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opening for regular periodical voyages. In these smaller trades to out-of-the-way places there is undoubted scope for sailing-ships fitted with auxiliary petrol engines. Here is a considerable field of enterprise which is open to the sailingship without challenging by direct competition the lines of traffic already occupied by steam-ship companies. And it is moreover a field in which the ancient spirit of the merchant adventurer may be revived.
Ever since the complete triumph of steam the tendency of merchant shipping has been towards consolidation, combination, amalgamation of rival companies, and the like forms of monopoly. Competition and commercial rivalry are becoming extinct, and the ocean, like the land, is parcelled out into spheres of influence and zones of exclusive dealing. The sailing vessel alone furnishes the chance for the small capitalist. It can be built at a more moderate outlay, its upkeep costs far less, it deteriorates less rapidly and may still keep the water long years after the steamer has been broken up for scrap iron. A sailing vessel gives a chance to co-operative enterprise, for there is no reason why the profit sharing which was the basis of the old whaling voyages should not be applied to every trading voyage. Just as the ship may be owned by sixty-four individuals, so the profits of the voyage may be shared by the adventurers, the master, and the hands, every one having his personal profit in the success of the voyage. Under such a system the merchant service would receive a great impetus. It would attract a higher type of recruits and it would call forth and educate their best qualities. After all, Great Britain is and will be what her seamen make of her and what she makes of her seamen. So long as her young men desire to go to sea, and so long as she treats them well when they have entered on her service, be it naval or mercantile, so long is Great Britain's position among nations secure, even against the enhanced rivalry with which we are threatened after the war.
CASTE AND DEMOCRACY
1. Cochin Tribes and Castes. By L. ANANTHA KRISHNA IYER. Madras: Higginbothams.
2. The History of Caste in India. By S. V. KETKHAR. New York. 1909.
3. Castes and Tribes of Southern India. By Edgar Thurston, assisted by K. RANGA CHARIAR. Madras: Government Press. 1909.
4. Omens and Superstitions of Southern India. THURSTON. Fisher Unwin. 1912.
5. The People of India. By Sir HERBERT RISLEY. Second Edition. Thacker & Co. 1915.
6. The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. By R. V. RUSSELL and RAI BAHADUR HIRA LAL. Macmillan. 1916.
EMOCRACY as a catchword has already reached India and is widely used. But the spirit of democracy still pauses west of Suez, and will find it hard to secure a footing in a country where caste is strongly entrenched. Democracy and caste are antagonistic and mutually destructive forces, and that was the reason why the Aryan invaders of India invented caste and established it firmly to provide against possible future inroads by democratic ideas.
When the Aryan invaders came to India from the Hindukush, or the Arctic regions, or wherever else they hailed from, they brought the Vedas and the Vedic religion with them. But according to savants who have dived deep into the Vedic lore there is no mention of caste in the Vedic Hymns. Professor Max Müller says:
There is no authority whatever in the hymns of the Veda for the complicated system of castes. There is no law to prohibit the different classes of the people from living together, from eating and drinking together; no law to prohibit the marriage of people belonging to different castes; no law to brand the offspring of such marriages with an indelible stigma. There is no law to sanction the blasphemous pretensions of a priesthood to divine
honours or the degradation of any human being to a state below the animal.'
But when the Aryan invaders had conquered practically the whole of India, they began to evolve plans for settling down comfortably. They had not come to India with any ideas of the rights of the conquered, nor were they looking forward to a time when they would have to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of an intelligentsia of their own creation. They had a radical method for preventing such complications. 'Don't create the intelligentsia outside your own 'limited circle and there will be no legitimate aspirations to 'satisfy.' So the code of Manu was compiled, which created castes and assigned duties and privileges to each caste, or rather assigned duties to the lower castes, and conferred privileges on the higher ones.
This Brahminical code lays down that to slay a Brahmin is mortal sin. Whoever even threatens a Brahmin with physical violence will wander for a hundred years in hell. The man who seizes a Brahmin's property will feed in another world on the leavings of vultures. Even the cardinal duty of veracity is dispensed with in the interest of the Brahmin. The Brahmin is not to be put to death, even for the worst crimes. Land given to a Brahmin secures a safe passage to Heaven. A suitable gift to a Brahmin on a death-bed secures salvation to a malefactor. Whatever exists in the world is the rightful property of the Brahmin: for a Brahmin, whether ignorant or learned, is a divinity.
