Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Across India.

“The executive government, administered in India, is the governor-general in council.  He is the viceroy of the crown, and is assisted by six members of the executive council, each of whom has his function in the affairs of the state; and the commander-in-chief of the army is ex-officio a seventh member.  This body is really the cabinet of the viceroy.  The laws are made by this council, with from six to a dozen members appointed by the viceroy.  This is the way the machine is operated.

“The civil service of the government is rendered mainly by Europeans, though the natives are eligible to office as employees.  The English system in the appointment of its officials prevails, and all candidates are regularly examined.  Those of you who have looked over Bradshaw’s ’Guide to India’ will find descriptions of the several examinations for various employments.”

“I wish the English system could be transferred to the United States,” said Uncle Moses with great unction.

“You have made a beginning, and perhaps you will come to it in time.  The civil service prevails in the provinces and states of India as well as in the general government, though the competition is open to the natives.

“The soldiers of the East India Company became the military force of the British crown when the government was assumed.  The English army in India now consists of 74,033 men of all arms, and the native army of 144,735, a total standing army of 218,786, which is its strength at the present time.  It is a curious fact that, as the native troops are recruited by voluntary enlistment, all castes and races, including Brahmins, are drawn in by the good pay and the pension promised.

“The navy of the East India Company was superseded by the royal navy in 1863; and a dozen or fifteen ships of war are stationed in these waters, with an admiral as commander-in-chief, whose headquarters are at Bombay.  The Indian treasury contributes annually to the expense of this force.  The great steam navigation companies are available to recruit this branch of the defence of the country.

“The laws are made, and the institutions of India are regulated, by Parliament; and the administration of law and justice is substantially the same as in the United Kingdom.  The regular police consists of 160,000 officers and men; and a portion of the expense of this force is defrayed by the towns, the large cities mainly.  Besides the city police, there are 560,000 in charge of the villages.  The constabulary are natives, with European officers, one to every seven square miles and 1,300 inhabitants, indicating peaceful communities.  About 12,000 of the 82,000 persons under sentence are in the convict colonies at the Andaman Islands.

“The educational institutions are progressive, and 400 newspapers are published in various languages, most of them with small circulations, 20,000 being the largest in India.  The post and telegraph systems are well cared for; and 17,564 miles of railway are in operation, with others in process of construction.  The manufactures, both in metal and fibre, have always been remarkably fine, and the quality is still kept up.  Cotton factories have been established, with native labor, which promise great results to the industry of the country.

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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