Time for NATO to Close Its Door
The Alliance Is Too Big—and Too Provocative—for Its Own Good
THE Indian Legislature is composed of the Governor-General and the two Chambers -- the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly -- on the analogy of the King, Lords and Commons of the United Kingdom. It was set up by the Government of India Act, 1919, which, in its turn, was the legislative expression of the well-known pledge given by the Secretary of State for India in the House of Commons on August 20, 1917, in the following words:
"The policy of His Majesty's Government with which the Government of India are in complete accord is that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the Administration, and the gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire."
Thus a pledge, given at the very height of the European War, was redeemed without delay; and before the ink was dry on the Armistice agreement, the Secretary of State had drafted the measure which was to offer the peoples of India a larger instalment of responsible government than ever before.
There are two aspects of this departure which are important. The first is that the British Parliament chose the moment of victory for the inauguration of the new Indian Constitution; and the second is that the Constitution is really new. There is no need to labor the first of these points. No candid critic can pretend that the British nation failed to redeem -- and more than redeem -- the political pledges it gave to India during the war. The fact which marks the novelty of the departure was that before the Government of India Act, 1919, was passed, India possessed no legislature in the true sense. The Legislative Councils set up by Lord Morley's Act were in essence an extension, though a large extension, of the then existing system; and their author himself emphatically declared that they were not Parliaments. He was right. And we need not now enquire whether he foresaw the inevitable demand which the rapidly maturing political consciousness of India would provoke. The germ of his policy lay far back in the days of the East India Company; and he made no departure from established principle.
The Government of India Act, 1919, made a new departure: and Lord Chelmsford, then Viceroy, was justified in saying that the new Constitution represented the abdication of autocracy and the inauguration of genuine political cooperation between the governments and the peoples of India. The autocratic power of the Government of India and of the local governments was veiled, not impaired, by the Legislative Councils of the Morley-Minto period (1909); but the change wrought by the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms was so substantial as to amount to a political revolution. No longer are the Provincial Legislative Councils or the Indian Legislature mere consultative committees with certain powers which merely whet inquisitiveness; they are legislatures enjoying large political opportunities. The practice of the Constitution for the past three years proves the truth of this statement, for though the Governor-General still possesses constitutional powers, which may be called the residue of the old autocracy, he has used them so sparingly that no one can accuse him of lightly disregarding the wishes of his Legislature. Moreover, though the Government is not in strict constitutional usage responsible to the Indian Legislature, the history of the Delhi Parliament since 1920 shows that it is responsive to it.
It may be appropriate here, before we review the events of 1921-1925, to glance at the composition of the Legislative Assembly. The Government of India is well represented by the presence of three members of the Governor-General's Executive Council, four or five secretaries to Government, and about a dozen other officials representing various public departments. Considering the fact that most of these men have been trained in the school of administrative efficiency, which regards talk as the enemy of work, they have displayed a remarkable aptitude for parliamentary life. With few exceptions they have upheld the policy of the Government in debate after debate by a combination of skill, candor, and good humor which has done much to promote the growth of good parliamentary traditions. They stand in a position unique in the governments of the world, being the only administration which is in a permanent minority in the House of which it forms a part.
Facing it on the other side of the chamber is the non-official majority, of whom only nine are Europeans, and ninety are Indians. For the most part the members of the majority were new to parliamentary life when they came to Delhi in 1921; but they quickly settled down to their work and throughout the last five years have unfailingly displayed a desire to follow the best traditions of the House of Commons. The nine provinces of India are represented in the Chamber in varying strength according to their population and importance; and, if they vary in strength, they vary even more in quality. At the outset in the first Assembly, 1921-1923, Madras took the lead but lost it to Bombay in 1923. Three or four of the leading members of the Madras group were, and are, men who would make their mark in any Chamber. They are for the most part lawyers, and display a suppleness of mind and an aptitude for debate to which they owed their original hegemony in the Chamber. They lack practical experience, not only of administrative problems, but also of commerce and industry, but their general forensic ability has enabled them largely to conceal this defect. The defect itself would, of course, come sharply into prominence if they were called upon to assume large executive responsibilities.
