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deration of the wickedness of the custom, the future punishment threatened in the sacred books, and the displeasure of the British government, they bound themselves to renounce the. practice of infanticide, and to expel from their tribe any one who should in future be guilty of it. .
The question anticipated and answered by Lord Teignmouth, in adverting to this tribe and this monstrous barbarity, in a communication to the Asiatic Society, will have suggested itself to every reader.
It will naturally occur to the Society, to ask, by what mode a race of men could be continued under the existence of the horrid custom which I have described. To this my documents enable me to reply, partly from: the exceptions to the general custom, which were occasionally admitted by the more wealthy Raj kumars ;' more particularly those who happened to have no male issue ; but chiefly by intermarriages with other Raj-pul fanulies, to which the Raj-kumars were compelled by necessity.'
The second chapter contains a much more ample account of this practice as prevailing in Kutch, a maritime tract near the eastern mouths of the Indus, and in Kattywar, which is the country name for the peninsula of Guzerat. The full evi, dence of its existence then was first obtained by Mr. Duncan, when at Surat and Bombay, in 1800, and several following years. The first unquestionable testimony from natives was given by a man of consequence in Guzerat; and the fact was confirmed in communications from Capt, Seton, who was on a political mission at the principal port of Kutch, and afterwards, with still more ample statements, by Major Walker, the Resident at the court of the Gaikawar, a potentate of considerable, but not very defined dimensions,* in Guzerat, Capt, Seton wrote, in answer to Mr. Duncan's inquiries, that in the family of the Rajú of Kutch, 'every female infant born of a Ranni, or lawful wife, was immediately dropped into a hole dug in the earth, and filled with milk, where it was drowned.' The law was not extended to those of the Rajah's female children whose mothers were slaves. Captain S. added, that the whole tribe or cast to which the Rajah belonged alsa destroyed their daughters, except two persons, who saved each a daughter, through fear of not having heirs of any sex.' He then enumerated other tribes who were in the same practice, but specified one ribe, the Soda Raj-puts, who turned its prevalence among the rest to most excellent account, by rear· * There is, however, a large portion of writing allotted to the explanation of his titles, and the detail of the plots, assassinations and petty revo. lutions, that form the history of the dynasty, or rather state, since the time of Aurengzebe. His titles import that he is, among other qualities, * the staunch, magnanimous, brave Pripce, like upto lodra, a warrior of prowess in the use of arms. si
ing their daughters to sell for wives to these other tribes. When these preserved females become mothers, it might be supposed,' says he, 'that they would be averse to the destruction of their daughters; but' from all accounts it is the reverse, as they not only assist in destroying them, but when the Mussulman prejudices occasionally preserve them, they hold their daughters in the greatest contempt, calling them majeri, thereby insinuating ihat their fathers have derogated from their military cast, and become pedlars.' This last par of the statement he confirms in a communication made after a progress through Kutch, in 1808. Such,' he says, 'is the barbarous inveteracy of these women,' (the daughters of the Sova tribe!,
that when married to Mahommedans, they continue the same practice, against the inclination and religion of their husa, bands; destroying their own progeny without remorse, in view of the advantage of the tribe from which they are descended, whose riches are their daughters.'
The preyalence of such a practice was thought so monstrous aui anomaly, that it seenied desirable to accumulate, for the assurance of persons remote from the place, evidences of the fact in greater number than would have at all been neces. sary in any other case; and the testimonies of several natives of Guzerat, of some distinction, are put on record, along with that of Capt. Seton. They thus express themselves, relatively to the Jarejahs, the chief tribe in point of digity in Guzerat.
• The established practice is, that when a child is born, if it be a son, every observance of joy and gratulation is attended to; but if it be a daughter, she is immediately put to death, on the plea, that if they bring up a daughter, it behoves them, when she has attained a fit age, to give her in marriage to some one; a concession which they consider as the in. curring the highest reproach : though, if it should happen, as an extraordinary exception, that any one should preserve his daughter, and rear her to maturity, her father becomes anxiously solicitous to procure her a hus. band of unexceptionable rank and character ; but in that case, the parents of the maiden thus exempted from the common fate, become the scorn of all others, young and old, who hold them in the greatest contempt: nein ther do such occasions occur but rarely.
• Being asked how the infants are destroyed, Damaji Kutcheruz said, . that, as he has heard, when a woman is in labour, a pot of milk is placed in the room ; and if an unfortunate female is produced, the nurse immediately drowns it therein. He has frequently, he says, asked poor persona, of this tribe, how they put their female children to death ; and they have always answered, by making them drink milk. The midwives are the only persons accessary to this horrid deed ; and this is their language.'
The chiefs of Kaltywar are tributary to the Guikawar, the chief personage in Guzerat, with which personage the Honoura. ble Company (the Kanipry Saheb Behadur,or Mighty Lord Company, as Mr. Moor says it is often called in India) is on sucha
terms of alliance as to have a military Resident at his court Major Walker was the Resident at the time to which this work chiefly relates; and as he was to be at the head of a detachment of English troops, in a grand military progress which was going to be made through the whole peninsula of Guzerat, in the name and behalf of the said Gaikawar and his ally, the Lord Company, in order to settle, once for all, the rate of tribute to be paid by the would be independent chiefs, he was instructed to combine with the leading purpose a prudent effort to obtain the abolition of infanticide. It was to be prudent, for, as the Supreme Government observes,
the speculative success even of that benevolent project, cannot be considered to justify the prosecution of measures which may expose to hazard the essential interests of the state ; although, as a collateral object, the pursuit of it would be worthy of the benevolence and humanity of the British Government.'.
