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Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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on which the Government was entrusted to the Maharaja are con-
tained in the Instrument of Transfer, printed at the end of this chapter. ■*

' From 1863 to i86S was Private Secretary to the (lovernor-Cicneral, Lord I^awrence.

■■' rreviously tutor to the Xawab f)f [owra. (Jii leavint; Mysore lie l)ecanie
Assistant-Resident at Haidaraliad.

■' A distinguished graduate of Caniliridge, and l'rinci|>al of the Kunihliakonam

* The Bombay Government wanted to take ailvantage of this occasion to straighten
their boundary, where it touches -Mysore on the north-west, by annexing the Sorab
tahu] and pari of Shikarpur, Init the Home Government refused to sanction it.


In view of the finaneial straits of the country, the payment of the
enhanced subsidy of lo^ lakhs was postponed for five years : the
Maliaraja's civil list, fixed at 13 lakhs, being also limited to 10 lakhs
for the first five years. A proclamation was issued by the Maharaja
on assuming the government, confirming all existing officers in their
appointments, nominating as Dewan Mr. C. Rangacharlu ; ^ and form-
ing, under him as President, a Council of two or more members, " the
said Council to submit for our consideration their opinions on all
questions relating to legislation and taxation, and on all other measures
connected with the good administration of our territories and the well-
being of our subjects." The duties of the Council have been the
subject of regulation from time to time, and in 1895 certain depart-
ments were placed under each member.

A popular institution formed soon after, of considerable interest and
conceived in the liberal spirit of the times, was a Representative
Assembly, the nature of which was thus stated in an order issued in
August : " His Highness the Maharaja is desirous that the views and
objects which his Government has in view in the measures adopted for
the administration of the Province should be better known and
appreciated by the people for whose benefit they are intended, and he
is of opinion that a beginning towards the attainment of this object
may be made by an annual meeting of the representative landholders
and merchants from all parts of the Province, before whom the Dewan
will place the results of the past year's administration and a programme
of what is intended to be carried out in the coming year. Such an
arrangement, by bringing the people into immediate communication
with the Government, would serve to remove from their minds any
misapprehensions in regard to the views and action of Government, and
would convince them that the interests of the Government are identical
with those of the people. This annual meeting will be conveniently
held at Mysore, immediately after the close of the Dasara festival, which
occasion will offer an additional inducement to those invited to attend
the meeting." The Local Fund Boards (to be formed) were to select
one or two cultivating landholders from each taluq, possessed of general
information and influence amongst the people, and three or four leading
merchants for the District generally. As attendance at the meeting was

* A Srivaishnavii Brahman of the Conjeveram country. He was a Deputy-
Collector under the Madras Government, and had been engaged as an assistant on
the Inam inquiry, when brovight to Mysore by Mr. Bowring in 1868, on the decease of
the Maharaja, to aid in arranging his affairs and settling his debts. He was sub-
sequently made Controller of the Palace, and in 1879 Revenue Secretary to the Chief
Commissioner. Created CLE. in 1878.


to be entirely voluntary, the wishes and convenience of the persons
invited was to be consulted.

The Assembly met for the first time on the 7th October 1881, when
144 members were present, and it has met at the Dasara season every
year since. The numbers rose to 279 in 1886, and have varied from
year to year. The Dewan, surrounded by the chief officers of the
State, reads his Annual Statement, which is translated into Kannada.
The delegates then, District by District, bring forward such matters as
they have resolved upon, which are either summarily dis{)osed of, or
discussed and reserved to be dealt with after inquiry and consideration.
The members in the earlier period were nominated by the Dewan and
the District officers, but from 1885 they were selected by the Local and
Municipal Boards, by this time formed. In 1887 a property qualifica-
tion was imposed ; in 1890 the privilege of election was conceded to
the wealthier and more enlightened classes ; and in 1893 membership
was made tenable for three years. The property qualification for a
member is the annual payment, according to locality, of land revenue
of from Rs. 100 to 300, of mohatarfa (house or shop tax) of Rs. 13
to 17, or the ownership of one or more inam villages with a beriz (total
land revenue) of Rs. 500. The authorized number of members for
each taluq, and for the cities of Bangalore and Mysore, are elected by
those entitled to vote by reason of property or education. Local Fund
Boards, Municipalities, and certain Associations depute a specified
number of members from among their respective bodies. Lists are
maintained of those qualified as members and as voters, Government
servants being excluded from both. The maximum number of
members returnable is 351, and all interests in the country are thus
efficiently represented.

