The following is note 4 in the original text of "Crisis of the Sepoy Rebellion," which appeared in The London Quarterly Review 9 (January 1857): 530-70.
Some of them have taken the pains to reply to the nonsense which one or two noble Lords talked upon the subject; and one native gentleman, who speaks very good English, though his name is Baboo Duckinarunjun Mookerjee, in addressing an influential native body, the British Indian Association, thus refers to Lord Ellenborough's notions: —
"Aware of the weight that would be attached by the British public to the views expressed by that personage, I feel it incumbent on me to point out his Lordship's mistake. Then, as to the Missionaries, a man must be a total stranger to the thoughts, habits, and character of the Hindu population, who could fancy that because the Missionaries are the apostles of another religion, the Hindus entertain an inveterate hatred towards them. Ackbar, of blessed memory, whose policy Lord Ellenborough pronounces as peculiarly adapted to the government of these dominions, (and which no doubt is so,) gave encouragement to the followers of all sects, religions, and modes of worship. Jageers and Allumghas bearing his imperial seal are yet extant, to show that he endowed lands and buildings for Mohammedan musjids, Christian churches, and Hindu devals. The Hindus are essentially a tolerant people, a fact which that sagacious Prince did fully comprehend, appreciate, and act upon; and the remark of Lord Ellenborough that Ackbar's policy should be the invariable rule of guidance for British Indian Governors, is most correct, but in the sense I have just explained, and should be recorded in golden characters on the walls of the Council Chamber. When discussing an Indian subject, it should always be remembered, that this country is not inhabited by savages and barbarians, but by those whose language and literature are the oldest in the world, and whose progenitors were engaged in the contemplation of the sublimest doctrines of religion and philosophy at a time when their Anglo-Saxon and Gallic contemporaries were deeply immersed in darkness and ignorance; and if, owing to nine hundred years of Mohammedan tyranny and misrule, this great nation has sunk in sloth and lethargy, it has, thank God, not lost its reason, and is able to make a difference between the followers of a religion which inculcates the doctrine that it should he propagated at the point of the sword, and that which offers compulsion to none, but simply invite inquiry. However we may differ with the Christian Missionaries in religion, I speak the minds of this Society, and generally of those of the people, when I say that as regards their learning, purity of morals, and disinterestedness of intention to promote our weal, no doubt is entertained throughout the land; nay, they are held by us in the highest esteem. European history does not bear on its record the mention of a class of men who suffered so many sacrifices in the cause of humanity and education as the Christian Missionaries in India; and though the native community differ with them in the opinion that Hindustan will one day be included in Christendom, — for the worship of Almighty God in His Unity, as laid down in the Holy Vedas, is and has been our religion for thousands of years, and is enough to satisfy all our spiritual wants: yet we cannot forbear doing justice to the venerable Ministers of a religion who, I do here most solemnly asseverate, in piety and righteousness, alone are ft to be classed with those Rishees and Mohatmas of antiquity who derived their support and those of their charitable boarding-schools from voluntary subscriptions, and consecrated their lives to the cause of God and knowledge."
Last modified 7 August 2007