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of each month; and there should be supported by every paper, not one writer (as now), but a corps of writers, each conversant with a subject of interest, and able to handle it in a masterly manner. It is very doubtful, if capitalists, embarking property in such an undertaking, would lose by it; certainly a great public benefit would be conferred on society. On the other hand, there is so much difficulty in organizing any public combinations in Calcutta; there is so much mutual forbearance, and so much general friendship to those, who already are connected with the press, that the effort to establish a new journal would be made with great reluctance.
That the attention of increasing numbers of individuals will be called to the subject, as the number of British residents increases, and the interest of public questions deepens, on the approach of the New Charter, we cannot doubt; and whatever may be Captain Richardson's influence with his friends, there will be a large class beyond his circle, who will be disposed to encourage the attempt to establish new journals, if the old ones are to be made subservient to his purposes, and to print and to conceal all that he desires about his personal grievances, month after month, as they have done of late usque ad nauseam.
II.-The Kayastha Koustabha, 3 vols. By Rajnarayan Mittra, Barma.
THE Hindu Shastras have interposed a wide gap between the first three, and the last, of their four original castes. The Brahmin, the Kshetriya, and the Vaishya, whatever their relative difference in point of rank and standing, are all gentlemen; the Sudra is a serf. The first three are honoured with the title of twice-born, or regenerate; they have access to the treasures of learning locked up in the Vedas ; they are invested with the sacred thread, which is the badge of Hindu regeneration; they are subject to a comparatively mild penal code. But the Sudra is a once-born race; he is incapable of regeneration. He occupies no higher position in the republic of Hinduism, than the Negro does in the United States. He has no privileges, but what the twice-born classes choose to concede. He has no security, but such as the compassion of his superiors may give him. His services may be compelled, his goods may be plundered, his person may be injured, with almost perfect impunity. He is excluded from the study of the Shastras; he is not at liberty even to hear the Vedas read. He must be satisfied with such instruction, as the Brahmin may dole out to him. He must receive respectfully, and obey implicitly, whatever the priest teaches.
The political humiliation of the Brahminical system has, however, proved a source of great relief to the Sudras. The Brahmin could not assert his right to oppress the servile class, when Menu was no
longer allowed to rule the consciences of princes. The successive conquests of India by the Muhammadans and the British have caused the complete emancipation of the Sudra. In some places the tables may be considered as turned. The Brahmin, no longer venerated in the state merely for his sacerdotal character, is gradually sinking into insignificance. He is now obliged to toil for his livelihood, and to adopt trades and occupations, ill befitting the sanctity of his order. The once-born Sudra, from having at one time been his slave, is now in turn become his patron.
The pure Sudra order is now supposed to be extinct. Its place is supplied by a multitude of classes, all reckoned as once-born, and labouring under the same disabilities with the Sudra in the estimation of the Hindus. Of these classes, the Kayastha is the most distinguished in Bengal.
The author of the pamphlets before us is a gentleman of this caste. He has written three works to wipe off from his order the disgrace long attached to it as a servile race. In his opinion, his order has been unjustly kept down, as a "once-born" class. He thinks the Kayastha is not a sub-division of the Sudra caste. object of his pamphlets is to make good this theory by an examination of different texts of the Vedas and Puranas.
Our author's theory is, that the Kayastha is either identical with, or at least equal to, the second or military race. His ideas seem to be a little confused in this respect. The Kayastha, he maintains, is a descendant of Chitragupta-the Indian Radamanthus— who sprang from the body (Kaya) of Brahmâ. He is therefore a separate order and equal to the Kshetriya in honour and dignity. Many texts are cited in support of this theory. Some of them do speak of Chitragupta, as sprung from the body of Brahmâ, and give the definition of the word Kayastha, so as to uphold the author's views. Still we do not know that it necessarily follows, that the Kayasthas of Bengal, and the Kayats of the North West, are lineal descendants of Chitragupta. There is no genealogy to appeal to: nor is there any other evidence than conjecture from the word Kayastha itself.
