Page:Malabari, Behramji M. - Gujarat and the Gujaratis (1882).djvu/33

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17
SURAT.

treated by the officials with studied indifference. And what is the result? The flower of the generation, finding no scope for their talent, and no respect for their birth, degenerate, by degrees, into profligates and malcontents. In a country where rank and title are the prizes of life, those who claim a titled ancestry are literally worshipped by the masses. The people themselves are loyal to the core, though much puzzled by sudden and trying administrative changes; but the number of the educated high-born who feel they are neglected or despised, is on the increase. Let our Collectors and Judges see to this. I do not wish to meddle with politics here; but this particular complaint is so universal in Gujarat, and indeed throughout British India, that a mention of it could not well be avoided. A word to the wise.

Local Celebrities.

I made a very brief stay at Surat, and saw only a few of the local magnates. The most important amongst these may be considered the Náwab of Belá and Meer Gulám Bábá Khán, or as they are popularly called, Bará (big) Sáheb and Chotá (little) Sáheb. I made the latter's