OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Our Indian Empire page 4

Pages: 1 2 3 <4>

Persevering efforts are made to protect from disease a population wholly ignorant of sanitary laws, and living in a climate peculiarly favourable to the prevalence of epidemics. Cholera, small-pox, and malarial fevers waste Indian life to a lamentable extent. The death-rate of Calcutta is thirty-five per thousand, while that of London is only twenty per thousand. Small-pox admits of more direct control than the other leading types of Indian disease. The government employs a great army of vaccinators, who are constantly in the field. Native prejudice is always at the outset very intense and often almost invincible. There is a goddess of small-pox, whose rights it is profane to invade, and in whose territory the death-rate is very high. Elsewhere vaccination gradually makes way, and the mortality from small-pox is being stayed. Considerable progress is being made in the drainage of cities. Lunatics are being gathered into asylums. Medical schools for the training of native doctors are very successful. An attempt to make female doctors signally failed. The pupils did very well, and were extremely promising. But in the East women do not enjoy the consideration which is necessary to the successful prosecution of a learned calling. No one would employ a female doctor.

The revenue of India is seventy-two million, sterling. Nearly one-third of this sum is furnished by rent of lands. A sum of nine million is gained by a tax on the opium which we force the Chinese government to admit. Six million is received from a salt monopoly - a source of revenue as indefensible on economical as the opium-tax is on moral grounds.

The progress of India is evidenced by the increased demand for postal communication. During the ten years which followed 1875 the number of letters and newspapers which passed through the post-office was nearly doubled. India, however, is not yet a land of newspapers, though the number which passes annually through the post-office is now sixteen million copies.

England maintains her possession, of the great Indian peninsula by an army of one hundred and ninety thousand men, of whom sixty-six thousand are British, and the others native. The British-born civilians who represent the authority of England amidst this vast population number sixty-two thousand. About one hundred and twenty thousand British soldiers and civilians govern, a population which, if we include the tributary states, amounts to two hundred and fifty million. England has undertaken, to rescue from the debasement of ages that enormous multitude of human beings. No enterprise of equal greatness was ever engaged in by any people. Generations will pass away while it is still in progress, but its final success cannot be frustrated. We who watch it in its early stage see mainly imperfections. Posterity will look only upon the majestic picture of a vast and utterly barbaric population, numbering well-nigh one-fourth of the human family, subdued, governed, educated, Christianized, and led up to the dignity of a free and self-governing nation by a handful of strangers who came from an inconsiderable island fifteen thousand miles away.

[The latest extension of our Indian empire consists in the annexation of Upper Burma. The Burmese authorities interfered vexatiously with British subjects in the country. The viceroy of India ordered an invasion; and when the British army approached Mandalay, the king surrendered, and the whole of Burma was annexed to the Anglo-Indian dominions.]

<<< Previous page <<<
Pages: 1 2 3 <4>

Pictures for Our Indian Empire page 4

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About