Reader: You have said much about
civilization-enough to make me ponder over it. I do not now know what I
should adopt and what I should avoid from the nations of Europe, but one
question comes to my lips immediately. If civilization is a disease and
if it has attacked England, why has she been able to take India. and why
is she able to retain it? Editor: Your question is not very difficult to
answer, and we shall presently he able to examine the true nature of Swaraj; for I am aware that I have still to
answer that question. I will, however. take up your previous question. The
English have not taken India., we have given it to them. They are not in India
because of their strength, but because we keep them. Let us now see whether
these propositions can be sustained. They came to our country originally for
purposes of trade. Recall the Company Bahadur. Who made it Bahadur? They had not
the slightest intention at the time of establishing a kingdom. Who assisted the
Company's officers'? Who was tempted at the sight of their silver? Who bought
their goods? History testifies that we did all this. In order to become rich all
at once we welcomed the Company's officers with open arms. We assisted them. If I
am in the habit of drinking bhang and a seller thereof sells it to me, am I to
blame him or myself'? By blaming the seller shall I he able to avoid the
habit? And, if a particular retailer is driven Away will not another take his
place? A true servant of India will have to go to the root of the matter. If an
excess of food has caused me indigestion. I shall certainly not avoid it by
blaming water. He is a true physician who probes the cause of disease, and if
you pose as a physician for the disease of India, you will have to find out its
Reader: You are right. Now I think you will not have to argue much with me to
drive your conclusions home. I am impatient to know your further views. We are
now on a most interesting topic. I shall, therefore, endeavor to follow your
thought, and stop you when I am in doubt.
Editor: I am afraid that, in spite of
your enthusiasm, as we proceed further, we shall have differences of opinion.
Nevertheless, I shall argue only when you stop me. We have already seen that
the English merchants were able to get a footing in India because we encouraged
them. When our Princes fought among themselves, they sought the assistance of
Company Bahadur. That corporation was versed alike in commerce and war. It was
unhampered by questions of morality. Its object was to increase its commerce and
to make money. It accepted our assistance, and increased the number of its
warehouses. To protect the latter it employed an army which was utilized by us
also. Is it not then useless to blame the English for what we did at that time?
The Hindus and the Mohammedans were at daggers drawn. This, too, gave the Company
its opportunity and thus we created the circumstances that gave the Company its
control over India. Hence it is truer to say that we gave India to the English
than that India was lost.
Reader: Will you now tell me how they are able to
Editor: The causes that gave them India enable them to retain it.
Some Englishmen state that they took and they hold India by the sword. Both
these statements are wrong. The sword is entirely useless for holding India. We
alone keep them Napolean is said to have described the English as a nation of
shopkeepers. It is a fitting description. They hold whatever dominions they have
for the sake of their commerce. Their army and their navy are intended to
protect it. When the Transvaal offered no such attractions, the late Mr.
Gladstone discovered that it was not right for the English to hold it. When it
became a paying proposition, resistance led to war. Mr. Chamberlain soon
discovered that England enjoyed a suzerainty over the Transvaal. It is related that someone
asked the late President Kruger whether there was gold in the moon. He replied
that it was highly unlikely because, if there were, the English would have
annexed it. Many problems can be solved by remembering that money is their God.
Then it follows that we keep the English in India for our base self-interest. We
like their commerce; they please us by their subtle methods and get what they
want from us. To blame them for this is to perpetuate their power. We further
strengthen their hold by quarrelling amongst ourselves. If you accept the
above statements, it is proved that the English entered India for the purposes
of trade. They remain in it for the same purpose and we help them to do so.
Their arms and ammunition are perfectly useless. In this connection I remind you
that it is the British flag which is waving in Japan and not the Japanese. The
English have a treaty with Japan for the sake of their commerce, and you will
see that if they can manage it their commerce will greatly expand in that
country. They wish to convert the whole world into a vast market for their
goods. That they cannot do so is true, but the blame will not be theirs. They
will leave no stone unturned to reach the goal.