Major (since Colonel) Walker accomplished the projected expedition in 1807; and from Baroda, in the eastern part of Guzerat, despatched to Mr. Duncan, Governor of Bombay, a long report, dated in March, 1808, of the measures which he had employed for the suppression of infanticide in Kattywar. Instead of a brief summary, Mr. Moor has given the whole of this Report, consisting of a series of paragraphs not connected in a continuous composition, and therefore distinguished by numbers, to the amount of more than three hundred. We think this an idle and unconscionable mode of helping out a book to the requisite. bulk for bearing, though not without palpable exorbitance after all, the price set on this volume. It might be highly proper in Col. Walker to detail and discourse so largely, and pardonable, barely pardonable, to allow himself in such a total and most miserable renunciation of all method, in a private communication to the Authorities to whom he was responsible, and who might have the friendly patience to abstract and dispose in some orderly form in their minds, the information contained within an immense farrago of unconnected shreds of history and observation. This might be excusable ;-though on some ground that we cannot know : as it is certainly impossible to comprehend, why the drawing up of an important document should be exempted from laws, in the neglect of which no composition can make a perspicuous display of its subject. At any rate, however, it is quite inexcusable in Mr. Moor to tax the pocket of the general reader, for the privilege of having also his time and patience taxed with the heavy duty of trying to reduce such a confused mass of notices to any thing like a digested scheme of facts and explanations. The reading public (which is nevertheless to be, at the same time, duly cajoled with compliments to its intelligence and
candour) is truly held in very, light esteem, when authors, editors, and publishers, professing to meet its wishes for informa-, tion on any particular subject, make no scruple of emptying out the whole crude collection of unwrought materials, from which a completely satisfactory exposition of the subject might have been elaborated, at about one-third of the bulk or price. This combination of idleness, presumption, and extortion, is, in the present times, carried to such a flagrant ex-. cess, that even the editor of this volume is to be reckoned ainong the minor offenders. If the inquisitive public will continue to tolerate such treatment, a large and encreasing proportion of authors will entirely forget it ever was a rule in literature that an author should himself work out a methodical account of his subject; and will begin to take credit as benefactors to the cause of knowledge for having sold at a most exorbitant rate, and carted out, a blended confused luggage of documents and fragments, from which the purchasers may, if they have time and facalty, make out each one his own notion of the subject.
As for the remainder of our own task in the present case, it will be very fairly disposed of by taking a few notices, here: and there, from this very singularly fabricated document of the Resident in Guzerat. The Jarejahs spoke freely of the custom of putting their daughters to death, and without delicacy or pain, but were more reserved on the mode of their execution. They appeared at first unwilling to be questioned on the subject; and usually replied, "it was an affair of the women;" 6s it belonged to the nursery, and made no part of the business of men.” They at last, however, threw off this reserve.' Se.. 'veral acknowledged methods of committing the crime are enumerated; but especially two,--that of putting opium in the infant's mouth, and that of drawing the umbilical cord over its face to prevent respiration. The use of the before mentioned expedient of drowning in milk was not confirmed to Col. Walker. Sometimes the victim is laid down, and left to perish without any application of violence. In short, the mode of perpetration is not subjected to any invariable and indispensable rule; and Mr. Duncan remarks, that
The difference of these modes,' (mentioned by Col. W.) • from those learned through other channels, as previously related, are of little mo. ment; and, were evidence wanting, rather add to, than abstract from, the indubitable existence and local notoriety of the general fact. It is ad. mitted that some of these infants are left to the inevitable result of nego lect; and the Jarejahs are reported to be indeed altogether indifferent as to the manner of putting their female offspring to death, provided the in, human deed be performed.'.
Some little ceremony, however, was stated to Col. W. to be observed in determining the infant's destiny.
When the wives of the Jarejch Rajputs are delivered of daughters, the women, who may be with the mother, repair to the oldest man in the house ;--this person desires them to go to the father of the infant, and do as he directs. On this the women go to the father, who desires them to do as is customary, and so to inforın the mother. The women then repair to the mother, and tell her how to act in conformity to their usage,' &c. .
Col. Walker adds ;
• To render the deed, if possible, more horrible, the mother is com, monly the executioner of her own offspring. Women of rank may have their slaves and attendants who perform this office, but the far greater number execute it with their own hands.'--" They have been known to pride themselves on the destruction of their daughters, and to consider their murder as an act of duty ; an act which these females, who are mild, modest, and affectionate, would, if married to any other cast, hold in de testation. :
With very rare exceptions, the murder is perpetrated imme. diately after the birth; and it would be considered,' says the Resident, “a cruel and barbarous action to deprive the infant of life after it had been allowed to live a day or two.' Yet he had ground to believe that this still greater atrocity does sometimes take place. The extinction of such a life is regarded by a Jarejah as an event of the utmost possible insignific cance. The occurrence excites neither surprize nor en. quiry, and is not made a subject even of conversation.'
There is some variance between the testimony just now cited, importing a formal consultation of the father of the infant, and the information obtained in a more familiar intercourso with the Jarejahs. According to this later and more direct in. formation, on which Col. W. appears. to rest his final state. ment, the destruction of the child is so mere a matter of course, and so perfectly trifling an affair in the esteem of the father, that it may be perpetrated without being even mentioned to him. Another unimportant difference of representation is, be. tween the precursory information which asserted that the preservation of a female infant would sink the parents into utter disgrace among their tribe, and the later and better evidence that such a singularity would indeed be accounted very foolish, but would not be particularly opprobrious. There is also a slight degree of wavering in the statement, as made at different times and on various evidence, of the number of excep. tious, 19 the general custom. But the evidence of all kinds, from all quarters, most perfectly coincides to prove that the instances of females preserved were extremely rare. .
It would be quite certain beforehand, that nọ nation could