Darkest India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Darkest India.

3.  Again, there is a lack of the capital necessary for the initial expenses of the cultivator in sinking wells, building houses, supplying cattle and obtaining both seed and food till the harvest has been gathered in.

4.  The lack of combination among the congested mass of labourers is another serious evil.  They are as sheep without a shepherd.  Individually they have no influence.  Collectively they are capable of becoming a mighty power.  What is needed at the present moment is a directing head and an enfolding organisation that shall gather them together, bind them in one harmonious whole, and with the help of a friendly Government lead them on to occupy and cultivate these waste lands, converting them into districts inhabited by a sober, thrifty and enterprising population.  Without such a combination the efforts that are made by private enterprise will continue to be carried out on such a petty scale as will utterly fail to cope with or remove the existing evil, and will merely serve to give relief in a few isolated cases.  For instance I have in mind one district where to my personal knowledge the amount of congested labor cannot amount on the most moderate calculation to less than half a million people.  There is in their immediate neighbourhood abundance of waste land capable of supporting them.  The Government is anxious for that land to be occupied.  The people are eager to obtain and capable of cultivating every piece of waste that can be placed at their disposal.  If, instead of leaving it to individual caprice and effort to carry on in the present haphazard and redtape fashion, we are able on the one hand to combine this mass of labor, and to obtain on the other hand from Government the particulars of the land they are desirous of having cultivated, and the most favorable terms on which it can be granted to us, we shall be in a position with, but a very moderate amount of capital at our command, to solve the double problem of the waste land and waste labor, and that within a very short period.

5.  The religious influences which we should bring to bear on the colonists would be invaluable, especially in the early days of these colonies.  The example of our Officers, their self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of the people, the knowledge that they would gain nothing by the success of the enterprise and that they were actuated solely by the highest motives, the facts that they were sharing the homes of the people, enduring the same hardships and eating the same food, all this would act as an inspiration to the colonists when the early days of trial and difficulty came upon them.  No less an authority than Mr. John Morley, M.P., remarked when he first heard of General Booth’s scheme, that he considered that its combination of religion with the other details of the plan of campaign was its most hopeful feature, and would be most likely to ensure its success.  This seems to apply especially to that portion of

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Darkest India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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