o 2 \ wiod



Allan Octavian Humie,C.B

“Father of the Indian National Congress”

1829 To 1912




First Published 1913


INTRODUCTORY =. 7 . : . PARENTAGE AND EARLY YEARS . . . . . INDIAN CIVIL SERVICER. . 3 . A . (A) 1849 TO 1867, DISTRICF OFFICER . . . The Indian Mutiny, = 5 : , - Popular Education . . OP) Fs Police Reform . . . . . . Abkaree”—“ The wages of sin” . The Peoples Friend” Juvenile Reformatories . . (8) 1867 TO 1870, COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS An Agricultural Department (C) 1870 TO 1879, SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (D) 1879 TO 1882, REMOVAL FROM THE SECRETARIAT “THE POPE OF ORNITHOLOGY” . . .


15 9

. 42







Early Organisation, 1883 . First Session in 1885 =

Aggressive Propaganda in India, 1888

Correspondence with Sir Auckland Colvin Indian Religious Devotees . The Propaganda in England

The Indian Parliamentary Committee

The Journal India” . Public Meetings . . Support of Propaganda .










HOOD . *






pace "7



100 102


109 113 122


148 163

+ 168



(1829 to 1912) INTRODUCTORY.

THE purpose of this brief memoir is to set forth the work and teaching of a man experienced in Indian affairs, who combined political insight with dauntless courage and untiring industry. The problem before him was, Can the continuance of British rule be made conformable to the best interests of the Indian people? And his answer was full of hope, Being firmly convinced that the interests of the Indian people and the British people were essentially the same, he believed that under a government in touch with popular feeling, the adminis- tration of India, within the British Empire, might be conducted with equal benefit to East and West, develop- ing all that was best in the two great branches of the Aryan race.

But at the same time he realized with increasing anxiety, that the existing government, administered by foreign officials on autocratic lines, was dangerously out of touch with the people. He did not blame the men: the fault was in the system, There existed no recognized channel of communication between the rulers and the ruled; no constitutional means of keeping the official administrators informed regarding the condition, and


Allan Octavian Hume

feelings, and grievances of the people. There was there- fore a great guif fixed between the foreign bureaucracy, self-centred on the heights of Simla, and the millions painfully toiling in the plains below. And about the years 1878 and 1879, economic, in combination with political, troubles were actively at work throughout India; the physical suffering of the many, acted on by the intellectual discontent of the few, was rapidly bringing popular unrest to the danger point. For the masses of the peasantry, scourged by poverty, famine, and pesti- lence, were beginning to give way to despair ; they could not make their voices heard, and they saw no hope of relief ; while, in the schools and colleges, the leaven of Western education was working among the intellectuals, teaching lessons of political history, and showing them how it was only through storm and stress that the British people had won for themselves the blessings of freedom, Hence the mind of the younger generation was stirred by vague dreams of revolutionary, and even violent, change, This critical condition of affairs was clearly understood by Mr. Hume. He had exceptional know- ledge of what was going on below the surface ; and he knew that there was imminent risk of a popular outbreak, destructive of that peaceful progress upon which the welfare of India depends. The new wine was fermenting in the old bottles, and at any moment the bottles might burst and the wine be spilled. What was to be done? Happily the solution of this fateful problem was ready to his hand, It was to be found in the simple formula of “Trust in the People.” The Indian people, intelligent, law-abiding, the heirs of an ancient civilization, are worthy of the fullest trust; and his urgent message to the British nation was this, that the path of safety lies in trusting them, and in associating them in the manage~ ment of their own affairs.

Allan Octavian Hume

The record of such 2 life must be of value to political thinkers among the British people, as teaching them how to fulfil a trust, such as never before has fallen to the lot of any nation, But specially it has seemed to me a duty to place before the youth of India the example of Mr. Hume's strenuous and unselfish life, and to bring into fresh remembrance the stirring words he uttered of encouragement and reproof, both alike prompted by his love of India, and his anxious care for her future. “Excelsior !" was his motto. His ideal was indeed a high one—the regeneration, spiritual, moral, social, and political, of the Indian people, But he taught that such a consummation could not be attained without the solid work-a-day qualities of courage, and industry, and self- denial.