On the other hand, the Sudra, or the servant class, had definite duties imposed on it and enforced by severe penalties, with no privileges except that of serving the Brahmins.
A Sudra, whether purchased or not, must always perform servile work for the Brahmin. A Brahmin may seize the property of a Sudra, for a slave can have no personal property. A Sudra is forbidden to amass wealth, 'for a Sudra, who 'has acquired wealth, gives pain to Brahmins.' The Sudra must live on the refuse of the Brahmin's food and wear the cast-off clothes of a Brahmin. A Sudra who insults a Brahmin shall have his tongue cut out; if he mentions even the name and caste of the Brahmins, 'an iron nail, ten fingers 'long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.' 'With whatever limb a Sudra or low ste man does hurt to a high-caste
'man, even that limb shall be cut off.' If a Sudra dares to sit on the same seat as a high-caste man he shall be branded on the hip and be banished. The code of Manu says:
'The dwellings of Chandalas and Svapakas (certain tribes of Sudras) shall be outside the village, and their wealth shall be dogs and donkeys. Their dress shall be the garments of the dead, they shall eat their food from broken dishes, and they must always wander from place to place."
A Sudra may not hear the Vedas and may not receive religious instruction; and if a Brahmin or other high-caste man murders a Sudra or low-caste man, he shall pay the same penalty as if he had killed a cat, frog, dog, owl, or crow.
The code of Manu revolutionized the Hindu religion. Hinduism as it is known in India at the present day is not the Hinduism of the Vedas, but the Hinduism as camouflaged by Manu, with rigid caste distinctions as its cornerstone. The arrangements worked well till foreign invasions came. Under the code of Manu each caste performed its allotted duties without any suggestion of 'strikes' or the necessity for lock-outs.' The threat of a lock-out' from Heaven coupled with the possibility of having to undergo various surgical operations, such as excision of the tongue, enucleation of the eyeballs, and so forth, was quite sufficient to keep the workers at their task. The Brahmins toiled not, neither did they spin. The sweated slaves supplied them with everything, and they in their turn cultivated' spirituality.' But their spirituality received a rude shock when brought into forcible contact with the materialistic forces of the foreign invaders. And since India passed out of Brahminical power the Brahmins have been whining.
Coming to more modern times, we have the admission in the Montagu-Chelmsford report that if there are Indians who 'really desire to see India leave the Empire, to get rid of English officers and English commerce, we believe that among their springs of action will be found the bitterness of feeling that has been nurtured out of some manifestation 'that the Englishman does not think the Indian an equal.' What, then, must be the strength of the bitterness of feeling nurtured by the non-Brahmin population of India against their Brahmin oppressors, who for generations past have
put the stamp of inequality and the brand of degradation on the helpless non-Brahmins, not by occasional and casual manifestations of inequality but by a whole code of laws! The Brahmin had no compunction, no mercy, no sense of justice, no pangs of conscience in subjecting those who had the misfortune to come under his theocratic power to social and intellectual degradation and abject slavery, but when some one else stronger than himself treats him not exactly as his equal he howls in protest and invokes the principles of humanity and international law.
That is always the way of the tyrants. The barbarous Huns are inclined by nature to fire on hospitals, or sink hospital ships, or squirt out burning liquid on wounded British soldiers, but when they find British bayonets in the inconvenient vicinity of their carcases they are only too ready to throw up their hands and shout Kamarad.' The Montagu-Chelmsford report is good enough to say that 'the Indian temperament is sensitive.' Do the authors of that report think that this sensitive temperament is the special monopoly of the priestly classes in India? If not, what allowance have they made for the operation of the code of Manu on the sensitive temperament of the many millions of India for nearly three thousand years? The caste distinctions established by the code of Manu are not things of the past. The code of Macaulay has mitigated the severity of the code of Manu to a certain extent; but what Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford call the 'social grievance' still exists.
I will not take up unnecessarily any space in this REVIEW to describe the treatment meted out to the lower castes in India, even at the present time, by the higher castes. I do not want to lay the charge of oppressing the lower castes at the door of any particular caste. All the higher classes take a hand in the game. The Brahmin oppresses all the non-Brahmin classes. The high-caste non-Brahmin, very often with aspirations to be considered a Brahmin, oppresses all the non-Brahmin castes below him. Thus the caste that is lowest in the scale under the pressure of this accumulated oppression becomes depressed. But it is not the condition of the depressed classes that I want to cite here in proof of the statem t cast distinctions still exist