U*J CHAPTER II. The People. General Survey of the People. — India is divided into two classes of territories ; first, Provinces under British rule ; second, States under Native Chiefs. -The population of the whole amounted in 1891 to 288 millions, or more than double the number estimated for the Roman Empire in the height of its power. But the English, even more than the Romans, have respected the rights of Native Chiefs who are willing to govern well. Such Chiefs still rule on their own account about one-third of the area of India, with over 66 millions of subjects, or nearly a quarter of the whole Indian people. The British territories, therefore, comprise only two-thirds of the area of India, and over three-quarters, or over 221 millions, of its inhabitants. The Native States. — The Native princes govern their States with the help and under the advice of a British Resident, whom the Viceroy stations at their courts. Some of them reign almost as independent sovereigns ; others have less power. They form a great body of feudatory rulers, possessed of revenues and armies of their own. The more important exercise the power of life and death over their subjects; but the authority of all is limited by treaties, by which they acknowledge their ' subordinate dependence * to the British Government. The British Government, as Suzerain in India, does not allow its feudatories to make war upon each other, or to form alliances with foreign States. It interferes when any Chief misgoverns his people; rebukes, and if needful
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/36
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