In order to realize the personality of Allan Hume, it is necessary to bear in mind his parentage, and his early surroundings, In the first place, he was the son of that sturdy and fearless Scottish patriot and reformer Joseph Hume, from whom it may be said that he inherited not only a political connection with India but also his love of science, and his uncompromising faith in democracy. The following character sketch is from the facile pen of the Rt, Hon. G. W. E. Russell: “Joseph Hume was born in 1777 and died in 1855. His father was a tradesman at Montrose: but the son preferred science to shopkeeping, and qualified as a surgeon. In 1796 he obtained an appointment in the service of the East India Company, and sailed for India. On the voyage the Purser fell sick; Hume took over his duties, and discharged them so well that the Company trans- ferred him from marine to civil employment. He threw


Allan Octavian Hume

himself with ardour into the study of oriental languages, and acquired them so thoroughly that he was made an Interpreter, and in that capacity transacted a good deal of delicate and important business between the Company and the Native Powers. Those were the grand old days when Proconsuls became Nabobs, and the humblest officials in the service of the Company had frequent opportunities of indulging in the pastime of ‘shaking the Pagoda Tree.’ By 1808 Hume. . . had put by enough for his immediate object, which was to enter the House of Commons, . . . Willing the end, he willed the means, and, returning to England, he proceeded to buy one of the two seats which the Borough of Weymouth then possessed. The transaction was perfectly deliberate, straightforward and business-like, Hume drew his cheque, and the Free and Independent Electors of Weymouth undertook to return him for two parlia- ments. He was duly elected at a bye-election in January 1812, but a dissolution occurring in the following November, the vendors of the seat declined to fulfil their bargain, whereupon he brought an action for breach of contract, and recovered half his money. In 1818 he regained a seat in Parliament, this time for the Montrose Burghs, and he represented in turn Middlesex, Kilkenny, and again Montrose. He was a Radical of the deepest dye, and for thirty years was the recognized leader of the Radical group in Parliament. ... It has always been the portion of Radicals to be dreaded and dispraised by the big-wigs of the Liberal party, and yet all the while to be tracing the path of advance along which, a few years later, the whole party advances to victory. This was as true of Joseph Hume as in later days of Bright and Cobden, of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Lloyd George. In 1834, amid universal derision, he attacked the Corn Laws, as producing artificial starva- 4

Allan Octavian Hume

tion, and declared for repeal, In 1835 he forced the attention of the House to the treasonable conspiracy which was masquerading under the name of Orangeism. He laboured for the extension of the suffrage, for the establishment of the ballot, and for the reform of ecclesi- astical revenues. He moved for the abolition of sinecures and of flogging in the army. . . . But his special devotion was reserved for financial reform, It was at his sugges- tion that the word Retrenchment’ was inserted between ‘Peace’ and ‘Reform’ in the official motto or war-cry of the Liberal party; and on all questions pertaining to finance, revenue, expenditure, and the like, he was the most pertinacious and unsparing of critics.” But he did not forget India, while pursuing British reforms in every department; and on the second reading of Sir Charles Wood's Bill of 1853, to amend the Government of India, he spoke for several hours, championing the cause of the Indian people.

Sprung from such a stock, Allan Hume early displayed the characteristics of that hardy sea-faring race which peoples the north-east coast of Scotland.

As a lad his ambition was to enter the Royal Navy; and although he was destined for the Indian Civil Service, his father permitted him to “try the life”; and at the age of thirteen he joined the frigate Vanguard as junior midshipman, and served for a time, cruising in the Mediterranean, Later on, he was sent to the Training College at Haileybury, and on leaving, he took the opportunity to study medicine and surgery at University College Hospital, which was then adorned by the presence of the great surgeon Robert Liston. In 1849 he was duly posted to the Bengal Civil Service. Born in 1829, it is to be noted that his youth coincided with the years when, in all matters, social and political, the British nation was making a bound forward, under


Allan Octavian Hume

the impetus of the great Reform Movement of 1830, and when Bright and Cobden were triumphantly vindicating the right of the people to their daily bread.


