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HONOUR TO THE DEPARTED.
country---Calcutta, Delhi, the Punjab, Bombay, Madras; numbers of all ranks, poor as well as rich, Englishmen as well as Natives, join willingly in honouring his memory. And there he is !--the raw beggar-boy of 1824, who was bred up in a charity-school, and left it in-utter poverty; who found himself rejected and ridiculed wherever he sought for an opening in life, and who felt the necessity of contenting himself in the mean berth of a copyist on ten or twelve rupees a month at a common auctioneer's-transformed into the well-known, intelligent, public man, whose loss is reverberated in sorrow as a national blow through the entire country; the hero, who stands as a public monument, to live, to attract the admiring gaze of generations yet unborn!
These are the two contrasts presented by Baboo Harrischander to the reflective mind, at the beginning and at the close of his life. His name is yet fresh—the sad event is only recent; and his deeds and his name, still resounding throughout the country, are held in grateful remembrance. There is yet much blowing of trumpets, much noise; we are deafened somewhat by the din. But is his career worthy of imitation ?
Boldly yes!-Baboo Harris is worthy of imitation.
But in investigating the grounds for this opinion, we must consider— 1st, what he did ? 2nd, what were the internal circumstances of his life that led him to achieve the aim of his ambition? 3rd, what were the external circumstances that helped him in his life ? Ath, what deductions are we to draw from a study of his life? 5th, how exemplify them in our lives ? -with other circumstances of interest, connected with the requirements of our country and the duties of our Government, that may, in passing, be evolved in our consideration of each of these investigations. Some of these heads we will pursue distinctly, and even with vehemence and force; and others, especially the two last, only cursorily--these being left to the reader for distinct elaboration.
MEANING of the expression Young India.-Two divisions of
this class always distinct but always confounded.--Exclusion of Young India from his proper position.-Government and Mercantile reserve.-Patricians and Plebeians in India. Danger to Government from this distinction.—Harris's misfortune under the present levelling system.-He commences as a Clerk on Rs. 10.-His removal to the Military Auditor's Office. His strong intellect first perceived by Mr. Mackenzie and Colonel Champneys. They aid its development.-His rise in the Office.-Commences the Bengal Recorder Newspaper.-Its failure.—Establishment of the Hindoo Patriot.-Suicidal policy of Lord Dalhousie.—The Mutinies.—Harris's manly position.-Mention of his writings and character by Mr. Norton of Madras, and Dr. Russell of the London Times.-Suppression of the Mutinies.—The cry of the Bengal Ryot.-Harris's unwearied exertion in his cause.-His ultimate success.
.-The British India Association. -Harris's services with it.—The climax of his Fortune.- His End.
What did Harris do? Why the events of the life and career of a clever or talented young Indian under the British Government can be neither many nor remarkable. And here we are tempted to enter into a long dissertation on the hopes and aspirations of “ Young India," and the cruel bars that cramp their energies and exertions; but while reserving that for some future occasion, to be dealt with at sufficient length and according to its intrinsic importance, it is considered advisable here to touch on the subject in a cursory manner.
“Young India,” the name whereby the rising generation of this country has been designated, is an expression of such ambiguity and vagueness that some use it sneeringly of the enlightened generation, as expressive of the low habits and tastes which are to be seen in a certain class of our young countrymen ; while others, in their application of it, connote some of those bright traits of mental and moral worth associated with the character of the rising generation. Used so differently, it has been a matter of doubt whether the name is expressive of contempt or praise. The fact, however, is, “Young India," instead of being one class, comprehensible under one description, consists of two grand classes, as distinct from each other as they could be wished or made. These classes have nothing common in them save their young age, which is neither's work, while in character and bearing, they stand so distinct as to answer nicely the contrariety of interpre.
“ YOUNG INDIA” ANALYSED.
tation. There is the young gentleman of good education and morals, and there is the young gentleman of the insolent and fast-going race; there is the young generation with diplomas and medals from colleges and universities, and there is the young generation with only impudence to surpass its ignorance; there is the
Young India” of books and work, and there is. the “ Young India” of the bottle and dice; and were a distinction so wide always maintained, neither would the one class be unmeritedly censured, nor the other unnecessarily praised.
The first class certainly presents a bright picture for India ; for if he has any fault, it is perhaps in his acquiring too great a preference of English taste and feelings. It is well that it is so; and Young India would ere long have occupied his proper position under a more liberal and enlightened Government. At present, however, while he acquires all the essentials of action, his ambition is cribbed, cabined and confined within a narrow sphere after an anomalous fashion. For what is all education but the means of preparing for a sphere of action; and where is the sphere of action for Young India ? Government patronage is so exclusive and mean, that he is de barred from