The only province which approached Madras in parliamentary ability in the first Assembly, and far outstripped it in the second, is Bombay; and it may be said that even at first the Bombay representatives never allowed Madras to have it all their own way. On all occasions when the House was transacting business of a practical kind in legislation or in finance, the more varied experience of the Bombay members, particularly in commerce, gave their speeches a far greater weight in debate. These two provinces stand far ahead of all the rest. One of the surprises of the Legislative Assembly was the comparative mediocrity of the representation of Bengal. It is not so very long ago that Bengal was one of the leaders of political India, but the lack of staying power in her sons and their incurable emotionalism militate against political success, and today the reputation of Bengal in the Legislative Assembly rests mainly on the active part which one or two individuals from Calcutta take in its proceedings. The other six provinces are only remarkable for an individual here and there whom they have sent to represent them. None of them catches the eye on account of the outstanding quality of its general representation; and some time must obviously elapse before, say, the Punjab or the United Provinces, both in themselves vitally important factors in the Indian polity, can reveal their capabilities under the new dispensation.
One other feature may be noted before we pass to the account of work done. A certain number of provincial officials are nominated by the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the respective local governments, to represent often widely differing interests of the nine Provinces at Delhi. In 1921 the local governments seemed to have decided that the Delhi Parliament was a convenient place on which to dump the square pegs that would not fit the round holes of their administration. In consequence they played little or no part in the life of the Assembly. This practice was reversed on the urgent recommendation of the Government of India; and today the provinces are represented in the Assembly by men -- both British and Indian -- who, on notable occasions, have taken an effective part in influencing its decisions.
Generally speaking, the parliamentary standard which the Delhi Parliament has set up for itself is not unworthy of the task which it has to perform. If we remember the comparative inexperience of the great bulk of its Members -- the Council of State (the second chamber) on the whole is the more experienced body -- we may endorse, with some reservation, the good opinion which the Assembly has of itself. It has shown a sense of responsibility in many of its decisions on public policy. It accepted, in the lean years of 1921, 1922, and 1923 (in part), its own share of the odium which attaches to increased taxation: it refused nemine contradicente to ask for the release of Muhammad and Shaukat Ali in 1922 when these two brothers were the fire-brands of the Muslim wing of the Non-Coöperation movement: in the same session it rejected by a considerable majority a resolution demanding the abandonment of what are called "Repressive Measures:" it conducted itself with remarkable decorum, though not without some display of hot feeling, in the debate on the forced resignation of Mr. Montagu over the Turkish Question in 1923: and it has never, for long, practised the art of parliamentary obstruction for its own sake. The Swaraj Party is publicly committed to the policy of extorting constitutional concessions by obstruction -- or what America calls "filibustering"--but it has achieved little by it and is not sorry to find excuses for moderating its former intransigence. Now, remembering that within certain limits the majority can practically do what it likes, this last statement is all the more remarkable for it proves that, by and large, the Legislative Assembly has been animated by a desire to transact business in an orderly fashion.
Cognate to this is the attitude of the Assembly towards the Executive. Relations between the Government and the majority have, on the whole, been friendly, and though some of the debates have given opportunities for the display of sharp racial feeling, this nastiest of all poisons has not affected the personal relation between individual and individual in the Chamber. To this result everyone has contributed in his own degree, and the harmony between the two sides of the House is a credit to both. The patience of the Government has been tried severely on some occasions when the majority, through inexperience, failed to appreciate the difficulties which any executive government has to surmount. These difficulties are in themselves great enough, and they are greatest where, as in India, the Government has not full control over the majority in the Chamber. Adequately to discuss the problem here mooted is beyond the scope of this article, but we may repeat here what has been said often before of the present Indian Constitution, that the situation in which an irremovable executive and an iresponsible majority stand face to face in the same Chamber is unstable and cannot last long.
The formation of parties in Delhi greatly agitated the lobbies at first. The parties themselves remained embryonic for the first three years and will probably represent a somewhat unreal division of opinion until the Constitution itself reaches a more stable condition. As long as the constitutional question overshadows all other Indian political problems, just so long will the formation of parties along lines of genuine political and economic cleavage fail to progress. We need go no further than the proceedings of the political conventions held in Delhi February, 1923 and 1924 for proof of the fact that, when Indians assemble to make a political program, their proceedings are devoted entirely to such questions as the relation between the Government of India and the Secretary of State, or whether the Legislative Assembly shall be entitled to control army expenditure.