We have now to follow him to India; and to record how he fared in the several stages of his official career. His period of service divides itself naturally into sections so diverse in their duties, that they may be treated almost as watertight compartments: (A) from 1849 to 1867, as a district officer; (B) from 1867 to 1870, as the head of a centralized department; (C) from 1870 to 1879, as a Secretary to the Government of India ; and (D) June 1879, when he came into collision with the ruling authority, and practically ended his official career. In 1882 he resigned the service. Each of these sections carries a lesson of its own, for the personality of Mr. Hume acted as a touchstone, revealing the merits or demerits of each part of the administrative system: (A) as an executive officer, at the head of a great district in the North-West Provinces, he was a brilliant success. Both in peaceful times, and in the crisis of the Mutinies, his services at Etawah as an administrator deserved, and received, the cordial approval of the Government; and the official records show how, as regards (1) popular education, (2) police reform, (3) the liquor traffic, (4) the vernacular Press, (5) juvenile reformatories, and other domestic requirements, he laboured successfully as a pioneer of social progress, These years must have been among the happiest of his life; and the lasting results of his labours show how much may be accomplished for good by a district officer of the right sort, who understands the people,


Allan Octavian Hume

and is in full sympathy with them. It must however be noted that in those earlier years the serviceable activities of the district administration were not paralyzed, as they now are, by the iron grasp of the centralized departments. {B) As Commissioner of Customs he showed, notably in the matter of the great salt barrier, what useful work may be done by the head of a specialized department, which keeps to its own proper duties; and, as Director-General of Agriculture under Lord Mayo, he would have given fresh life to the distressed peasantry, had not sinister influences frustrated the scheme elaborated by that kindly Viceroy. (C) As Secretary to the Government of India, he had, for a while, his hand on the lever of the official mechanism. But (D), his career as a public servant was cut short, because he could not bend his principles to please the official faction at headquarters, known to the Indian public as the “Simla Clique.” The sons of Zeruiah were too strong for him, and he was cast out from power, The great Indian bureaucracy is now about to give an account of its stewardship before a Royal Commission on the public service. In this national inquisition, the treatment accorded to Mr. Hume should be studied as an object lesson ; and it will be for the official apologists to justify a system of administration which, in his case, forgot past services, disregarded proved competency, and penalized independence.

We may now proceed to note some of the leading matters illustrating the several sections of Mr. Hume's official life,


Mr. Hume’s early official training is thus graphically described by the Times of India: “In those far-off days 7

Allan Octavian Hume

of the middle century the life and instruction of the young civilian differed in many respects from those of his successor to-day. He had less office work and less of European society; he was not so well equipped in theoretical knowledge, but he balanced the deficiency by a greater intimacy with the people he had to rule. Mr. Hume has himself described his early training. In the first month he had to take up the work of the Mohurrer or Clerk of the Police Station. Two or three months later he became Naib Darogha in another large thana, and then for a short period he had charge of a small thana as Thanadar. It was not until he had done all this that he was allowed to hear his first petty assault case, After the customary practical introduction into the routine of his varied duties, he became Assistant Magistrate and Collector, with special duties relating to dacoity investigations, and afterwards became Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector at Etawah. This was the position he was holding when the Mutiny broke out.” The method here described was a good healthy train- ing for the young civilian, not at all calculated to pro- duce a “sun-dried bureaucrat.” Lord George Hamilton, when Secretary of State for India, complained that by the more modern system the district officials were deprived of the power of initiative, and taken out of touch with the people, being “so overburdened with correspondence, reports, and returns that they are really imprisoned in their offices for the greater part of the day.” This result of over-centralization was not the system under which Mr. Hume was trained; he began at the foot of the official adder, and worked his way up, learning by experience the duties of each of his sub- ordinates, and in an open-air life, coming into direct contact with all classes of the people. Not that he was in any way deficient in “book learning,” for it was 8

Allan Octavian Hume

partly to his superiority in the departmental examinations that he owed his rapid advancement to the position of responsibility which he occupied when the troubles began.

