The Secret of the Raj
PKEFACE THE quest of this book is for the secret of the passionate loyalty that unites India to the British raj. It sets out to explore the laws of all good government, made known to us by Him who Smote for os a pathway to the ends of the earth.
Lord Bryce focusses the whole mystery in a few luminous sentences and a humorous story when he writes : " The English have impressed the imagination of the Indian people by their resistless energy and their almost uniform success. Their domination seems to have about it an element of the supernatural, for the masses of India are still in that mental condition which looks to the supernatural for an explanation of whatever astonishes it. The British raj fills them with a sense of awe and mystery. That over three hundred millions of men should be ruled by a few pale-faced strangers from beyond the great and wide sea, strangers who all obey some distant power, and who never, like the lientenants of Oriental sovereigns, try to revolt for their own benefit—this seems too wonderful to be anything but the doing of some unseen and irresistible divinity. "I heard at Lahore an anecdote which,
slight as it is, illustrates the way in which ' the native thinks of these things. A tiger had escaped from the Zoological Gardens, and its keeper, hoping to lure it back, followed it. When all other inducements had failed, he lifted up his voice and solemnly adjured it in the name of the British Government, to which it belonged, to come back to its cage. The tiger obeyed 1"1 When India at the Delhi Durbar saw the most gorgeous pageant that even her three thousand years of history can show, there came the hitherto unseen and mysterious Ruler of this Empire—a small man riding undecorated, the King-Emperor. The sheer simplicity and humanity of it, and of King George's fife during those weeks in India, drew the people to him with the irresistible " cords of a man." Those weeks made clear what I believe to be the truth about the British raj, that its whole secret lies first of all in character. And when the King-Emperor, from the throne of an Empire whose extent baffled the people's imagination, stepped into a little Indian Christian church and there knelt in reverent adoration of the Father of pur Lord Jesus Christ, he gave India such a vision of humility in her own Ruler as she will always treasure. She saw also in that quiet scene the secret of the making of that kind of character which we feel to be the secret of the raj itself. B. M.
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