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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Instruction from the Government of India to the Resident in Kashmir
April 1, 1889

Legal Document No 25

(Extract)

I am to request you to inform the Maharaja that for a time at least he will be expected to refrain from al! interference in the Administration. He will retain his rank and dignity as Chief of the State; but full powers of government will be Vested in a Council consisting of the Maharaja's brothers and three or four officials selected by the Government of India.

It is not thought desirable that one of these officials should be an Englishman. The President of the Council will be Raja Amar Singh. Besides, retaining his rank and dignity the Maharaja will receive from the revenues of the State an annual sum sufficient to maintain his household in due comfort, and to defray any expenditure which may rightly devolve upon him; but he will have no power of alienating the State revenues, and the sum placed at his disposal, though adequate, must not be extravagantly large.

I am further to request you to make the Maharaja and the Members of the Council thoroughly understand that, although the Council will have full powers of administration, they will be expected to exercise those powers under the guidance of the Resident. They will take no steps of importance without consulting him, and they will follow his advice whenever it may be offered.

In communicating to the Maharaja and others concerned the decision of the Government of India? You should be careful to avoid basing that decision exclusively either upon the letters or upon the Maharaja's resignation. The letters are repudiated by the Maharaja and as 1 have said before they are not of a very novel character; while on the other hand the Government of India are by no means prepared to make the present settlement a matter of compact with the Maharaja, and to accept all the conditions laid down by his edict of the 8th March, for example the five year's limit. You should therefore base the decision of the Government upon a full consideration of all the circumstances, the letters and the Maharaja's wish to retire from the control of affairs being considered amongst other things, but only as portions of a difficult and complicated case, which it has been necessary to settle on broader grounds of general policy.

You should now proceed to work out fresh proposals upon the lines I have indicated. It will be necessary in the first place to define exactly the future position of the Maharaja, the amount of his annual allowance, the expenses which it is intended to cover, the extent of his powers over his own house hold, and generally the conditions which he will have to conform. It will also be necessary to show the proposed constitution of the Council the duties falling upon each of its members, and the method of transacting business. You should also ascertain the requirements of the State in the manner of subordinate officials, and should submit for the approval of the Government your views as to the steps to be taken for reorganising the administrative services. Informing those views you should remember that the Government of India has no desire to turn Kashmir into the semblance of a British district, or to place all administrative posts in the hands of Punjabi foreigners. The want of good native officials makes it necessary to import some trained men from the outside, but the men so imported should be kept as low as possible, and your object should be to form with their help a class of Kashmiri officials who will be capable hereafter of administering the State themselves. It is altogether against the wishes of the Government to interfere unnecessarily with the customs and traditions of a Native State, or to force upon it the precise methods of administration obtaining in British territory. Administrative efficiency is not the only object to be attained in such case, nor, indeed the principal object.

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