The Indian Mutiny,

We now come to the sad and terrible events of the Mutiny of 1857; and I cannot do better than give in extenso the admirable summary of events at Etawah contributed to the journal India by his friend Colonel C. H. T. Marshall of the Indian Army, which shows how Mr, Hume, by the confidence he inspired among the people of his district, was able to save the lives of the European residents, to organize a force of faithful local levies, and finally to restore order, after defeating in a pitched battle a far superior force of disciplined mutineers, and capturing their six guns. The following is the account given by Colonel Marshall :—

“Allan Hume joined the Bengal Civil Service in 1849, towards the end of his twentieth year. Before he had been nine years in India, the great Mutiny of 1857 broke out, and he had many opportunities of showing his capabilities as a soldier as well as a civilian, He got rapid promotion; for though only twenty-six, he was officiating as Chief Civil Officer in charge of the Etawah District, in the North-West Provinces, with an area of 1693 square miles, a population of 722,000, and arevenue of £136,500. The headquarters were at the town of Etawah, which contained 34,000 inhabitants,

“When the fatal month of May 1857 opened, all was going smoothly—crime decreasing, revenue flowing in easily, the Great Canal spreading fertility through an ever-widening area, the railroad fast ripening. The community seemed happy and contented, The storm burst on the roth, when the 3rd Cavalry mutinied at


Allan Octavian Hume

Meerut, some two hundred and fifty miles to the north. Within two days the news reached Etawah and a small party of the mutineers appeared a day or so later. These were, after stout resistance, either captured or shot.

What happened immediately after this is graphically told by Kaye in his work on the Sepoy Mutiny. He pays a fitting tribute to the subject of this article. He writes: ‘The Magistrate and Collector was Mr. A. O. Hume, a son of the great English reformer, who had inherited the high public spirit and the resolute courage of his father.’ He continues: ‘On May 18th and 19th, another party of fugitives from the 3rd Cavalry appeared at Juswuntnuggur, ten miles from the town of Etawah, Being called upon to surrender by a patrol of police, they made a show of submission and then shot down their captors and took possession of a Hindu temple in a walled enclosure ; there they prepared to defend them- selves. When Hume heard of this he at once ordered his buggy, armed himself as best he could (with shot gun and revolver) and accompanied by his assistant, Mr, Daniell, started at gam. it was a blazing hot day and neither had broken his fast. On arriving, Hume invested the place with some irregular troopers and police. The difficulty was that the people were on the side of the mutineers. It was hopeless to assault, as they could obtain no support, on account of the great danger of storming. As the day passed, and the sun was setting, these two Englishmen, followed by only one policeman, made an effort to carry the place by themselves, The native was shot down and Daniell was shot through the face. Hume heroically got him away through the crowd to the carriage. They had killed one mutineer and mortally wounded another. The rebels escaped, during a storm, in the night.’

“Kaye adds: ‘This was one of the first of those heroic


Allan Octavian Hume

deeds of which I have before spoken . . . and bore noble witness to the courage and constancy of the national character, This English Magistrate and his assistant, in the face of an insurgent population, nobly strove to avenge themselves upon men who had a few days before murdered our own people.’ They returned to Etawah, and ‘for a while British authority as represented by Allan Hume was again in the ascendant.’

“The troops at Etawah still remained faithful; but not for long; for a few days later they also mutinied. They plundered the Treasury, burnt and looted the bungalows and released all the prisoners from the two jails. The ladies were got away safely to Agra Fort, escorted by loyal officials, The men remained at their posts trying to restore order. Mr. Hume began to raise local levies and hoped he might weather the storm, but all was in vain, News of disaster after disaster came in : the tide of the mutiny rose hourly, and by June 17 it was clear that the lives of none of the English there were safe, and that no good would result from their remaining at headquarters, They felt compelled to fall back upon Agra, and escaped during the night, reaching the Fort in safety.

“From the Agra Fort Hume kept in touch by corre- spondence (which was secretly conveyed) with the officials of his district, whom he knew to be still faithful. By proclamations and private letters he tried to let every one know the true state of things from the British point of view and to keep alive feelings of loyalty to the State,

“On July 5th a battle was fought at Agra. The rebel force consisted of two thousand of the best-drilled native soldiers with a troop of Bengal Horse Artillery. It was a sanguinary engagement in which many officers were killed. Hume was through it all serving with a


Allan Octavian Hume -

battery. Colonel Patrick Bannerman, who, as 2 sub- altern, was in the Fort with Hume (and is one of the few survivors), knew him well and admired his courage ; he says he was one of the pluckiest men he had ever met. He was out in the open with the guns for several nights, until he was laid low by cholera and had to be sent back invalided to the Fort.