When we speak of Indian parties, however, we must remember that party politics as practised in Britain and America is unknown in India. There are a number of loosely strung organisations that call themselves parties, but the lines of cleavage are indistinct, and in most cases unreal. This is partly due to the character of the present Constitution, and partly to the prevailing incapacity of the Indian for large scale organisation. The General Election of 1923 awakened the interest of the average educated Indian in the names and programs of parties; but his choice of a political home is nearly always dictated rather by accidental personal influences than by any definite choice of principle, with the probable exception that the Swaraj party -- ex-Non-Cooperators from Mr. Gandhi's movement -- possesses the attraction of the big unit for the small, by its mass and momentum.
In other lands where the science of politics is more widely studied and the art of politics more effectively practised, the people tend naturally to fall into substantial groups representing definite conflicts of social or economic interests. India is full of such conflicts, but the present character of the Government of India and the prevailing irresponsible nature of the Indian Legislatures, both Provincial and Central, tend to throw all the native Indian political troups into a somewhat heterogeneous alliance of opposition against the Government. The main line of cleavage is, therefore, racial; and though the feuds that rage between Hindu and Mussulman, between Brahmin and non-Brahmin, sometimes reach a climax of the fiercest intensity, neither of them has made its mark as clearly upon the proceedings of the Legislatures during the last three years as the inevitable cleavage between the Indian and the European in India. And this must be so as long as it appears to the Indian that, in all matters vital to his country, the last word of decision rests, not with himself or with his fellow-countrymen, but with the Imperial Parliament in London and its servant, the Government of India in Simla, neither of which, he claims, can really understand the needs of his motherland. Western education has awakened him to his own needs, both political, economic, and social, and has armed him with arguments and precedents to prove that peoples should govern themselves.
The presence, therefore, of those who are not Indians at the seat of power in India explains the apparently artificial alignment of Indian parties. It would be waste of time to describe in alphabetical series the many groups and sects that have moved across the Indian political stage; but a brief record of the parties and personalities engaged in the election of 1923 may be given as an introduction to the situation which has arisen since.
Setting aside the innumerable political sects which so variegated a country as India must always produce, we may say that the mind of India today, like Caesar's Gaul, falls into three parts.
The extreme left or revolutionary wing is held by the Non-Coöperation Party, in which Gandhi is now the only outstanding personality. This party, almost all-powerful three years ago, itself largely the creation of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's strange and striking personality, has undergone a serious decline, amounting almost to paralysis. When Gandhi went to prison in 1923 no one appeared to carry his mantle. The chief organ of Non-Coöperation, the Indian National Congress -- ironically enough under the leadership of those who were professedly Gandhi's most devoted lieutenants a few months before -- publicly threw Gandhi overboard, and has since been engaged in maintaining an elaborate pretence of unity where everyone knows that the organisation is rent with personal jealousy and political dissension from top to bottom. If Non-Coöperation is to be restored as a revolutionary force in India, it must purge itself of its elements of conflict and find an effective program. There is no sign of its being able to do either.
The second Indian party represented a new element, and may be called the party of the White Sheet. It bears the name of Swaraj, which is, perhaps, the most comprehensive shibboleth ever devised to enable people who disagree to pretend that they do not. Literally interpreted the word means "self-rule" or "home-rule." Five years ago Gandhi announced it as the warcry of Non-Coöperation, and wisely refused to define it, though occasionally he gave half a dozen definitions from which you could choose which you liked best. Today it is the name borne by the party led till the day of his death, in 1925, by C. R. Das, of Bengal, a politician who had enough intelligence to realise that Gandhi's old program was politically impossible, and that no leader could embark on the course of Non-Coöperation which Gandhi marked out for himself without deliberately realising that it must lead to bloodshed and revolution. C. R. Das did not want revolution but played with it. Knowing that, in the circumstances, Indian home rule is to be won neither by Gandhi's passive resistance nor by Irish methods, he screwed up his courage to declare publicly that the road to self-government lay through the political institutions set up by the Government of India Act of 1919. This declaration represented a shrewd estimate of present-day political values in India, and at the same time it was perhaps the most abject capitulation that a public man ever made. In a word, C. R. Das confessed in 1923 that he was a blind and blundering fool in 1920.
The Swaraj Party, first under C. R. Das and now under Pandit Motilal Nehru (of Allahabad), therefore represents the dawn of sanity in the ranks of Indian revolutionaries. It must not be supposed that this statement means that anarchical conspiracy and the like do not still rumble underground and may not still break into the open, but it is justified because the greater part of those who were the brains of revolutionary conspiracy in Bengal and elsewhere earlier in the present century have now definitely forsworn the bomb and the dagger and have chosen the path of constitutional reform.
