Page 100 - India's Struggle For Independence - Bipan Chandra
P. 100
| India’s Struggle for Independence

where (as a Tamil saying puts it) the very fence begins to feed on
the crop.’

The young intellectual from Bihar, Sachidanand Sinha,
summed up the Indian critique in a pithy manner in Indian
People on 27 February 1903: ‘Their work of administration in
Lord Curzon’s testimony is only the handmaid to the task of
exploitation. Trade cannot thrive without efficient administration,
while the latter is not worth attending to in the absence of profits
of the former. So always with the assent and often to the dictates
of the Chamber of Commerce, the Government of India is carried
on, and this is the “White Man’s Burden.”’

It was above all Dadabhai Naoroji who in his almost daily
articles and speeches hammered home this point. ‘The face of
beneficence,’ he said, was a mask behind which the exploitation
of the country was carried on by the British though
‘unaccompanied with any open compulsion or violence to person
or property which the world can see and be horrified with.’ And,
again: ‘Under the present evil and unrighteous administration of
Indian expenditure, the romance is the beneficence of the British
Rule, the reality is the “bleeding” of the British Rule.” Regarding
the British claim of having provided security of life and property,
Dadabhai wrote: ‘The romance is that there is security of life and
property in India; the reality is that there is no such thing. There
is security of life and property in one sense or way, i.e., the
people are secure from any violence from each other or from
Native despots. . . But from England’s own grasp there is no
security of property at all, and, as a consequence, no security for
life… What is secure, and well secure, is that England is perfectly
safe and secure… to carry away from India, and to eat up in
India, her property at the present rate of 30,000,000 or
40,000,000 £ a year. . . To millions in India life is simply “half-
feeding,” or starvation, or famine and disease ‘.

With regard to the benefits of law and order, Dadabhai said:
‘There is an Indian saying: “Pray strike on the back, but don’t
strike on the belly.”’ Under the ‘native despot the people keep and
enjoy what they produce, though at times they suffer some
violence on the back. Under the British Indian despot the man is
at peace, there is no violence; his substance is drained away,
   95   96   97   98   99   100   101   102   103   104   105