As soon as he was fit for work he was most anxious to return to Etawah, but was not allowed to do so until December 3oth, when he started, with Mr. G. B. Maconochie, his assistant, escorted by fifty of the 2nd Punjab Infantry, under Lieutenant Sheriff. He managed to re-occupy the town of Etawah on January 6th. Once there he lost no time in raising local levies. By the end of the month he had drilled 200 infantry and 150 cavalry; he also had five guns and fifty gunners. Later his force was strengthened by a detachment of Alexander's Horse.

“The position in Etawah was, however, very critical. They were twice threatened by a strong body of muti- neers, On February 7, 1858, an action was fought at Anuntram, twenty-one miles from Etawah, in which Hume greatly distinguished himself. The rebels, some twelve or thirteen hundred in number, with one gun, ‘were very strongly posted in a large grove of mango- trees with a six-foot wall all round and a small ditch in front and a village on their left. The attacking force were sixty troopers of Irregular Horse, under Captain Alexander, some three hundred matchiock men, and eighty Sowars of the Local Horse, with Mr. Hume and Mr. Maconochie. They had also one 3-pounder brass gun. It will be sufficient for the purpose of this article to record the following extracts from official reports.

“From Captain Alexander to Brigadier Seaton: ‘Mr. Hume, having with some difficulty collected about two


Allan Octavian Hume

or three hundred matchlock men out of the 7oo, advanced most gallantly with them towards the entrenchment ; the fire of the enemy had been directed towards my troop, but seeing the advance of our matchlock men, turned it towards them; our gun then opened, advancing nearer each discharge. About the fifth dis- charge our gun was close up to the wall, and a rush being made, headed in the most gallant manner by Mr. Hume, the enemy began to retreat. A copy of Mr. Hume’s report to Government is enclosed... and shows the active and gallant part taken by that officer and his matchlock men.’

“The Commander-in-Chief, in reporting to the Governor-General (Lord Canning), requests that he may ‘bring to the special notice of his Lordship the extremely gallant conduct of Mr. Hume and Captain Alexander.’

“The Governor-General’s reply is, that he ‘has great satisfaction in publishing for general information the subjoined reports of an action fought with the rebels at Anuntram on the 7th instant by Alexander’s Horse and a body of Zemindaree troops led by Mr. A. O. Hume, Magistrate of Etawah, the whole under the command of Captain Alexander. The Governor-General entirely concurs with his Excellency the Commander-in-Chief in considering this affair to reflect the highest credit on Captain Alexander and Mr. Hume, as well as Mr, Maconochie, who, with conspicuous bravery and cool determination, led their men against the very superior number of the rebels and obtained a signal victory over them.’

“The result of this action was that 131 of the rebels were killed, their gun, ammunition, baggage, ponies, and arms were captured. Hume, in his own report, says: ‘The pursuit over, we returned with the captured gun to


Allan Octavian Hume

Etawah, having accomplished the whole affair, including the fifty miles’ ride, in twelve hours.’

“During the following six months Hume was con- stantly at work in the field against the rebels escaping from Oudh. One or two extracts may here be given from his final report when the pacification of the District had been accomplished :—

“On April 21 we made a most successful cavalry attack on a party of Roop Singh’s at Ajeetmul, and though the enemy were in great force all round, drove them with the loss of seven men helterskelter into the ravines. The audacity of this attack, for the time, completely frightened the rebels. Next day, by avery pretty combined move- ment from two directions, we surprised the enemy, cut up fifteen, took prisoner and hung three... . Mr. C. Doyle was shot through the right shoulder.’

“In the May following there came a series of desperate operations on the banks of the Jumna against Feroze Shah, of the Delhi royal family. ‘Of this,’ wrote Hume, ‘it is sufficient here to say that in an open boat in the middle of May (with a force of 410 horse and foot, and two 3-pounders) we in seven days collected and raised (often under the enemy’s fire) 36 boats, and after many skirmishes and a pitched battle (in which we defeated a far superior force of the mutineers, taking the whole of their six guns, all their baggage, and killing eighty-one regular sepoys), safely conveyed them 63 miles down the river, past hostile villages and forts.’