The first measures of the new (Government were directed to
reductions of expenditure. With this view two Districts (Chitaldroog
and Hassan) and nine taluqs' were abolished, as well as the Small
Cause Court and several Subordinate Judges' Courts, while the
number of jails was reduced from nine to three, the Silahdar regiments
from three to two, and District and taluq boundaries were generally
altered. The duties of some of the higher appointments retained were
before long doubled up under fewer officers, with lower designation.s.
These changes caused a feeling of much unrest, and tended to sever
continuity with the past. But the loss of the able Dewan, Mr.
Rangacharlu, who died at Madras on the 20th January 1883, brought
matters to a pause. In consideration of his services the grant of a

' Channapatna, Dcvanlialli, Gudiljanda, Malur, Srinivaspur, Malvalli, Kuralagere,
Arkalgud, Kankuppa.


lakh was made to his family,' and Mr. (now Sir K.) Sheshadri lycr"
was selected to succeed him, a choice which after events have proved
was guided by the good fortune that has watched over the destinies of
Mysore. But Sir James Oordon, who had .safely steered the State
through all the recent eventful changes was now disabled by a paralytic
stroke, and he retired to England, where he died some years later. His
great services to Mysore are commemorated by a statue, the work of
Onslow Ford, erected in front of the Public Offices at the capital.

The changes in the appointment of Resident were frequent after this,
as the following list from the time of the Rendition will show'* : —

Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Gordon Mar. 1881 to June 1883

Mr. J. D. Sandford, acting, May 1882 to June 1883

Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Lyall June 1883 to Mar. 1887

Col. T. G. Clarke, acting, Dec. 1884 to May 1885

Mr. C. E. R. Girdlestone, acting, June 1885 to May 1886
Sir Charles Bernard (did not join)

Mr. (afterwards Sir Dennis) Fitzpatrick Mar. 1887 to Oct. 1887

General Sir Harry Prendergast, V.C Oct. 1887 to Jan. 1889

Colonel Sir Oliver St. John Jan. 1889 to June 1891

General Sir Harry Prendergast June 1891 to April 1892

Colonel P. D. Henderson April 1892 to Feb. 1895

Colonel H. P. Peacock, acting, July to Oct. 1892

Mr. W. Lee-Warner Feb. 1895 to Sept. 1895

Mr. (now Sir) W. Mackworth Young Sept. 1895 to Dec. 1896

Colonel Donald Robertson ... ... ... ... ... Dec. 1896

When it was known that Sir James Gordon would not return to his
appointment, in which Mr. Sandford, the Judicial Commissioner, had
meanwhile been acting, Mr. Lyall, Settlement Commissioner in the
Punjab, was made Resident. During most of his absence on leave,
Mr. Girdlestone, Resident in Nepal, was transferred to Mysore. Mr.

* The Rangacharlu Memorial Hall at ISIysore was erected, partly by subscriptions,
as a monument to him.

^ A Smarta Brahman of the Palghat country, graduated in Arts and Law. He
entered the Mysore service in 1868 as judicial Sheristadar, and from 1879 was Deputy
Commissioner. Had also acted as Controller of the Palace, Sessions Judge, and in
other capacities. Created C.S.L in 1887, and K.C.S.L in 1893. Iri a laudatory
notice which appeared at this latter time of his management of Mysore affairs, Sir
W. W. Hunter described him as a statesman who had given his head to Herbert
Spencer and his heart to Para Brahma.

3 The changes of Assistant-Residents, as below, have been even more frequent : —

Mr. W. J. Cuningham from Mar. 1881

Major H. Wylie ... „



Mr. A. H. T. Martindale ,,



MajorJ. H. NewiU ... „



Major E. A. Fraser ... ,,



Major D. Robertson ,,



Mr. L. W. King



Major D. Robertson... ,,



Mr. F. E. K. Wedderburn ,.



