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expense of the country. The soil, instead of being made to yield the increase of which it is so highly capable, was, except the small proportion allowed by the chiefs for their own revenue purposes, wasted or applied to barbarous uses of harbouring game; and where cultivation was carried on it had not the decided encouragement which it merited. Of the people, the Bilúchi military tribes, or those partaking in a system which secured them such decided advantages, were of course highly satisfied, and enjoyed the full benefit of a policy in which they were so immediately interested; but their condition was that of perfect barbarism and bigoted ignorance. The other classes of inhabitants being sunk in a state of degraded apathy, were not capable of estimating any other objects than those of a mere animal existence, and, though not treated with actual cruelty or tyranny, were yet the sufferers of a selfish despotism acting on their condition, though they knew not how. As compared to other states, their position was lower than that of all others around them: their wants were few and easily supplied, and hence their tacit submission to a system which had become habitual.
The British government throughout its Indian history has generally experienced the same condition of states as that of Sindh in the same stages of society as that in which we found this country; and its efforts have been invariably directed, and wisely, to gradually introduce a better order of
things, and by placing misgovernment and liberal policy in palpable juxtaposition, prove by degrees, though infallibly, the advantages of the former to the power and position of the ruler, no less than the condition of the subject. It has not sought by sweeping reforms and general revolutions to overturn old systems, and erect thereon at once its own superior fabric; for such methods, however anxious our government has been to abolish abuses, would only have tended to defeat the object in view, it having been proved that nothing is so difficult as to induce faith in the honesty of intentions, or at once eradicate distrust and jealousy from barbarous minds, whilst argument is useless in attempting to prove the errors of their modes of government. The history of our connection with Sindh is strikingly illustrative of the difficulties encountered in treating with its chiefs, though as steadily overcome by the distinguished public servants who have had to lay the foundation of a more liberal policy, by pleading its cause with that ignorant and therefore arrogant court. The Amirs of Sindh latterly, there is every reason to believe, were becoming gradually awakened to a sense of their errors of government, and individually could be brought to acknowledge them; but the princes were not, it must be kept in mind, the parties to be alone consulted: there were those about them to whose opinion they were bound to pay every respect, if not obedience, who looked upon the slightest alteration
as direct innovation, and all improvement as totally opposed to their interests-hence the difficulties to be contended with. Probably no form of rule and class of rulers with whom we have been brought into contact in the East presented so many obstacles to reformation as that of Sindh, and no court required from its peculiar construction so much diplomatic address and talent as this in dealing with it: how abundantly both were displayed will soon appear. We take leave of this part of the subject by repeating our former observation, that, condemning as we must, on civilised principles, the whole system of Sindhian government as applied to the condition of the people and country, we do so in pity only at the want of enlightenment which occasioned it, and would temper our observations, where they appear harsh, by every allowance for the circumstances of those whose acts are called in question.
Importance attached to Sindhian Trade.—Exertions of British Government.-Apathy of Chiefs.-Poverty of Sindh as applied to Trade. Real State and Prospects of Trade, home and provincial.-Internal Trade.. Commerce with Countries to the N. W.-Importance of Shikarpúr.-Exports to Candahar.No other Trade of any Extent.- Pali Jeysulmir. — Tattah Manufactures exported.-Commerce, how to be extended.Indus. Steam Navigation.-Hindú System of Trade. — Central Asia not to be abandoned commercially.—Effects of Steam Navigation.-Time, Risk, and Expense saved.—Bilúchistan and Kilat. Countries of Upper Indus how at present supplied.-Change to be effected.-General Review. -Weights and Measures of Sindh.- Value of Currency.
GREAT importance has at all times been attached to the trade of the river Indus; and Sindh occupying so prominent a position as the key of the whole river, has thus obtained a commercial celebrity which in itself, as a consumer of manufactures, it has hitherto but little merited; it is still, however, intimately connected with the commerce of that river, being the entrepôt and great line of communication between the sea and Central Asia, as also the countries to its north and northeast, and is, without doubt, capable, under altered circumstances and in course of time, of producing large demands, and of furnishing valuable staples in return, so that its trade generally, whether of home or transit, deserves particular attention,
and though a dry subject to ordinary readers, will, it is hoped, from its importance, be permitted a space in a work which proposes to convey useful information.
The unceasing efforts which the British government has made to establish commercial relations with Sindh, and to procure an unimpeded road up the Indus to the merchant, will appear in the history of our connection with the country, a connection which had its origin, and has continued till lately, for this particular purpose: but the policy of the Sindhian rulers have, on the contrary, been directed to prevent as much as possible this traffic, either through their country or by the river, or by the subjects of other states, as they viewed it with political jealousy, and could not be brought to look upon it in any other light than that of innovation. Their own policy has been shown to have been little adapted to foster trade in their own dominions and amongst their own subjects; and but, that a portion of these (the Hindús) were persevering and indefatigable merchants, whom no disadvantages or discouragement could arrest, the comparatively small transit of merchandize through Sindh would have ceased altogether, and it would have scarcely imported more than its own necessary supplies: such for many years back has been the state of trade in Sindh, and it has thus been continually languishing and retrograding under the evils opposed to its development. Whilst such