In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of Forrest’s comment, which occurred in his chapter on Agra, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. — George P. Landow]

The Moghul emperors have left behind them some of the most beautiful buildings in the world as monuments of their rule, and the English have erected some of the ugliest, but the administration of the Moghuls will not bear comparison with our more prosaic and less splendid rule. We have given the natives peace, order, and security, for anarchy and oppression. But it behoves England to ponder well upon the task which her brave soldiers and illustrious statesmen have set her in India. To preserve her Empire she must do more than dig canals and build railways, material monuments of dominion. The besetting sin of a bureaucracy of foreigners is a blind belief in administrative machinery. During our century of rule we have made but little impression on the people. All we have done is to civilize administratively,and in doing so not only old mismanagements but “reforms and taxations new” have produced their inevitable harvest of misery and disaffection. This cannot be met merely by legislation, but by the instruction and enlightenment of the people. Contact with the West has created changes in social relations and religious feelings, and the mental and moral agitation, the hopes and aspirations of the educated classes, must not be ignored, but guided by a wide, thorough, and liberal education. It is very insecure to reign supreme on the frail foundation of being the welcome composer of political troubles and the constructor of great public works. The sewage system of Rome was a wonder and model to the world, but the Roman Empire perished. [180-81]


Forrest, G. W. [On title-page: “Ex-director of Records, Government of India”]. Cities of India. London: Archibald Constable, 1903. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 25 November 2018.

Last modified 26 November 2018