“By the end of the year the District of Etawah was once more at peace; and in closing the notes on this important stage of Hume’s career, no better summary of the work he did can be given than by quoting some of his remarks at the end of his report :-—

“‘No District in the North-West Provinces has, I believe, been more completely restored to order. None


Allan Octavian Hume

in which so few severe punishments have been inflicted. Mercy and forbearance have, I think I may justly say, characterized my administration. .. . We had before us then a great and glorious problem to solve, viz., how to restore peace and order and the Authority of Government with the least possible amount of human suffering.’

“There can be no doubt that his statesmanlike tact, his brilliant courage and tenacity of purpose made it easier for him than it would have been for many others to testore confidence among the people and evolve peace and order out of chaos,

“He did not receive his reward until 1860, when he was created a Companion of the Bath. Little enough reward was it for his great services. But those days were different from the present day, when honours and decora- tions are thrown broadcast among the deserving and the undeserving alike,”

Let us now proceed to review some of his most notable work for the peace and progress of his district.

(1) Popular Education,

In a detailed report dated 21st January 1857, Mr. Hume describes, as follows, the circumstances under which he initiated his system of free schools in Etawah: “In February last [ received semi-official permission to attempt the establishment of Elementary Free Schools, to be supported by a voluntary cess, contributed by the janded proprietors. After no little opposition had been overcome by patient argument and perseverance, a large majority of the Zemindars of Pergunnah Etawah con- sented to the levy of the cess; and they having formally declared the same at a great public meeting held for the purpose, and paid up the first instalment of their subscrip-


Allan Octavian Hume

tion, 32 schools were opened on the 1st of Apni, in the more important villages of the Pergunnah.” These pro- ceedings were approved by the Lieutenant-Governor, by the Government of India, and subsequently by the Court of Directors. Encouraged by this auspicious beginning, this system (known as the Hulqabundee” system) was gradually extended to the whole of the District, and by the 1st of January 1857, 181 schools had been estab- lished, with 5186 scholars (including 2 girls) on the lists. As regards school bridings, the beginning was made ina humble but effective way: “Only three buildings and these ‘cutcha’ ones have yet been erected for the schools. At present these ate chiefly located in some commodious apartment of the Zemindar (1f he 1s popular) or in some til-lately ruined house, repaired after a fashion by the villagers. Nevertheluss cleanliness 1s enjoined, and attained ; and every school has been furnished with thick carpetings, sufiicient to accommodate the teacher and all his pupils” It was hoped that later on neat and perma- nent buildings for the larger schools would be erected from suiplus school funds, but in the meantime no financial alarms were allowed to impede the opening ot a school where accommodation could be found sufhcient to meet the modest requirements of village lite. For the 181 schools teachers were found (8 on Rs. 6 per mensem, 39 on Rs. 5, and 134 0n Rs, 4), many of them “for the pay they receive very able men”; and detailed rules were printed in Hindee and Oordoo, prescribing the course of study, the duties of teachers, and the arrangements to secure a strict and consistent supervision, But early in this movement, a want was felt for some institution which should serve as a stepping stone for the scholars from the elementary schools to the Agra College ; and accordingly ‘on the rst of August 1856 Mr. Hume opened at Etawah a Central English and vernacular school, as the germ of 16

Allan Octavian Hume

such an institution. Here too he met with opposition ; but this was overcome, and by the rst of January 1857 there were 104 students in attendance. One step more remained—the foundation of scholarships in connection with the Central School, for the maintenance of a few of the best of these students, during the completion of their education in the Agra College, One such scholarship he recommended to the Government in memory of his lamented friend and coadjutor Koour Ajeet Sing ; another he proposed to found himself; and he hoped that some of the local gentlemen might in this matter be induced to follow his example,

Upon this happy development of peace and progress the Mutiny of May 1857 fell lke a thunderbolt. Yet, after two years, when order had been re-established, Mr. Hume was able to report, on the 25th of January 1859, that his system of education was again in active life: “This system even the past revolution failed to obliterate ; some of the schools remained open from first to last, and now though it 1s but a few months since we finally re- gained possession of the whole district, the schools are once more numbered by hundreds, the scholars by thousands.” Unfortunately, following the Mutiny, official opinion appears to have suffered a reaction on the question of popular education, and he expressed his concern that many “entirely disapprove of any efforts to cultivate the native mind ; many condemn, as uncon- ditionally, a merely secular education.” In this report, therefore, of January 1859 he vindicated the policy of enlightenment, declaring that “assert tts supremacy as it may at the bayonet’s point, a free and civilized government must look for its stability and permanence to the enlightenment of the people, and their moral and intellectual capacity to appreciate its blessings.” The reactionary spirit showed itself shortly afterwards in a

