New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century.
to do more than say, with enthusiasm, of Lord Roberts and General Wauchope and others, “Yon was a man!” and as depreciatorily of others again, “Yon was no man at all.”  Such sympathetic “men,” instinctively discerned, India has much need of, if this anti-British feeling, so far as it is not inevitable, is to be checked.  In such “men” the new Indian feelings of manhood and citizenship and nationality will find recognition and response, in spite of displeasing accompaniments, for such feelings we must look for under British rule and from English and Christian education.  From such “men,” also, the new Indians will accept frank condemnation of social irrationalities or political exaggerations, as e.g. the notion that those have right to claim full share in the British Empire’s management who would outcaste a fellow-Indian for visiting Britain, even had he gone to state their case before the House of Commons.  To speak of laymen only, there are no Anglo-Indians more trusted than those who make no secret of their desire for the advancement of India’s welfare through a religious reformation, who hold that this purely pro-Indian national feeling is as yet imperfect because divorced from the idea of the unity of mankind and the concomitant idea of the progress of the whole race.

CHAPTER IX

NEW RELIGIOUS IDEAS—­ARE THERE ANY?

  “From low to high doth dissolution climb.

* * * * *

  Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
  The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
  That in the morning whitened hill and plain
  And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
  Of yesterday, which royally did wear
  His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
  Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
  Or the unimaginable touch of Time.”

    WORDSWORTH.

[Sidenote:  A Renaissance without a reformation.]

It would be interesting to speculate what the Renaissance of the sixteenth century would have done for Europe had it been unaccompanied by a Reformation of religion.  Without the Reformation, we may aver there would have been for the British nation no Bible of 1611, no Pilgrim Fathers to America, and no Revolution of 1688, along with all that these things imply of progress many-fold.  What might have been, however, although interesting as a speculation, is too uncertain to be discussed further with profit.  I only desire to give a general idea of the religious situation in India at the close of the nineteenth century.  There has been a Renaissance without a Reformation.

Into the new intellectual world the Hindu mind has willingly entered, but progress in religious ideas has been slow and reluctant.  The new political idea of the unity of India and the consciousness of citizenship were pleasing discoveries that met with no opposition; but that same new Indian national consciousness resented any departure from the old social and religious ideas.

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New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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