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36
INTRODUCTION

effective methods of dealing with their enemies. Governments give every encouragement to those who invent new arms or improve old ones. All this is denied to the Indians.[1] Why? Because they are a subject people. Their government cannot trust them. The strength of the native army in India cannot exceed a certain proportion of the British army; they cannot handle the artillery; and numerous other restrictions are imposed upon the possession and use of arms by them. Why? Are they not fit to handle arms? Are they not brave? Are they intemperate? None of these things can be said of them. Yet no Indian can get a commissioned rank, however high by birth or social position, however fit by education. No Indian can be admitted into a military college in India or in Great Britain. Why? Are they unfit, or intellectually and physically imbeciles? The truth is that the Government of India, not being their own government, they cannot be trusted. They can be enrolled as mere soldiers and that only in certain numbers. Beyond that they cannot get any military training or military rank. Nor can the civil population be trusted to keep arms, much less to

  1. The ludicrous extent to which the prohibition to keep and use arms has been carried will be better illustrated by the following incident reported by the Bengalee of Calcutta.
    "A five year old boy of Munshi Ganj Road, Kidderpore, had a toy pistol purchased for one anna. On the 8th of August last the child was playing with it but could not explode the paper caps. A thirteen year lad showed him how to do it. The boy was at once arrested by a beat constable and marched off to the Wat Ganjthana with the fire arm. The boy was eventually sent up for trial at Alipur and the Court fined him three rupees."