Saturday, 18 April 2015

1783 - "Our Indian Government is in its best state- A Grievance" Edmund Bruke

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"Our Indian Government is in its best state - A Grievance"

(Courtsey -

In 1781, he was appointed to the House of Commons Select Committee on Bengal!

Being privileged to a steady flow of information on the administration in India, he felt strongly of the misuse of the powers granted to the EIC, and on their involvement in domestic wars in India. 

In April 1783, his party Rockingham Whigs led by Charles James Fox, submitted 2 bills in the House of Commons! 1st Bill to put the political government of India under a commission appointed by the parliament, and the 2nd bill to put the management of the Company's Commerce under another commission.

The Bills incorporated many of Burke's ideas!


Excerpt of the speech..

The Tartar invasion was mischievous; but it is our protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship!

Our conquest there, after twenty years, is as crude as it was the first day. The natives scarcely know what it is to see the grey head of an Englishman.

Young men (boys almost) govern there, without society, and without sympathy with the natives.

They have no more social habits with the people, than if they still resided in England; nor indeed any species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement.

Animated with all the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in one after another; wave after wave; and there is nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new flights of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for a food that is continually wasting!

Every rupee of profit made by an Englishman, is lost for ever to India!

With us in no retributory superstition, by which a foundation of charity compensates, through ages, to the poor, for rapine and injustice of a day!

With us no pride erects stately monuments which repair the mischiefs which pride had produced, and which adorn a country out of it's own spoils!

England has erected no churches, no hospitals, no palaces, no schools; England had built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigation, dug out no reservoirs!

Every other conqueror of every other description, has left some monument, either of state or beneficence, behind him.

Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain, to tell that it had possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by say thing better than the ouran-outang or the tiger!

To the present....

Shouldn't we have some body like Edmund Burke, to have the gall to say it as it is and get the powers to indulge the public rather than themselves!   

Do share your thoughts!

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