Mr. E. G. Colvin ... from Dec. 1888

Mr. J. A. Crawford ... „ Apl. 1889

Captain L. S. Newmarch ,, Oct. 1889

Major C. W. Ravenshaw ,, Apl. 1891

Mr. H. V.Cobb ... ,, Aug. 1893

Major C. W. Ravenshaw ,, Nov. 1893

Mr. H. V. Cobb ... ,, Apl. 1895

Captain K. D. Erskine ,, June 1895


Lyall was eventually appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, and
Sir Charles Bernard, Chief Commissioner of Burma, was nominated,
l)Ut being almost immediately transferred to the India Office, did not
join, and Mr. Fitzpatrick, Legislative Secretary to the Government of
India, received the appointment. On the transfer of the latter to
Assam,' Sir Harry Prendergast became Resident, and when he left for
Baroda, Sir Oliver St. John* succeeded. Sir Oliver was afterwards sent
to Baluchistan, and died a few days after arrival at Quetta, Sir Harry
Prendergast' then again held office till the appointment of Colonel
Henderson, Superintendent for the Suppression of Thuggee and
Dacoity. During the latter's absence on leave, Colonel Peacock acted,
and on leaving Mysore became Consul-General at Baghdad. Colonel
Henderson retired in 1895, and Mr. Lee- Warner, Political Secretary to
the Boml)ay Government, succeeded."* But in a few months he was
transferred to the India Office, and Mr. Mackworth Young, Financial
Commissioner in the Punjab, was appointed. At the end of 1896 he
in his turn was made Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, and Colonel
Donald Robertson, Resident at Gwalior, took his place in Mysore. The
office has thus been filled by distinguished men of every variety of
service and experience.

In the policy continued under the new Dewan measures to [irovide
against a recurrence of famine had still the foremost place. Railwavs
and irrigation works were recognized as the most potent agents to this
end. The latter, however, are subject to the drawback that, being
largely dependent on the rains, they are liable to fail in a time of drought
when most needed. Railway construction was therefore pushed on,
and by the end of 1884 there had been completed 140 miles of State
railway (Bangalore to Mysore, and Bangalore to Gubbi), from current
revenues and a local loan of twenty lakhs. This line was then
hypothecated to the Southern Mahratta Railway Company on terms
which allowed of its being extended to Harihar from capital borrowed
in England, and this portion was opened for traffic in 1889. A line
from ]?angalore to Hindupur was afterwards completed in 1893 from
State funds. The tracts that suffered most from the famine were
thus effectually provided for, and the Mysore railways were linked with
those of the Bombay and Madras districts beyond. The fear of famine
was not unwarranted, for in 1884 and again in 1891 great anxiety

' Subsequently Resident at Ilaidarahad and Lieutenanl-Clovernor of ilie I'unjal).

- Had served in Persia and Abyssinia, as Trincipal uf the Mayo Chiefs' College at
Ajniere, and as Political Agent at Kandahar.

^ After a distinguished military career, ending with his capture of Upper Hurnia,
on which he was made K.C.Ij. , was successively resident at Travancore, Baroda,
Beluchistan and Mysore.

•* Colonel Henderson was created C.S.I, in 1S76, and Mr. Lee-Warner in 1S92.


arose from failure of the rains, especially in the north, and relief
works had actually been devised when rain fell and the prospect
changed. A short line from Mysore to Nanjangud, admitting of the
transport of timber floated to that point from the southern forests,
opened in December 1891, and one for the Gold-fields in 1893 were
constructed in the same manner, and a line from Birur to Shimoga
decided on. The fifty-eight miles of railway open at the time of the
Rendition thus increased to 315 by 1895, and surveys had been made of
lines from Nanjangud to Gudalur, Nanjangud to Erode, and Arsikere
via Hassan to Mangalore. The latter may now be carried out.

Irrigation works had all along been receiving particular attention, and
all available funds were devoted to the carrying out of large projects in
tracts where they were most required. To 1895 the expenditure under
this head amounted to 100 lakhs, making an addition of 355 square
miles to the area under wet cultivation, and bringing in an additional
revenue of eight and a quarter lakhs. With this addition 1,558 square
miles are protected by irrigation. Another very important measure was
the granting of loans for digging irrigation wells, of which 1,078 had been
completed, benefiting 7,000 acres, against loans aggregating four lakhs.

