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The Real Indian People The Real Indian People Being More Tales and Sketches of the Masses LIEUT. - COLONEL S. J. THOMSON, C. I. E. INDIAN MEDICAL SERVICE RETIRED AUTHOR OF THE SILENT INDIA, ETC. WITH IfJ. US TK William Blackwood and Sons Edinburgh and London 1914 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED PREFACE. IN a former work The Silent India the author expressed the opinion that the political situation in that country was satisfactory, and concluded with the words, With the Silent India contented, and its sons loyally serving under the British flag, we need have little fear for the safety of the Indian Empire 1 His views at the time were regarded by a few critics as somewhat optimistic, but it has been… decreed that within a year of the appearance of the book, a most striking demonstration of their accuracy should be afforded by the attitude at once adopted by the Princes and people in our great depend ency, when England sounded her call to arms. No sooner had she declared war, than a wave of loyal enthusiasm rolled over India sweeping away in its strength and intensity all traces of dis affection and unrest. The real India spoke, and vi PREFACE spoke with no uncertain sound, and the voices of the agitator and sedition-monger faded into silence. When we first took the field, the moment was so obviously unsuitable for the appearance of any literature unconnected with such an absorbing topic, that it was deemed inadvisable to bring out the present book though the manuscript was at that time actually in the hands of the publishers. But with the determination to call our Indian forces to our aid, a new situation was created for it seemed probable that considerable interest would be excited in England regarding the life, habits, religion, c., of the rural classes from whom such forces are principally drawn. This fact, and also the kind reception which had been accorded to The Silent India were held to justify the appearance of the present volume which is now presented in its original form. In both these works the note sounded has been 4 Keep touch with the masses the great silent rural population which, of all sections of the community, most likes and respects us, and which, as said before, supplies the great majority of the men now standing with us, as brothers in arms, against our enemies in the field. Nowhere are relations better than between the European officers in our Indian army and their men no PREFACE vii where better, too, than where district officers are still working on the old-fashioned but welcome lines adopted by their predecessors in the past. It is all-essential that the races should coine to know and appreciate one another for such con tact always makes for respect and confidence. It is in the fear that modern systems of admin istration may have a tendency in the future to loosen relations between the peasantry and our selves, that the writer has urged the desirability of, as far as possible, giving more facilities to magistrates and all other European officials, for spending more time on tour and in camp, among the people and also as is indeed being done of making such arrangements as will allow of officers remaining long enough in their charges to come to know, not only the landed gentry, but also the countryside generally. This may sound something like a counsel of perfection it is true, but it must be remembered that the visit of the sahib to any particular locality and what he said and did there, are subjects of long and interested discussion in villages many miles dis tant from his tents so that the, to the writers mind, all-important task of keeping touch with the rural population is not in reality such an extremely difficult one as might at first sight appear...