c 7

Allan Octavian Hume

Government Circular of 28th January 1859, m which objection was taken to the employment of native agency for the promotion of education, and the Collector was warned not to attempt to persuade the people to send their children to the schools or to contribute to the maintenance, Against these orders Mr. Hume, in a letter of 30th March 1859, respectfully, but earnestly protested, pointing out that the Court of Drrectors had directed officers “to aid with all the influence of their high position the extension of education.” He further explains, mn considerable detail, why he believes that it 1s through the influence of their own leaders that the people can best be convinced of the benefits of edu- cation ; and he concludcs on a personal note of deep pathos; “1 cannot,” he says, “but found hopes of indulgence on the intense interest that I feel in the sub- ject, and the ceaseless attention that I have paid it. For years past it has been fh. dream of my leisure moments, the object of my hopes, and although I have achieved little as yet, I cannot as 1 watch the feeble beginnings avoid recalling an alpine sccne of happy memories, when I saw the first drops of a joyous stream trickling through the huge avalanche that had so long embayed it, and feeling confidence fiom that augury that day by day and month by month that tiny rill gathering strength and size will work out its resistless way, and at last dissipating the whole chilling mass of ignorance, the accumulations of ages, pass on unobstructed to fertilize and enrich an empire. History, alas! presents us with too many examples of the long obstructed stream hurling aside at last roughly tts opposing barners and sweeping onwards an ungovernable flood heaping up desolation where tt should have scattered flowers. Let it be ours to smooth and not impede its path, ours not by cold explanations of policy but by enlisting the sympathies 3

Allan Octavian Hume

and affections of the people in the cause, to watch and direct 1ts progress and turn it, under God’s blessing, to good, and good alone.” The documents at my disposal do not state what, at the time, was the effect of this passionate appeal. But the whole episode, showing how gallantly, under the most difficult circumstances, the battle was fought more than halt a century ago, should hearten those who have now taken it in hand to emanci- pate their poorer brethren from the bonds of 1gnorance, by making elementary education not only free but compulsory.

(2) Police Reform,

in 1860 Government issued orders to reorganize the police in accordance with the recommendations of the Police Commission, and Police Superintendents were appointed for each District, to act under the orders of an Inspector-General of Police. By the 1st of January 1861 the Etawah police were reorganized by Mr. Hume, as directed. But, having duly carried out the orders of Government, he felt it hts duty (see his despatch of March 1861) to report his belief that the new system was “defective in principle,” “impracticable tn its chief pro- vision,” and, with few exceptions, “a change for the worse.” Briefly stated, his objections were, that the system failed to secure the severance of police and judicial functions; that 1t created a divided responsi- bility between the Police Super:ntendent and the District Magistrate ; and that the Police Superintendents, on whom practically devolved the work of criminal investi- gations, were destitute both of local experience and of local influence. His remedy was that the Chief Civil Officer of the District (the Collector”) should repre- sent the Executive Government in all departments, including the police; but that neither he nor his sub-


Allan Octavian Hume

ordinates should exercise any magisterial powers what- ever, The police duties should, he considered, be performed by the several grades of the Collector's sub- ordinates, men well in touch with the population, and possessing influence as representing the supreme authority in all departments ; while the Collector, as head of the District police, should be responsible, through the Inspector-General, to the Government for the repression of cme and the general peace of his District. The ordinary magisterial work of the District would be entrusted to Honorary Magistrates and Sub- ordinate Judges of the various grades, working under a Stipendiary Magistrate, from whom an appeal would he to the Sessions Judge. This scheme provided for the complete separation of police and judicial functions which still remains a pressing need at the present day; and it must also strongly commend itself to those who hold that thc Collector should be the responsible embodiment of the “Sihar,” in all branches of the admunistration within his own district, and lament the present destruc. tion of his authonty by the encioachments of the centralized departments.

(3) Abkane”—The Wages of Sin.”

