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William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

11.  The subject of the police administration is more fully discussed post, in Chapter 69.

CHAPTER 59

Concentration of Capital and its Effects.

Kosi[1] stands on the borders of Firozpur, the estate of the late Shams-ud-din, who was hanged at Delhi on the 3rd of October, 1835, for the murder of William Fraser, the representative of the Governor-General in the Delhi city and territories.[2] The Mewatis of Firozpur are notorious thieves and robbers.  During the Nawab’s time they dared not plunder within his territory, but had a free licence to plunder wherever they pleased beyond it.[3] They will now be able to plunder at home, since our tribunals have been introduced to worry prosecutors and their witnesses to death by the distance they have to go, and the tediousness of our process; and thereby to secure impunity to offenders, by making it the interest of those who have been robbed, not only to bear with the first loss without complaint, but largely to bribe police officers to conceal the crimes from their master, the magistrate, when they happen to come to their knowledge.  Here it was that Jeswant Rao Holkar gave a grand ball on the 14th of October, 1804, while he was with his cavalry covering the siege of Delhi by his regular brigade.  In the midst of the festivity he had a European soldier of the King’s 76th Regiment, who had been taken prisoner, strangled behind the curtain, and his head stuck upon a spear and placed in the midst of the assembly, where the ‘nach’ (nautch) girls were made to dance round it.  Lord Lake reached the place the next morning in pursuit of this monster; and the gallant regiment, who here heard the story, had soon an opportunity of revenging the foul murder of their comrade in the battle of Dig, one of the most gallant passages of arms we have ever had in India.[4]

Near Kosi there is a factory in ruins belonging to the late firm of Mercer & Company.  Here the cotton of the district used to be collected and screwed under the superintendence of European agents, preparatory to its embarkation for Calcutta on the river Jumna.  On the failure of the firm, the establishment was broken up, and the work, which was then done by one great European merchant, is now done by a score or two of native merchants.  There is, perhaps, nothing which India wants more than the concentration of capital; and the failure of a I [5] the great commercial houses in Calcutta, in the year 1833, was, unquestionably, a great calamity.  They none of them brought a particle of capital into the country, nor does India want a particle from any country; but they concentrated it; and had they employed the whole, as they certainly did a good deal of it, in judiciously improving and extending the industry of the natives, they might have been the source of incalculable good to India, its people, and government.[6]

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