The author has not however confined himself entirely to theory. He has boldly acted up to his views, and thereby set an example not unworthy of consideration by the educated Hindus. A party of Kayasthas has already been formed, who call themselves Kshetriyas-who repudiate the idea of servile submission to Brahmins— and who affix the word "Barma" to their signatures, as the Brahmins affix "Sarma." They have done more. They have invested themselves with the sacred thread, which is forbidden to the Sudras; and they repeat the mystical Gayatri, which the once-born dares not even hear.
The Neo-Kshetriyas of Lower Bengal withhold intercourse from such members of their class, as are unconscious of their natural dignity as the sons of Chitragupta, and continue to live in servile dependance on the Brahmins. The Rajah of Andúl has placed
himself at the head of this sect, which will probably become a new and separate caste in a few years.
The Brahmins, naturally jealous of innovations, are no great friends to the new Kshetriyas. A few pandits have, however, sub. scribed their names to a paper, favouring the opinions of our author. The great body of the Kayasthas, who have not joined the Rajah of Andúl in asserting their claims to the honour of a twice-born race, is also strongly opposed to the movement.
But the author of the Kayastha Koustabha continues to proclaim his views with indefatigable perseverance. He has projected a periodical, published once a fortnight, under the title of the Koustabha Kirana, in which he unfolds and illustrates his novel theory of the origin and claims of the Kayasthas, and uses both general and special pleadings in its support. It is conducted with considerable ability, and bears evident proofs of industry and research. The Koustabha Kirana does not however bring, any new proofs in support of the author's position. It presents under various colours the same argument, that is contained in the Kayastha Koustabha.
III.-An Act for extending the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII., of 1832, of the Bengal Code, throughout the territories subject to the Government of the East India Company. Calcutta, 1849.
WE have already expressed our favourable opinion of this just, necessary, and urgently required act. The Native Christians are a large and increasing body. As a class, they are better-instructed, and have a far higher standard of morality, than their countrymen ; and, as subjects, they are almost the only portion of the people of this land, on whose entire fidelity the Government can unhesitatingly rely. To brand the conscientious reception of its own faith as a crime, and to punish only those, who are honest, sincere, and earnest, while perfect impunity is allowed to the chattering Babús, who scoff at their own Shastras, and break all the laws of caste notoriously, would seem to be an absurdity too gross for the governments (if such there be) of Dahomey, or Timbuctú. The moment that such an anomaly falls under the eye of an enlightened legislature, it must be blotted out.
Those of our readers, who wish to know more on this subject, will find it admirably handled in the Calcutta Christian Observer, for March, 1850. Our main object at present is to introduce to them the following remarkably able Memorial, presented to the Governor-General by the Native Christian community, and drawn up by one of themselves. It disposes, in masterly style, of the objections urged in the so-called Hindu Memorial; and is a proof of the intelligence and energy of that body, whom some of the jealous and less worthy of their own countrymen affect to decry.
To the Most Noble the Marquis of Dalhousie, Governor-General of India in Council,
The Memorial of the undersigned Native Christian inhabitants of Calcutta and its vicinity.
That your Memorialists have noticed with great gratification, in the Calcutta Gazette of the 31st October 1849, the Draft of a proposed Act, read in Council for the first time on the 26th October last, entitled "An Act for extending the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, of the Bengal Code, throughout the territories subject to the Government of the East India Company." They cannot help expressing their thanks for this proposal to extend the principles of toleration and of liberty of conscience throughout the Presidencies of this vast Empire.
The principle of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, is so obviously one of justice and equity, that it would be entirely a work of supererogation, and therefore an unnecessary trespass on your Lordship's time, if your Memorialists expatiated upon it. The maxim of the British Government is toleration to all creeds, and equal protection to all sects, of whatever religion, who are peaceable and loyal subjects. It is only consistent with that maxim, that the persecuting rigor of an antiquated law, compiled in an unenlightened age, should be softened by the dictates of equity and toleration.
But your Memorialists have been equally surprised and distressed to learn, that a certain number of their countrymen, describing themselves as "Hindu_inhabitants of Bengal, Behar and Orissa," have presented a Memorial against the above-mentioned Draft Act," as an encroachment on the integrity of those laws, under which the Hindus have hitherto lived, -at any rate from the period, under which they have been subject to the rule of the Crown of Great Britain."
