Modern India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 495 pages of information about Modern India.
as possible.  A committee of three, of whom the chairman must be a sergeant, is authorized to purchase supplies; an inventory of the stock must be taken once a month; there may be a co-operative store if deemed advisable by the commanding officer, at which groceries, provisions and general merchandise may be sold to the men at cost price; liquor may be sold in a separate room of limited dimensions, under the supervision of a committee of which a sergeant is chairman, and that committee, by assigning good reasons, has the power to forbid its sale to any person for any length of time.  No spirituous liquor except rum can be kept or sold; that must be of the best quality and no more than one dram may be sold to any person within the hour, and only one quart of malt liquor.  Beside these, aerated waters and other “soft drinks” must be provided, with coffee, tea, sandwiches and other refreshments as required.  The profits of the institute may be devoted to the library, reading-room and recreation department, the purchase of gymnastic apparatus, etc., and articles for the soldiers’ mess, and may be contributed to the widows and orphans’ fund, if so determined by the patrons of the institution.

Those, in short, are the means used by the Indian government to promote temperance and morality in its army, and everyone who has experience and knowledge of the practical operation of such affairs approves them.  In addition to the institutes described, the Army Temperance Association, which is entirely unofficial and composed of benevolent people in private life, has established in several of the large cities of India, where garrisons are stationed, soldiers’ clubs, which also prove very efficacious.  They are located in the bazaars and other parts of the cities frequented by soldiers and where the most mischief is usually done.  They are clubs pure and simple, with reading and writing-rooms, games, music, restaurants, billiard-rooms and bars at which rum, beer, ale and other liquors are sold.  There is also a devotional-room, in which religious meetings are held at stated times.  These clubs are managed by private individuals in connection with committees of noncommissioned officers and enlisted men, and several of them represent investments of $15,000 and $20,000.  In some cases a small membership fee is charged.  They have proved very effective in catching human driftwood, and provide a place where men who are tempted may have another chance to escape the consequences.  They are conducted upon a very liberal plan, and after pay day soldiers who start out for a debauch, as so many regularly do, are accustomed to leave their money and valuables with the person in charge before plunging into the sinks of vice, where so many men find pleasure and diversion.



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Modern India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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