The reductions in establishments previously referred to were com-
pleted in 1884, and a Chief Court of three judges was formed, the Chief
Judge being a European. Next year Inspectors-General were also
appointed for Police and for Forests. The revenue in the first three
years after the Rendition was generally stationary, but in the fourth
year it declined, owing to the drought. The payment of the enhanced
subsidy was therefore again postponed by the British Government for
ten years more, while the revenue administration of the Assigned Tract,
forming the Civil and Military Station of Bangalore, was transferred
entirely to the British Government, which retains the surplus. The
former measure relieved financial pressure, and allowed of the Districts
and Taluqs abolished in 1881 being again formed. During the next
ten years the revenue continually rose until in 1894-5 it reached i8oi
lakhs. Expenditure on a large and liberal scale had also meanwhile
continued on all works and purposes of public utility. The famine debt
was extinguished in 1888, and a commencement was made towards
paying off the railway loan. In shori, in place of the net liability against
the State of 3of lakhs in 1881 there were in 1895 net assets of over
176 lakhs in its favour. This result was not due to new taxation in any
form or shape. Next to good seasons, it was the effect of natural
growth, under the stimulus afforded by the opening out of the country
by means of new roads and railways, the execution of important irriga-
tion works and the general expansion of industries ; also in some
measure of an improved management of particular sources of income.


A Department ot" Agriculture and Statistics was formed in 1SS6, and
an Agricultural Exhibition held in 1888. The Revenue Laws were
codified, the time for paying assessments was postponed till after the
produce could be realized, and agricultural banks were started in 1894.
But the importance of promoting industrial enterprise in a country so
largely dependent on agriculture was clearly seen. Coffee-planting had
been much assisted by the substitution in 1S81 of an acreage assess-
ment on the land in place of the old lidlat or duty levied on the
produce, and the area under coffee has since increased by twenty-eight
square miles. But the most remarkable industrial development has
been that of gold-mining. The first indication of profit from this
source was in 1886, and in that year a preliminary examination of
auriferous tracts in the State was carried out. The liberal terms
granted to encourage gold-mining on a large scale by European
Companies had a good effect, but the principal returns obtained so far
have been in the Kolar gold-fields. What was a desolate waste has thus
become a great industrial town, employing nearly 10,000 labourers.
The 16,325 ounces of gold extracted in 1886-7, valued at about
9 lakhs, rose every year, until in 1894-5 the quantity reached 234,859
ounces, valued at ^844,271, or about 150 lakhs. The royalty, with
premia and deposits on leases, paid annually to the Mysore Govern-
ment, increased in the same period from half a lakh to more than
75 lakhs. Cotton and woollen mills were brought into operation at
various times, and the silk industry revived. In 1889 liberal con-
cessions were granted with the view of promoting the establishment of
iron works on a large scale in Malavalli, and as an aid a railway from
Maddur to Sivasamudram was proposed. But as yet this scheme has
not been carried out. In 1894 a (Geological Department was formed
to scientifically explore the mineral resources of the State.

The Medical Department was early reorganized, and medical relief
extended to all parts by the appointment of local surgeons, the
establishment of taluq dispensaries, and the appointment of trained
midwives. Sanitation and water supply in the principal towns received
jiarticular attention, and extensive works were carried out in the cities
of Mysore and Bangalore, both of which had large additions made to
their area. The prospects of the Educational Department were much
improved, and vernacular and primary instruction greatly extended.
The higher staff was strengthened and female education made marked
l)rogress. Charges which in the time of reductions had been thrown
on local funds were in 1889 again met from provincial funds: a
more liberal expenditure followed, and the numbers under instruction
rose accordingly. Archceology, which had already received attention,

448 JirSTOKY

was spccinlly provided for, to rillow of thu numerous and valuable
inscriptions throughout the country being copied and published. A
much-needed Muzrai Department, to control the funds and manage-
ment of temples, was formed. Also an Excise Department, to regulate
the manufacture and sale of spirituous licjuors. A corps of Imperial
Service Lancers was enrolled, to aid in imperial defence. An Observa-
tory, well equipped with meteorological instruments, has been recently
established at Bangalore.

An important measure was the transfer in 1889 of the Anche or
ancient postal service of Mysore to the British Imperial post-office.
This amalgamation, though at first opposed as being an abrogation of
one of the Maharaja's privileges, has proved of great convenience to
the public and economical to the country. A scheme of State Life
Assurance was introduced about the same time, for the benefit princi-
pally of the subordinate classes of officials, to enable them to make
provision for their families. And in order to secure well-qualified men
for the higher administrative posts, a Civil Service scheme was adopted
in 1 89 1, providing a competitive examination of an advanced standard
to be passed by accepted candidates, while a fixed scale of salaries was
laid down. More recently an interdict on early marriages was passed.

