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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Kharita from Partap Singh to the Viceroy
July 25, 1888

Legal Document No 18


The Government of India have decided to accept in principal the scheme which His Highness has put forward, and your own alternative proposals have for the present been set aside. In coming to this conclusion the Governor-General in Council has not overlooked the fact that the Maharaja's Scheme is open to many objections and that partly on account of His Highness's personal character and partly for other reasons, it is not unlikely to prove a failure. But before sanctioning any measures which would have the effect, directly or indirectly, of taking all power out of the Maharaja's hand, the Government of India have felt that it would be just and right to allow the Maharaja a further opportunity of showing whether he is competent to discharge the duties of a responsible ruler. If after full and fair trial it becomes evident that he is wholly incapable of conducting the administration of the State the proposals which you have submitted will be reconsidered.

In the meantime I am to ask you to afford the Maharaja every assistance in your power with regard to the reorganisation of his Council and all other matter upon which he may consult you. The Governor-General in Council does not desire you to press upon him your own views as to these matters. You should understand that the responsibility for the success or failure of the present experiment will rest upon the Maharaja, and your aim should be to meet his wishes in every possible mender, not refusing your advice when His Highness asks for it, but avoiding any course of action which might prevent him from feeling that the Government of India desire to allow him the fullest opportunity of proving his fitness. You should help His Highness as much as possible in doing this, but you should not insist upon the advantage of any measure which he disapproves, however desirable it may seem to be in his own interests.

You will notice that the Government of India have declined to permit the employment of Babu Nilambar Mukerji as member of Council in charge of the revenue administration. If the Maharaja should raise the question of employing him in any other capacity, you may inform His Highness that the Government of India do not consider it desirable that the Babu should return to Kashmir. With reference to the question of principle where the Maharaja is at liberty to employ Native British subjects without the consent of the British Government, you should give His Highness to understand that the interpretation of the treaty of 1846 with regard to this point is no longer open to discussion. The Government of India desire to give the Maharaja all possible assistance, and he trill always find them willing to place at his disposal the services of competent British Officials; but they must maintain their right to be consulted before any British subjects receive employment within the State.

The enclosed kharita points out to the Maharaja the urgent necessity for a thorough examination in to the condition of tine Kashmir finances. This is evidently a point of the greatest importance, and you should use your influence to bring it to the special notice of His Highness and his advisers.

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