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Bang (hemp seed mixed with water) is the favourite intoxicating beverage with all the lower classes, because it is cheap. The Sindhian takes his draught of this nauseous preparation with all the gusto that distinguishes an Englishman and his glass of grog. Those who can afford it, drink spirits distilled in the country from dates or sugar. The royal potation, however, is Curaçoa, or any of the French liqueurs. On many occasions the Parsís' shops, established on the Indus at the British military stations, were completely glutted of these articles to answer the demands of some of the Amirs, so fond did they become of these more palateable preparations. The Hindús are not a whit behind their Mahommedan
neighbours in this vice, so unusual in the East Yet it is very rare to see an intoxicated person: the effect is great excitement, and the Bilúchis ere going into action are always stimulated by bang. A certain madness then takes possession of them, and they become desperate, combining phrenzy with fanaticism.
Independent of other influencing circumstances, such as climate, position, &c. in the character of a people, much must result in its formation from the peculiar form of government under which they live; and thus in Sindh many of the causes are obvious why its inhabitants hold so low a standard in general estimation. A despotism of the most selfish kind has for ages induced the inhabitants of that country to look upon the exercise of their faculties, or development of their capacities, as leading only to further exactions. Industry and talent would have proved misfortunes rather than advantages to the possessor; and activity of mind or body be only sources of evil to those who displayed them. The consequence is a complete torpor of the human intellect, and of course a generally debased condition of the mass of the people, whose sole end and aim has been, not to improve the country or their own state, but to provide barely sufficient for their own wants; knowing that beyond these they would only contribute to the rapacity of their rulers, whose demands were in exact proportion to the capacity of their subjects to give :-to be pros
perous in Sindh was a certain source of calamity. The Sindhians do not want for good faculties, and if encouraged would soon be induced to display them on their own soil, and not, as heretofore, seek elsewhere for bringing them into notice. The best manufacturers and artisans of the country emigrated, seeking that protection in foreign service which was denied them at home.
The above are influencing causes, however, which do not militate against the claims of this people to a higher character than that generally conceded; and the author's experience is not, he believes, singular in pronouncing them entitled to a more favourable judgment on closer acquaintance. The standard of morality in Asia is too low to admit of any comparison with our own; a fact seldom kept in view in treating of the characters of its varied people; but in Sindh the inhabitants have at least the advantages of good temper, hospitality, and the social virtues to recommend them; and few travellers have traversed the country without drawing favourable comparisons between its people and those further north or north-west. Let us not then hastily imbibe prejudices, or judge too harshly of those whose faults are the results of circumstances, over which they have no control, but whose rude virtues, though few, are their own.
Productive Qualities of Sindh-not estimated by its Possessors. - Prosperity under Hindú Rule. Soil of Sindh.-Geology. -Dust and Ventilators to Houses-Irrigation-Methods of. - Canals and Water-courses. System of Husbandry.Tools employed.-Preservation of Grain.Seasons for Crops.-Grain Productions. -Wheat.-Juwari. Other dry Grains.-Oil Plants.-Products of commercial Importance. Cotton. Indigo. - Opium. - Sugar-cane.— Hemp. Tobacco. Drugs and Dyes. -Wool. - General Results.
WHEN nature has done much for man, we find him little inclined to acknowledge it, and apparently apathetic to the advantages he possesses; this is particularly exemplified in the East, where a luxurious climate induces to lassitude and inertia, and where man's wants are few and easily supplied.
It would perhaps be impossible to find a country possessing greater productive capabilities than Sindh; yet, from the conquest of this province some thousand years since to the present time, its resources appear to have remained undeveloped or inadequately appreciated by its possessors. In its river it has sources of fertility equal to those of Egypt, with the advantage of not being subjected to variety, for the waters of the Indus are more regular in their return than those of the Nile.
Under the Hindús, the historians describe Sindh as having been an exceedingly rich and prosperous country: its fertility was the theme of universal praise; but under its Moslem conquerors and subsequent rulers its claims to these titles have been so impaired and at length so completely obliterated, that neighbouring countries, though totally deficient in means of irrigation and subject to failures of rain and consequent famines, evince in the improved condition of their inhabitants far greater prosperity generally than the highly-favoured region of Sindh. Once, during a short Hindú interregnum in the fifteenth century, Sindh is said to have revived somewhat of its former reputation, but the period was but brief, and it soon relaxed into its usual neglected and impoverished state.
Under the late Bilúchi chiefs of Talpúr this fine tract was appropriated principally to hunting grounds, and the revenues of the country gradually diminished even below their former standard.
The soil of Sindh is of varied character: that near the river is a stiff clay or rich loam; and as the land recedes from the limits of the inundations it becomes light and sandy. The deposits of the inundation are a white clayey surface, which generally has a depth of about two or three feet, and is succeeded invariably by fine sand; the soil of the southern division is a lighter texture generally than that of the upper division, and is proportionably less productive; there is not a rock or stone of any