The foregoing review, though not exhaustive, will sufficiently serve
as evidence of the liberal and enlightened system of administration
pursued under the Native Government established in 1881. Since
then Mysore has received more than one visit from the Viceroy of the
day. In 1886 the Earl of Dufferin was here, and the following extract
from one of his speeches indicates the impression made upon his mind
by what he saw : — " Under the benevolent rule of the Maharaja and of
his dynasty, good government, enlightened progress, universal peace
and the blessings of education are everywhere ascendant, and there is
no State within the confines of the Indian Empire which has more
fully justified the wise policy of the British Government in supplement-
ing its own direct administration of its vast territories by the associated
rule of our great feudatory Princes." The lamented Prince Albert Victor
had visited Mysore in 1889 and derived great pleasure from the elephant
keddahs. The Marquess of Lansdowne followed in 1892, and among
other expressions of approval said : — " There is probably no State in
India where the ruler and the ruled are on more satisfactory terms, or in
which the great principle, that government should be for the happiness
of the governed, receives a greater measure of practical recognition."

But Mysore, thus flourishing and placed in the front rank of the
States of India, was doomed to suffer a bitter loss at the end of 1S94.
His Highness the Maharaja had gone on a tour as usual in the cold


weather to the north, accompanied by all his family. On his arrival at
Calcutta at the end of December, a slight throat affection, which he had
been feeling for a few days before, developed into diphtheria, and so
rapid was the progress of the disease that in spite of the best medical
skill he suddenly expired on the 28th. The people of Mysore were
simply stunned by the shock which this sad news created, so utterly
unexpected. The entire press of India, with all the leading journals
in England and other countries, were unanimous in lamenting that a
career so promising had been thus cut short, for the Maharaja's virtues
and the interest of his country had become known far and wide.

Dignified and unassuming, his bearing was that of the English
gentleman. An accomplished horseman and whip, fond of sport, a
liberal patron of the turf, and hospitable as a host, while at the same
time careful in observance of Hindu customs, he was popular with
both Europeans and natives. His palace was purged of all former evil
associations, and the Court of the Queen in England was not purer in
tone than that of Mysore under the late Maharaja. He was devoted
to his family, and of a cultured and refined taste which led him to take
special pleasure in European music and in works of art. He was also
diligent and conscientious in attending to business. The rainy season
was spent partly at Mysore and partly at Bangalore ; in the cold
weather a tour was undertaken to some other part of India, and the
hot weather was passed on the hills at Ootacamund. He had thus
travelled much and been brought into intercourse with most of the
leading men in India, who were impressed with his high character.

The installation of his eldest son, Maharaja Krishna Raja W'odeyar,
then ten years old, was performed at Mysore, by the Resident, Colonel
Henderson, with all the customary ceremonies, on the ist of February
1895, ^t noon, at the moment of the conjunction of Mercury and
Venus, which had been conspicuous objects in the evening sky for
some days before. Her Highness the Mahdrani was at the same time
proclaimed Regent. The education of the Maharaja, while a minor,
is being conducted in a manner suited to his rank and prospects.'
His intelligence and disposition augur well for his future. The present
\'iceroy, the Earl of Elgin, visited Mysore at the end of 1S95, and his
advice to the Maharaja, in view of the cares thus early in life thrust
upon him, was not to hasten to be old too soon.

Here this history, so eventful and full of incident, now ends. Mysore
has played no inconspicuous part in the past, and a great future

' Mr. J.J. Whiteley, of Cooper's Hill Kni^inccrint; College, was appointed as tutor
some time before the father's dealli. Mr. S. M. Fraser, of the Iioinl)ay Civil
Service, has since been appointed.



doubtless yet lies before it. In the century now closing it has been
an example of the complete failure of purely native administration,
conducted without reference to European advice, and of the con-
spicuous success of administration on Western lines by Europeans and
natives combined. As history tends to repeat itself, these lessons
should be pondered.

Instrument of Transfer/

Whereas the British Government has now been for a long period in
possession of the territories of Mysore and has introduced into the said
territories an improved system of administration : And whereas, on the

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 53 of 98)