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CONQUEST OF SCINDE: A COMMENTARY, THE (hb)2005
Author: OUTRAM
ISBN: 9693517598
Year: 2005
Publisher: SANG-E-MEEL PUBLICATION
Category: HISTORY
Edition: 1
Format: Hard Cover
Language: English
 ABOUT THE TITLE
This book (first published in 1846) was written as a response to General William Napier’s The Conquest of Scinde in which Lieut-Col. Outram was portrayed as an opponent of the British Empire. The author attempts to expose all misinterpretations of his actions during the conquest of Sindh. According to Lieut-Col Sir James Outram Sir Charles Napier mishandled the trust of the Ameers of Scinde (Sindh) in matters of government. To understand the intricacies to appreciate and make allowance for the peculiarities of Oriental character — so as to administer the affairs of native states with advantage to them and with credit to the government of Great Britain — the study and experience of the habits customs and institutions of the people is indispensable. Among Asiatics as among the more civilized inhabitants of Europe there are many apparent anomalies but anomalies only to those who do not understand them; many social legal and political fictions licenses and discrepancies which to those acquainted with the people appear as questionable and absurd as those which prevail in Europe would to Asiatics. Under the system of administration which has raised and supported the mighty fabric of our Indian Empire it may with truth be said that no one is entrusted with political responsibility who is not presumed to have acquired this information and experience. In addition to these intellectual accomplishments there are moral qualifications indispensable to a beneficial exercise of political authority in native states; firmness tempered with forbearance that delicacy which shrinks from giving offence and that magnanimity which avoids taking it — a disposition ever ready to put the most favourable construction on ambiguities and where punishment is not necessary to pass lightly over misconduct. In these qualifications Sir Charles Napier was singularly deficient: not only totally unacquainted with the language feelings and customs of those whom he undertook to manage but rude and domineering in his demeanour prejudiced by anticipation against the Indian character suspicious and distrustful even where there was no reason to doubt the good faith of the native princes and probably from this very feeling of his own incompetency to separate truth from falsehood or discriminate between candour and imposture naturally though it may have unconsciously or even unwillingly led to precipitate an appeal to that weapon of which he felt himself to be a greater master — power of force and the terror of the British arms. To appreciate the provocation which the Ameers of Scinde experienced at his hands it is necessary at the outset to bear in mind that they were independent sovereigns receiving from their own subjects the homage due to royalty and up to the moment of Sir Charles Napier’s arrival continuing to be addressed by all British functionaries in the respectful tone suited to their exalted position and in that conventional language of respect and compliment which Oriental customs has established which Oriental feelings demand which sound judgment forbids to be discontinued and which in fact had been especially enjoined by the supreme authority in India. On his arrival in the country Lord Ellenborough issued rules for the guidance of all political officers in which they were directed on all occasions to manifest the utmost personal consideration and respect to the several native princes with whom they might communicate; to attend to their personal wishes; to consider themselves the representatives of the friendship as much as of the power of the British government; and to be mindful that even the necessary acts of authority should be clothed with the veil of courtesy and regard. To the system thus acted upon from the first in regard not only to Scinde but to all our Oriental relations and enforced by the supreme authority of India the whole course was in direct contradiction. AUTHOR: LIEUT-COL. OUTRAM C.B
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