It is a contradiction in terms, my Lord, to say that any individuals or bodies can have any rights or privileges, which are oppressive to their neighbours, and are subversive of liberty of conscience;-or that they can have a right to do what is wrong. Nor can it be a hardship to one portion of a nation to be deprived of the power of trespassing on the freedom of another portion, or of inflicting penalties on it, on the plea of difference of opinion.
But your Memorialists beg to submit, that "the laws, under which the Hindus have hitherto lived," are inseparable from the Hindu religion, the precepts of both being founded on the same authorities. There is no authorized code of laws distinct from the institutes of religion. To preserve "the integrity of the laws under which the H indus have hitherto lived," would be to preserve in their integrity the institutes of Menu, and all the sayings of all the sages, who are held sacred by the Hindu population.
True it is, that the Dáyabhága and the Mitákshará are acknowledged, the one in Bengal, the other in the Upper Provinces, as legal authorities distinct from religious institutes. But the author of the Dayabhága is no greater authority in law, than Raghunandan, the author of the Astábinsati Tuttwa, is in religion. Both are mere compilers: and their only title to the veneration of the Hindus is their conformity to the Shastras-the statute law of Hinduism. The legal validity of the Dayabhága proceeds from the sanction it has received from British judges, administering the Hindu law. But since that law was entirely set aside by the Muhammadan rulers of India; and since there are no authentic reports of any judicial
proceedings previous to the Muhammadan conquest; there is no evidence on record of the Dayabhága having ever been acknowledged as a code by any Government in India before the establishment of the British supremacy.
The "integrity" of the Hindu law, therefore, which the Hindu memorialists of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa appear so anxious to preserve, can mean nothing less than the integrity of the institutes of Menu, and of the other Shastras held sacred by the Hindus. Those institutes were however composed in a rude and unenlightened age, when the prin ciples of jurisprudence were little understood; and they contain enactments, civil as well as criminal, which are inconsistent with sound policy, justice, and equity, and which the Hindu memorialists themselves would perhaps be unwilling to see enforced without_modification. Menu's code was intended to perpetuate the social degradation of the Sudra or servile caste, and to establish the supremacy of the Brahminical order. Many of the Rajahs and Zemindars in Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, are Sudras by caste. They can scarcely be supposed to entertain so suicidal a desire as that of enforcing all the laws of Menu. The undue elevation of the priestly class, and the unjust depression of the Sudra, would be the natural consequences of that law.
"A king," says Menu, even though dying with want, must not receive any tax from a Brahmin learned in the Vedas." Chap. vii. 133.
Clauses, such as this, can never receive countenance from an enlightened Government; nor can the Supreme Council sanction such invidious and barbarous enactments as the following:
"Never shall the king slay a Brahmin, though convicted of all possible crimes; let him banish the offender from his realm, but with all his property secure, and his body unhurt. No greater crime is known on earth than slaying a Brahmin; and the king therefore must not even form in his mind an idea of killing a priest." Chap. viii. 380, 381.
"But a man of the servile class, whether bought or unbought, he (the Brahmin) may compel to perform servile duty; because such a man was created by the Self-existent for the purpose of serving Brahmins.
"A Sudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released from a state of servitude; for of a state, which is natural to him, by whom can he be divested?
"A Brahmin may seize without hesitation, if he be distressed for a subsistence, the goods of his Sudra slave; for, as that slave can have no property, his master may take his goods." Chap. viii. 413, 414, 417.
A once-born man (i. e. a Sudra), who insults the twice-born with gross invectives, ought to have his tongue slit, for he sprang from the lowest part of Brahma.
"If he (the Sudra) mention their (the Brahmins') names and classes with contumely, as if he say, 'Oh Devadatta, thou refuse of Brahmins,' an iron stile, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red hot into his mouth.
"Should he through pride give instruction to priests concerning their duty,, let the king order some hot oil to be dropped into his mouth and his ear.
"If he seize the Brahmin by the locks, or by the feet, or by the beard, or by the throat let the king without hesitation cause incisions to be made in his hands.' Chap viii. 270, 272, 283.
It would be alike disrespectful to your Lordship's Council, and, to our Hindu countrymen themselves, to suppose for a moment that the former can advise, or the latter can desire, the prevalence of such barbarous ordinances as the preceding.
The personal security of the Hindu memorialists themselves, the vast