24 JANUARY 1891, Page 3

The moderate and sensible Bill of the Government of India

raising the "'age of consent" from ten to twelve, has excited a general spirit of resistance among orthodox Hindoos. The Bengalees, in particular, are nearly unanimous in protesting, and the more varied peoples of Madras, though not so united, are understood to be alarmed and displeased. The cause of discontent, we believe, is not so much the reform itself, which is neither desired nor feared, but an apprehension, reported by the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal to be especially strong among women, that the Government proposes to interfere with the seclusion which shrouds Hindoo family life. So keen is the opposition, that the Government is believed to be wavering, a statement which, if true, would in- dicate that they found the fighting races also opposed to the innovation. The Hindoos of Northern India have remained quite silent, but that by no means shoes' that they are uninterested, and their feeling is of high political moment. We think the Government should adhere to its Bill, but should strengthen the clauses prohibiting police interference between husband and wife, except when demanded by the wife's relatives. The Bill is. a righteous one, and a Bill of the kind is always found after a few years to create a body of opinion in its favour.