It is my firm belief that, if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, merely by the natural operation of knowledge and reglection. I heartily rejoice in this prospect

We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, –a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.

The Syaads are very tenacious in retaining the purity of their race unsullied, particularly with respect to their daughters; a conscientious Syaad regards birth before wealth in negotiations for marriage: many a poor lady, in consequence of this prejudice, lives out her numbered days in single blessedness, although–to their honour be it told–many charitably disposed amongst the rich men of the country have, within my recollection of Indian society, granted from their abundance sufficient sums to defray the expenses of a union, and given the marriage portion, unsolicited, to the daughters of the poorer members of this venerated race. A Syaad rarely speaks of his pecuniary distresses, but is most grateful when relieved.

If you say that the introduction of some representative element even into the Government would be injurious to our community, we ask why and how, and pray when did you receive that revelation — because up to 1884 you yourself acknowledged the necessity of these Legislative Councils being reconstituted upon some representative basis. Then, again, when were you inspired with the idea that the Hindu and the Mahomedan interests are sure to clash at least in this respect? Because up to 1884 you believed in the doctrine of Hindus and Mahomedans having one and the same political interests, and being members of one and the same nation.

I will suppose for a moment that you have conquered a part of Europe, and have become its rulers. I ask whether you would equally trust the men of that country. This was a mere supposition. I come now to a real example. When you conquered India, what did you yourself do? For how many centuries was there no Hindu in the army list? But when the time of the Moghal family came and mutual trust was established, the Hindus were given very high appointments.

The preservation of peace forms the central aim of India’s policy. It is in the pursuit of this policy that we have chosen the path of nonalinement [nonalignment] in any military or like pact of alliance. Nonalinement does not mean passivity of mind or action, lack of faith or conviction. It does not mean submission to what we consider evil. It is a positive and dynamic approach to t such problems that confront us. We believe that each country has not only the  right to freedom but also to decide its own policy and way of life.

Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.

Charged in these historic words, we-the Cabinet Ministers and the Viceroy-have done our utmost to assist the two main political parties to reach agreement upon the fundamental issue of the unity or division of India. After prolonged discussions in New Delhi we succeeded in bringing the Congress and the Muslim League together in conference at Simla.

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