Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya

Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya
Speeches & Writings

Employment of Indians in the Public Service


In seconding the following resolution of the Eighth Indian National Congress held at Allahabad in 1892 Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya said:—

That this Congress hereby places on record its deep regret at the resolution of the Government of India on the report of the Public Service Commission in that—


(a)   Whereas, if the recommendations of the Public Service Commission had been canted out in their integrity, the posts proposed to be detached from the schedule of the Statute of 1861 would have formed part of an organised Service specially reserved for the natives of India; the resolution of the Government leaves these posts altogether isolated, to which appointment can be made only under the Statute of 1870;



(b)    Whereas, while 108 appointments were recommended by the Public Service Commission for the Provincial Service, 93 such appointments only have actually been thrown open to that Service the number to be allotted to Assam net having yet been announced;



(c)   Whereas, while Membership of the Board of Revenue and Commissionership of a Division, were recommended for the Province of Bengal and some other Provinces, the Government has not given effect to this resolution:


(d)    Whereas while one-third of the Judgeships were recommended to be thrown open to the Provincial Service, only one-fifth have been so thrown open.



I rise to second this resolution more as a matter of form than of necessity; because, in the first place the subject has been discussed very fully in previous Congress, and, in the second place, the very lucid speech of my esteemed friend Mr. Gokhale, renders it unnecessary for me to offer any further remarks to show the reasonableness of the proposition before you. If you look back at the arguments addressed to you in previous Congresses, you will see that the worst apprehensions which were expressed regarding the results of the Public Service Commission, have been realised and that very few of the recommendations which tended to our benefit have been accepted (Shame). It is, really a matter for deep regret that it has been so. It cannot but pain us, people of India, to find that though we have been agitating for the last thirty years for an adequate share of employment in the public service of our country, and though our claims to such share have been repeatedly recognised in the most solemn manner by the Queen and Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland, we are not upto this time allowed a free and fair scope in the matter of that service. (Cheers). Acts of Parliament and the Proclamation of the Queen have laid it down that Natives of India will be freely admitted to every post the duties of which they may, by their integrity and ability, be able to discharge. But in actual practice their claims are deliberately and shamelessly Ignored and Europeans are pitch forked into places of emolument which Indians are by their ability and character fully qualified to fill. (Cries of shame, and loud cheers). This, gentlemen, has become a question of the most serious importance. It is one in which the most vital interests of the people are involved. We are not prompted to ask for a more extensive employment of our countrymen in the public service simply for the pleasure of seeing them there. If our county were not being drained of its money year after year by the inordinate employment of persons whose home it is not, and who would not make it their home, (hear, hear, we would never have given such painfully earnest attention to the matter as now giving. (Loud cheers). But this ceaseless drain is making India every day poorer and poorer, dir is the duty of ever well-wisher of the country to endeavour to stop or check it, as best as he can (Cheers).


It is hardly necessary for me to tell you what amount of drain the employment of non-domiciled Europeans causes on this country, but if you permit me, I will give you a few figures taken from a Parliamentary return of the annual salaries of officers employed in India in 1889-90 to give you an idea of what that drain is. The paper I quote from, is dated the 31st March 1892. It shows that amount persons drawing salaries ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per annum, there were 1,207 Europeans. 96 Eurasians and 421 Natives of the country, and they drew respectively in the aggregate—Europeans 88 lakhs, Eurasians 6 lakhs, and Natives of this country lakhs per annum. (I leave the fractions out). In posts with salaries ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 per annum, there were 713 Europeans, 8 Eurasians, and 45 Natives, and the salaries they respectively drew were represented by 97 lakhs for Europeans, 1 lakh for Eurasian, and 5 lakhs for Natives of the country. In posts with salaries varying from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 there were 300 Europeans, 2 Eurasians, and Natives of India—the total of their salaries being 72 lakhs tot Europeans, Rs. 46,000 for Eurasians and Rs. 95,000 for Natives. These figures relate to the Civil department. 1 need not trouble you with those relating to the military and other departments, though I have got them in my hand. I will give you the total of what was given in the shape of Salaries to Europeans and Natives respectively in India in 1889-90. The Europeans numbered 13,178 in all the departments—I am only speaking of posts with salaries of Rs. 1,000 and upwards,—the Eurasians 3,309, and Natives of the Country, 11,554. But the salaries which they respectively drew in the aggregate were Europeans Rs. 8,77,14,431. Eurasians, Rs. 72,96,026 and Natives, Rs.. 2,55,54,313; that is to say, the Europeans drew 9 crores nearly as against 21 crores drawn by Natives. (Hear hear).


