I went to India with the conviction that the English had done a great work there by bringing order out of chaos. Setting aside the belief held by so many Christians that the Almighty had sent the English to India "to convert the heathen," I believed, because I had been so taught, and had so read, that the English had found Mahomedans and Hindus fighting together in India, and that if England withdrew to-day from her unselfish task of keeping order, then Indians would fight among themselves until Russia, or some other European Power, took the control of Indian affairs. But historical documents have shewn me that during the years of Mahomedan supremacy in India—roughly speaking from the time when William the Conqueror went to England until the battle of Plassey—less fighting was carried on in India than in Europe. The power of the Mahomedan Emperors waxed and waned, and never touched some parts of India; and during that long period, Mahomedans and Hindus were more homogeneous in India than English and Indian people have ever been, or are to-day. It has been considered politic to write of things in India as England would like them to be; but now that our Indian fellow-subjects are greater students of modern Indian history than Englishmen take the trouble to be, it is wiser to state facts than to spread fancies. [17/18]
Related material by Margaret Harkness
- The British View of India and Ignorance of Its History
- If Aurungzeb had been a different man . . .
- Harkness on India
Law, John. [pseud., i.e. Margaret Harkness]. Glimpses of hidden India. Calcutta [etc.]: Thacker, Spink & co. [1909?].
Last modified 19 December 2018