Similarly, as regards the Liquor Traffic, he reported, 14th September 1860, that the orders of the Government had been carried out, producing an increase of receipts, Rs, 1858 in excess of the previous year, and Rs. 5251 m eacess of the average collections of the past ten years ; but at the same time he did not hesitate to eapress, in the strongest terms, his abhorrence of such a source of revenue: “Financially speaking,” he wrote, “bearing in mind the almost unexampled distress in the face of which this settlement was concluded, it may be regarded


Allan Octavian Hume

as eminently successful. To me however the constant growth of the Abkaree revenue is a source of great regret. Year after year, but alas in vain, 1 protest against the present iniquitous system which first produced and now supports a large class whose sole interest it is to seduce their fellows into drunkenness and its necessary con- comitants, debauchery and crime. Unfortunately these tempters are too successful, and year by year the number of drunkards and the demand for drugs and spirituous liquors increases. Those only who like myself take great pains to ascertain what goes on amongst the native community, really have any conception of the frightful extent to which drunkenness has increased during the last twenty years, Moreover, while we debauch our subjects we do not even pecuniarily derive any profit from their ruin, Of this revenue, the wages of sin, it may in the words of the old adage be truly said that illgotten wealth never thrives, and for every rupee additional that the Abkaree yields, two at least are lost to the public by crime, and spent by the Government in suppressing it. 1 fear that it is useless saying more now on this subject—for five years I have yearly but without avail protested against the present system, and though I at this moment see no hopes of reform, | have no doubt whatsoever that if I be spared a few years longer I shall live to see effaced in a more Christian-like system one of the greatest existing blots on our government of India. { trust that this letter may be submitted in full to the Board.” Sad to say, after half-a-century this “greatest existing blot” still remains uneffaced.

(4) “The People’s Friend.”

Mr, Hume, looking forward to coming years, had a special care for the young, both for the docile and the way- ar

Allan Octavian Hume

ward, Each year the schools were turning out boys and youths, able to read, and with their intell:genee awakened, but the only books in their own language were scarce and dear, and for the most part neither instructive nor edifying. He therefore, in co-operation with his friend Koour Lutchman Sing, determined to supply this want; and towards the end of 1859 they started The People’s Frend, a vernacular paper, carefully conducted, and published at so cheap a rate as to be accessible to the poorest of the village youths. It was intended originally for Etawah alone, but its fame went abroad, and it circulated throughout the North-West Provinces, and even penetrated to Gwalior and Bhurtpore. Not being an official publication it did not come under the suspicion of partiality, and rendered valuable service in explaining the policy of the Government, and in counter- acting influences prejudicial to good feeling. The Government of the North-West Provinces subscribed for six hundred copies, and The Prople’'s Friend came under the favourable notice of the Viceroy, at whose suggestion copies of the paper were forwarded, with translations, to the Secretary of State, for sub- mission to Queen Victoria It was felt that Her Gracious Majesty would be interested in seeing this easly specimen of Indian journalism, and in realizing the gratitude and affection inspired by her personality among the humblest and most distant of her subjects.

(5) Fuvensle Reformatories,

And the bad boys had to be remembered as well as the good boys. It appears that the Etawah District was periodically invaded by bands of professional young thieves, coming from certain outside tracts. They were


Allan Octavian Hume

dealt with by the police, brought before the magistrates, and were punished by flogging andimpnsonment. They thus became thoroughly hardened, and eventually ripened into dacoits and recervers of stolen property. Evidently there was need for special treatment of this class; and as early as 1863 Mr. Hume pressed for the establishment of a Juvenile Reformatory, where these boys would be separated from adult criminals, and given a chince of amendment by discipline, by instruction, and by training in useful industries, At first the Supreme Government did not favour the proposal for reformatories, and preferred that separate accommodation should be provided in the central yails for juvenile ciiminals, But in 1867 Mr. Hume 1etuned to the charge, and bemg supported by the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Provinces, he submitted (2nd September 1867) a detailed scheme for a Juvenile Reformatory ona desirable site close to Etawah. He was fortunate in having the sympathy of Dr. Clark the Inspector-General of Prisons, and of D1. Sherlock the Superintendent of the Jail, a very valuable coadjutor, who volunteered to take charge of the Reformatory in addition to his other duties. The system proposed was that known as the Irish system ; the building was to be circular and radiating; and as the scheme was experi~ mental, he proposed that a beginning should be made with one “sector,” equal to one-fourth of the circular building. This could be r