So far as regards salaries. Consider now the pensions which Europeans and Natives received respectively. Natives of India received in pensions here its. 59,81,824 only, while the amount of pensions drawn in England alone by Europeans came up to £3,710,678. (Hear hear).


I think I need not trouble you with any more figures, as I think those I have given, speak sufficiently eloquently. They show there is a great and inordinate drain of India’s money because of the inordinate employment of Europeans in the higher ranks of the public service. If you analyse, these figures, if you go into the lists of the different departments, and separate the Civil from the Military, you will be further astonished at the result. The greater portion of all the good posts are reserved for Europeans, while the children of the soil get the smaller appointments, carrying small salaries with them (Cries of shame.)


This is one of those causes which is at the bottom of the increasing poverty of the people of this county. About the poverty there cannot now be the slightest doubt. Lord Dufferin’s Government did doubt the accuracy of the statements made about the poverty of the people, and he, therefore, appointed a committee of enquiry's, the result of which was embodied in the now we known resolution of October 1888. That resolution says that there is evidence to show that there is a great deal of poverty in the country; and with that fact established, and with the knowledge that in this country the average annual income per head is only, £2 as against £39 per head in England,—I think, no man can for a moment doubt that the result of the present system of getting out excessively highly paid Europeans for employment in the higher ranks of the Indian Service, must have a most disastrous effect on the prosperity of this country. (Loud cheers)


I shall not take up much more of your time. I only hope that this ruinous condition of things will not be allowed to go on much longer (applause); but if it is, I do not know what the consequences will be. European officials of Government come here for only a short period of time, say twenty or twenty-five years at the utmost. They feel therefore, as a rule but a temporary and limited interest in its welfare. But we who live here permanently have to suffer the consequences of good or bad administration for all time. It is, there-fore, that we beg of them to govern the country economically and well. And it is as a means to that end, that we ask them to substitute the comparatively cheaper indigenous talent and industry in place of the highly costly imported foreign agency in the administration. (Cheers). And I devoutly hope they will no longer refuse to listen to this voice of reason and justice. (Renewed Cheers).


This question of the services has engaged the attention of Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji ever since the year 18S5, and he is anxious that this Congress should re-affirm the resolution that until simultaneous examinations are held in India as well as in England, full justice will not be done to the people of this country, He is so anxious that we should do so, because he intends to bring the matter before Parliament. You know Mr. Dadabhai has fought many a battle in connection with this question. It was through his endeavours that the Act of 1870 was passed by Parliament, He had, of course, hoped for very much better thing's from that act, but all the good it was expected to do was nullified by the way the appointments were made under it. We too complained of the Statutory Service, not because it was a Statutory Service, but because the discretion vested in the Government was exercised in a faulty manner. We asked that simultaneous examinations should be held in England and in India, but we did not expect that while that concession would not be given to us, the Statutory Service would be practically abolished. But when we hoped and prayed for better things, the little that we had has been snatched away from us with cruel hands. Such is the justice our rulers have come to administer to us now!


(Cries of shame, shame). However, it is clear that so long as simultaneous examinations are not held in this country and in England, it is idle to expect our countrymen to enter that service in sufficiently large numbers. We only ask for simultaneous examinations here and in England, though, as Mr. Dadabhai said at the first Congress, the right thing would be to hold examinations for admission into the Civil Service of India in India only, (cheers) because those that want to enter the Civil Service of India should take the trouble to come to India to compete for it. (Cheers), It is singularly unjust to compel the people of this country to go ten thousand miles away from their country, to pass an examination to qualify themselves for service in their own country. (Loud applause), No other people labour under such an awful disadvantage. Must we alone be subjected to it because we are the subjects of a strong power like England? (Loud cheers). England, we know, bas got the strength of a giant, but she should not use it as a giant in enforcing unfair terms and conditions against a people, placed by Providence under her care, but should allow her nobler instincts to guide her in this matter as they have guided her in many others, and see that we ate governed practically, and not merely theoretically, in consonance with those noble principles of justice and good government which her honoured Sovereign and her statesmen have laid down for the purpose, anti which guide her in the conduct of her own affairs. (Cheers). We pray only for a fair field and for no favour. (Loud and prolonged applause).





Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya