“The leading Nobles and Gentry of Bengal have formed an Imperial League for the promotion of good feeling between Indians and the Government, the denunciation of anarchy and sedition, and the education of the people by means of lectures and pamphlets in the views of the Government.
of Burdwan is president, and Maharajah Sir
Pradyat Tagore secretary of the new league.”
It must of course be borne in mind that since this article was written by Ali Baba, the formation of the Imperial Service troops, and the Imperial Cadet corps, furnished and in some cases officered by Indian Nobles and their sons, many of whom were educated at Delhi and Indore by Aberigh-Mackay, surely warrants us in believing that more than a mere “pannikin of water” is now available, if need be.
WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT
The position of Political Agent, important though it was in 1879, is much more so now. The territories of the Indian Princes are being daily opened up more and more by railways; many of them contain coal, iron, gold, and other minerals in payable quantities, and the development of these resources call for very delicate handling in the matter of friendly advice by Political Agents.
In recent years, nay, at the present time, loud complaints have been published, emanating from experienced and unbiassed sources, that the position of many of the great feudatories of India, who by their treaty rights are much more allies than subjects of His Majesty the King-Emperor, has been reduced to that of a mere figure-head, with no real authority except when they meekly obey the dictation of the British Resident.
It is a fact that many of the Political Agents in 1879 were officers who had served in Madras Cavalry Regiments, the Central India Horse and other corps, but it is also a fact that many of the most successful administrators India has ever seen have been Soldier-Politicals.
Colonel Henderson, so pleasantly cited by Aberigh-Mackay, and happily still alive, was himself a Madras Cavalry Officer, who served as Under-Secretary to the Foreign Department of the Government of India, as Resident in Kashmir and latterly in Mysore, and Superintendent of operations for the suppression of Thagi and Dakaiti.
Our late King’s visit to India as Prince of Wales in 1875-6 owed a good deal of its success to Colonel Henderson, who was special officer in attendance, and his services in connection therewith were recognized by a Companionship of the order of the Star of India. It may also be mentioned here that Aberigh-Mackay became his Brother-in-law in October, 1873.
WITH THE COLLECTOR
In this sketch, warm with local colour, the real pivot of the great official wheel of Indian administration, “the Collector,” is drawn with the exactness due to his importance. Withal very lifelike and picturesque in many of its touches.