6 NOVEMBER 1936, Page 26

India Without Politics Fon a decade and a half the

face of India has been obscured by the smoke-cloud of politics. NVe have been deafened by the clamour of Federation or an impossible centralised government ; of provincial autonomy and the protection.of minorities ; one candid revolutionary at least had the courage to say that he suffered from the disease of nationalism.- -Under these lowering skies the basic forces in all societies—the social and economic ecindition of the people—have slipped into an unstudied obscurity. Rut with provincial responsibility in sight early next year, and the complement of Federation emerging under the wise stimulus of the Viceroy, they in- sistently demand attention and solution ; they will not wait.

In Lancer at Large. Mr. F. Yeats-Brown has betrayed courage of no mean order. He has turned a deaf ear to the clamour of politics and the-storm of passion which swept over Britain when the new constitution was in the making. The reader will find nothing of those transient issues which racked India and Parliament for weary years ; this conflict was inevitable, and can only go forward in the confidence that it has provided the machinery for a social reform which an exotic government with the best intentions could not attack. Rather he returns to the sympathetic studies of the age-worn philosophies and talks with II ishis and Saddhus which won for Bengal Lancer so wide a public. Here we can wander with his enlightened guidance through the Lord Buddha's country and talk with him, in the monastery of the Hatha Yogis at Gorakhpur; with the Mahant. who is one of the spiritual advisers to the 'Court of Nepal. We can see with his discerning eyes the Tiger Swami-Krislmanand, who tames wild animals by loving them ; and hear the words of Her Holiness Sri Sankari-ma of Bemires, who tells us we all sleep too much. " It makes us heavy. To acquire lightness you must breathe rightly. It is easier to learn that in, the mountains than in the plains." Then to Southern India, 10 the temple of the Sun God, where the visitor, if lie be at all

sensitive to atmosphere, will feel that it towers over him with nit air of menace .and arrogance" , claiming supremacy for the dark forces of Nature.... To the Taj I shall return as long as I live, but to the Black Pagoda never. It is stupendous, unforgettable, a glory of Satan and his angels. Also it is entirely Asian, .whereas the Taj is a bridge between East and West." Does not the contrast go deeper ? Does it not ty=pify the conflict between Moslem and Hindu, just as the austerity of the mosque of Aurungzebe at Benares dominntes the amazing medley of temple and dirt which lies below it ?

Stand with him in a police tower at Allahabad what time two million pilgrims have come to bathe at the junction of the Juntna with the Ganges during the Ardh Kumbh Mala, and recalling that this mighty conflux- represents only two per cent. of the Hindu population, you begin to realise what Hinduism is in India. " Of what are the spectators thinking ? The mind of the Hindu peasant is not particularly mysterious once one knows that it moves on two planes ; the sunlit world of food and sex and weather, and the dim world of temple rites." If we follow Mr. Yeats-Brown to the far north of Holiest Hindustan we learn something of the Asanas or. positions through which ascetics have established the mastery of the mind over the body. True it is that we neglect the body. the most vital of machines; that "only in India is the physical system linked up with the mental and spiritual." ; and that " we need the powers of the whole man to combat the increasing nervous stresses of modern life." Here Lord Border would find himself at one with the Yogis. But I think the reader will return with the greatest pleasure to those pages where Mr. Yeats-Brown tells of his experiences with the Chidambaram Swami on a lonely rock at the southern extremity of the Indian Peninsula. Perhaps because the Stiami, a retired member of the Civil Service and a renowned Vedantic scholar, uses a language the untutored occidental 'rind can follow. And having-read he will endorse the verdict —" What you have shown me is so simple that I feel like ‘Naaman, hankering after the lordlier rivers of Western psychology."

There are those, entitled to respect, who tell us that this is the real India ; that we are worshipping false gods in setting our minds on a constitution based on our own model. When- ever that argument is used my thoughts go back to the wise man who warned me in my Indian work to remember that human forces are not only. static but dynamic. Not the least attractive features of this book are the vignettes—they are so small as almost to be tantalising—which lift the veil shading the explosive forces in India. The vivid picture of Ram Lal the tanner is a grim reminder of the poverty of millions with which no government can be content. • Nay, more ; these millions are multiplying at a prodigious rate;. There has been an increase of thirty-four millions in the last ten years, enough to populate all Poland or all Spain. Well may we ask of " the disaster which is bound to occur, sooner or later, if this frightening fertility continues without restraint." No development of resources, agricultural or industrial, can keep pace with such a growth ; no field of emigration is' open ; even a vast irrigation work like the Sukkur barrage, adding to the watered area a tract as large as the irrigated lands of Egypt, absorbs little more than a year's increase. Not the least of-the sociological problems before the new Government will be, in the words of Edward Thompson, to prevent India from sinking into a vast rural slum. Politics apart, the two greatest problems of India are to arrest the immense waste of agriculture and to break the tyranny of an educational system which produces . superfluous graduates With the deadly monotony of a mass factory.. More should be known of the model settleMent of Dayalbagh, where Sir Anand Sarup -has• given probf of -what can be accomplished

tinder enlightened direction ; this great work ahnost unnoticed in India itself. Here the reception given to Lord Linlithgow's concentration on the improvement of Indiait agriculture is a refreshing sign. The greatest experituent in education is the new Public School at Dehra Dhun, which owes its establishment to the vision of the late Mr. S. R. Das, for the Shantikinetan at Bholpur is hardly likely to surviv=e the inspiration of Dr. Tagore.

These immense tasks are under the Act of 1985 substantially remitted to Indian-,hands. Those -of us who laboured fdr that development may derive some support from Mr. Yeats- Brown's conclusion, though entirely out of sympathy with its principles, that we could not have done otherwise. India and Indian leaders must have, and have been offered, their