The third party is to be found in the National Liberal Federation of India, a substantial but not too well organised body of educated political opinion which during the three years 1921 to 1923 was well represented in the Legislative Councils of the Provinces, and in the Legislative Assembly and Council of State at Delhi. To the courage of those who called themselves "Liberals" is due the fact that the new Constitution launched in 1921 has had any chance of life at all. These men cooperated with the Government to inaugurate and establish the new Legislatures; and if these bodies weathered the storms of the first three years, the National Liberal Federation and the Government of India may share the credit between them. It would be too much to say that this Federation represents the right wing of Indian politics; and yet, in contrast to the revolutionaries of Non-Coöperation, the Federationists ought rather to be called the "Conservatives" than the "Liberals" of India. Yet this, too, would be misleading, for they are progressive in many senses of the word; and probably for some time to come India will have to look to the personalities of the Federation for her ministers and for administrators.
The broad lines of political division in India are set out above, undisturbed by all the confusing little by-paths and cross-roads that lead nowhere in particular. Anyone who obtains a clear view of the three forces briefly described above and bears in mind the fact that the anonymous entity called "Government" is still the greatest power in India and therefore to be reckoned among her effective political forces, will understand something of the present situation -- a situation in transition -- and in order to simplify the presentation, eliminate from the picture irrelevant and confusing detail.
Let me retrace the steps of this argument for the moment to examine a little more closely the origin and present plight of the Non-Coöperation movement. Though it may be said to be but one more manifestation of Indian unrest, like the Swadeshi and Bengal Partition agitations of ten years ago, it presented a somewhat different character from them. It was born in the general ferment of "self-determination" during the war, but it might never have assumed the menacing aspect of 1920 had it not been for a series of internal events in India which provoked popular feeling. The story of the enactment of certain measures necessary for the defence of India during the war, and of their reënactment in part after the war, is too long to be told here. Broadly speaking, however, what happened was that the Government of India, foreseeing that it would be deprived of those special powers which the Defence of the Realm Act gave it for the purposes of war, decided to reënact, for a time at all events, some of the more essential powers. The Indian counterpart of the British Defence of the Realm Act was due to come to an end six months after the end of the war. Now, in 1919 no one could have foreseen that the official date for the end of the war, that is, for legal and constitutional purposes, would be the autumn of 1921. Hence the apparent need for the enactment of special legislation to deal with the disturbed state not only of India but of the rest of the world in 1919-20. Indeed, the Government of India was justified by the report of a Committee specially appointed to examine the need for legislation of this kind. This Committee, presided over by Mr. Justice Rowlatt and almost entirely judicial in composition, reported that the continuance of certain emergency powers was necessary. Hence the famous Rowlatt Act. Its passage through the Legislature was made the signal for a prolonged outburst of feeling, and once it became an act, it was magnified and distorted by the less responsible leaders of popular opinion into an engine of torture. The irony of the situation, as we look back on it now, is that the act was never put into operation, though its presence on the statute books very nearly wrecked the new Indian Constitution at the very moment of its launching.
At this time Mr. Gandhi held the key to the position. He was at first disposed to give a guarded welcome to the Government of India Act, 1919, which embodied the new Constitution, and gave to India certain real powers of parliamentary government for the first time. Mr. Gandhi had so far believed in the cause of the Allies that he had actually recruited for the Indian Army in Gujarat, his native part of India; but the publication of the secret treaties -- which, as readers of FOREIGN AFFAIRS will remember, created such a stir during the latter part of the war, -- and the subsequent enactment of the Rowlatt Act by the Imperial Legislative Council (India) shook his faith, and on his own confession it was about this time, between the publication of the secret treaties and 1919, that he began to doubt whether any good could come out of Nazareth. None the less, it was not till after the actual provisions of the new Constitution were known that he decided to turn his face against the Government. Even though he had publicly acknowledged that the new bill offered Indians ampler opportunities than they had ever enjoyed, he was so stung by what he called the attitude of official distrust shown in the Rowlatt Act, that he turned finally against the Government and launched Non-Coöperation on its disastrous career.
