizes on the Government of England and India, then India will be lost, and justly lost, to the English Crown.

Before sitting down, I would say a word of warm appreciation of the Sikh religion, which is closely connected with the lecture, because the Sikh Empire was founded on a theocracy. It was not a religion in the true sense of the word, but an ethical system of the very highest and most ennobling kind, monotheistic in the purest sense, preferring the devotion and the service of the heart to any mere ceremonial observance; and it was chiefly the intolerance of the Emperor Aurungzebe which drove the last and the most famous of the Gurus-Govind Singh-into founding what was a military religion. The religion of Nanak was one of goodwill and of peace.

I will now only thank in the warmest way our lecturer for his most interesting lecture. (See paper elsewhere.)

MOULVI RUFFI-UD-DIN AHMED had very little to say after the learned

and wise remarks of the Chairman. Those who had any faculty for doing so could draw the right conclusions. The lecturer had grouped together three Empires. It was, as the Chairman had said, fallacious to compare the time of Akbar with the present time. The comparison would more justly be made with the time when Queen Mary was on the throne. The object of the lecturer was to draw political conclusions, but it was futile to compare the past Government of India with that of the present day. There was no Indian present who did not glory in the establishment of perfect peace in British India, and who did not feel a kind of pride in being a British citizen; but that was not inconsistent with taking a kind of glory in the Mogul Empire. It was to the credit of the British Empire that facilities were given for making research into ancient history, and he thought critics and lecturers should not be so hard in drawing comparisons between the two periods. Sentiment sometimes played a great part. No doubt there would have been a natural desire on the part of persons who lived at the time of Akbar or of Maharajah Ranjit Singh that they should have had a place under the Government, but very high places were now denied to Her Majesty's Indian subjects. He wanted to know from the lecturer why he thought that the Empire of Akbar could not be called a Moslem Empire. He thought the lecturer was rather hard in one or two points upon Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh was a strong man, and he believed the Moslems of India would like to have another Ranjit Singh. It was not altogether a bad rule, especially when compared with other Governments of the Middle Ages. It would perhaps have been better if the lecturer had confined himself to one empire at a time, more particularly to the legislative part. There were many good enactments which compared favourably even to-day with those of many of the European States.

MR. B. P. SINGH would have felt inclined to. enter a strong protest against some of the observations of the lecturer, but having heard what had been said by the Chairman, for whom he entertained the very greatest respect, he would confine himself to a very few words. He was surprised to hear Sir William Rattigan, with all his knowledge of the Punjab and the history of the Sikhs, come to such conclusions as he had come to with regard to faults in the religion or administration of the Sikhs. The lecturer had compared those days with the present, but that was not a fair thing to do. Only a few centuries back in the history of the English nation the same kind of tyranny and oppression existed. There must be some bloodshed, and some war, and a slow progression, the nation building itself up. The circumstances of the times must be had regard to. Much had been said about Ranjit Singh's personal qualities. He might have been immoral. That which would be immoral in one nation might not be immoral in another. It was a question of the circumstances of the country, the religion of the people, and their social customs.

MR. B. KURESHI had no knowledge of the history of the Mogul period, of the Sikh period, or of the Mahratta period, but he did not agree with the last two speakers, one of whom had pleaded for Akbar, and the other for Ranjit Singh. They had both done unconstitutional things, and neither knew how to govern the country.

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