Two years later, on August 1st 1921, I stood on the brow of Malabar Hill which looks down upon the city of Bombay. The Chaupatti sands were white with great multitudes of Mr. Gandhi's followers assembled to salute the passing of the British Raj and the establishment of Swaraj. Overhead the lowering monsoon sky spread its heavy grey clouds streaked with orange and gold from the sunset in the west. Beneath our feet lay the city spread out along the Island of Bombay. From half a dozen points, columns of black smoke rose from the piles of burning cloth and mingled their darker shades with the monsoon sky. Non-Coöperation had reached its high water mark. All India hung on Mr. Gandhi's lips; and millions of ignorant men and women all over the Indian countryside, turning to him as to a prophet, saluted the Bombay smoke of August First as the sign that Swaraj had come. For had he not promised the day of delivery on the First of August, and was not the smell of the burning of foreign cloth an omen to show that the day of the alien ruler was over?
It has often been asked: What did Mr. Gandhi mean by Swaraj? Not even he himself knew; or if he did, he professed so many interpretations of it that in the end the world was bewildered and forsook him. Swaraj actually means self-rule; and sometimes he interpreted it in the political sense of responsible government, sometimes he interpreted it in the purely personal sense of self-knowledge, self-discipline, self-control. In truth, Mahatma Gandhi cared nothing for politics and knew nothing of it. Statecraft to him was an unnecessary encumbrance in human life, for at the bottom of his heart he believed or professed to believe that the only permanent bonds which can hold human society together are those of good-will and love. The ideal was too high even for him to reach, let alone the common humanity of India; and the policy which he founded on this conception of society naturally broke under the strain of circumstances. He attempted to impose upon his own movement an ideal too high for it; and he confessed himself that he had committed a "Himalayan blunder" in believing that a movement of passive resistence could long remain passive.
Here lay his fundamental error. He and India have paid for it since. But it none the less remains true that his influence, both for good and for evil, stretched more widely throughout India than the influence of any other man in our generation, or perhaps in any other. Non-Coöperation in some of its aspects will soon be forgotten, or will only be remembered as a movement composed of mixed good and evil which was marred by some hideous bloodshed. But whether Non-Coöperation is remembered or not, there is no shadow of doubt that the influence of Mahatma Gandhi will remain, not in virtue of his spinning wheel or his homespun, but in virtue of personal example. It is idle to inquire what personality is, whence it comes or how it can move mountains; but the fact remains that the most novel feature in the whole landscape of India during the past five years has been the awakening of the masses to their political and economic conditions. That awakening is Mahatma Gandhi's work. Thousands, if not millions, of Indians have understood for the first time during these years, vaguely and ignorantly, the meaning of the word "political;" and wherever Gandhi passed, he left behind him an imprint on all minds which will not rapidly be effaced. Therefore, despite all the extravagance, chicanery, corruption and cruelty of the Non-Coöperation movement, the net sum of it is not evil and goes to the credit of its creator.
Why, then, did the ablest men amongst his lieutenants break away from his leadership three years ago, and thereby reduce his political influence to a nullity? In the end it was because they conceived of India in political terms and he did not. They could hardly listen without a smile of ridicule to his paeans of the spinning wheel and his glorification of homespun. Moreover, they realised that the evil flowering of his doctrines at Chauri-Chaura, Bombay, and perhaps also in the Moplah Rebellion, could only bear fruit in severe acts of repression by the Government of India. Knowing full well -- and the knowledge was shared with them by Gandhi himself -- that in a struggle of physical force the Indian popular movement must inevitably be defeated, owing to lack of discipline, lack of cohesion, lack of trust in one another, the political leaders realised in 1922 that the time had come to call a halt on the negative side of Non-Coöperation and to consider seriously a radical change not only in the tactics but in the strategy of the whole Nationalist movement.
A change could only mean one thing. With physical force ruled out of the question, with Gandhi falling into discredit, there remained but one course, the path of Constitutional agitation. Thus it was that within two years of the inauguration of the Constitution by His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught in Delhi, the worst enemies of the Constitution had begun to repent, and, though they veiled their repentance in their professed intention to destroy the Constitution by obstruction from within, having failed to destroy it by violence from without, everyone knew that failure awaited them within the walls of the Legislative Assembly, as it overwhelmed them without. It is true that greater success might have attended their intention to obstruct had they been able to persuade the electorate to return them to the Legislative Councils and to the Legislative Assembly in the autumn of 1923 in larger numbers. As it was, the strength of the Swaraj Party, as the ex-Non-Coöperators called themselves in the Legislative Assembly, just fell short of the numbers necessary to conduct an effective campaign of obstruction; while in the Bengal Legislative Council, though the followers of Mr. C. R. Das were more numerous, and though the Bengal Government played into his hands more than once, the deadlock was only effected by a majority of one or two votes. It is surely significant that, after two years' experience of the working of the Constitution from within, the Swaraj Party should only have succeeded in producing a deadlock in one Legislative Council out of nine.
In the Legislative Assembly the first effect of the entry of the Swaraj Party was greatly to enliven the debates and to produce the first elements of deadlock; but within a year, though the debates themselves remained as lively as ever, the deadlock was resolved and practically all the government legislation, including the Budget and the Finance Bill of 1925, passed through the Legislative Assembly intact. There were several reasons contributing to this result. I place first the discovery which the Swarajists made early in their new career that the Legislative Assembly, as one of the principal instruments of the new Constitution, was by no means a sham and that their influence over the actions and intentions of the Government of India was vastly greater than they had dreamed. Secondly comes the recovery of the Independent Party (ex-Liberals) from the futile position into which they had been manoeuvred, partly by their own lack of judgment and partly by circumstances in 1924. These Independents, though a comparatively small party, were strong enough to hold the balance in the Legislative Assembly, whenever they chose, between the Swaraj Party and the Government of India. At the very beginning of the session of 1924, that is immediately after the General Election, they precipitately committed themselves to join Pandit Motilal Nehru and his Swarajists in a campaign of obstruction, and when three months later the Assembly came to the Budget, the Independents, though they disliked the idea of throwing out the finances of the year, found themselves held as in a vice by their three months' old pledge to the Swaraj Party. Thus, in 1924 it seemed possible that the deadlock predicted by the Swarajists had actually been achieved. Within a few weeks, however, of the end of that session, the Independents showed signs of repenting of their action and when 1925 came round they had resumed their former liberty and played a most effective part in the deliberations of the Chamber.
The daily detail of the proceedings of the Assembly does not concern us here. It will suffice to conclude that the present Constitution, as seen in operation in the Legislative Assembly and in the Legislative Councils, transitional and therefore unsatisfactory as it is, possesses great powers for good. I have often challenged my Indian friends to deny that the Constitution presents them with opportunities of doing things themselves, as well as of influencing the way in which the Government of India does them, which are so much greater than anything they ever enjoyed before that it deserves at least the benefit of the doubt in their minds. This at all events is certain: that -- without the changes wrought by the Constitution of 1919 -- neither in the Indianization of the Civil Service, nor in the measures taken to prepare young Indians for military and even for naval service, nor in the protection of Indian industry, nor in many other directions welcomed by Indian public opinion, would the Government of India have even contemplated the policies which are now in active operation. Take, for instance, the Steel Protection Act of last year. The Government of India, under the regime which prevailed till 1921, would not have proposed the measure, public opinion at home would never have accepted it, and even if the Indian Government had contemplated any departure in this direction the Secretary of State would have forbidden it. Observe now the change which has come over the scene owing to the creation of the new Legislatures. Indian public opinion is not only vocal, but influential, and in many respects effective, for the first time in history. Without possessing the same authority over the Government which the House of Commons enjoys, it has over and over again in the last five years bent the Government of India to its will and thereby shown that the present Indian Constitution is an instrument of large effect.
Whether India is aware of the problems which still lie ahead before the present Constitution can reach a permanent and stable form is at least doubtful. The Legislative Councils of the provinces, for instance, will have to show a much longer and more impressive tale of achievements before they can claim that they have proved that the democratic institutions of the West are a plant which can flourish in an Eastern soil. Moreover, the relation between these Councils and the Central Government is a vital and complicated matter which the average Indian has never studied; and, though the present Indian Constitution appears superficially to wear a federal aspect, no one, either British or Indian, has yet attempted to envisage the whole problem of government in India as a study in Federalism. That the Government of India itself is now aware that the successive changes wrought in the Indian Constitution during the past two generations have brought India to the threshold of Constitutional problems of vast import is shown by the fact that the Viceroy only last autumn ordered the preparation of a monograph on the relations of central and local governments in the principal federal units of the world, as an introduction to the study of Indian Constitutional Reform which will be taken seriously in hand by the Royal Commission of 1929.
India thus presents to the politician, to the historian, and to the political scientist, a study in political evolution without a rival in the modern world.