Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/240

This page needs to be proofread.


236 INDIA UNDER THE BRITISH CROWN. in the Punjab : and the fortress of Gwalior was given back by Lord Dufferin's government to its hereditary chief, the Maharaja Sindhia. During 1887 the new territories of Upper Burma were being gradually reduced to order, and the dakait bands dis- persed. In the same year the Jubilee (or fiftieth year of the reign) of Her Majesty the Queen-Empress Victoria was celebrated with universal enthusiasm throughout India. A great Com- mission inquired into the question of more largely employing Native officers in the higher branches of the administration. The Earl of Dufferin retired in 1888, and was created Marquess of Dufferin and Ava for the services which he had rendered during his Viceroyalty. The Marquess of Lansdowne, 1888-1892, succeeded Lord Dufferin. Under Lord Lansdowne's rule (with Sir Frederick, after- wards Lord, Roberts as his Commander-in-Chief) the defences of the North-Western frontier of India have been strengthened, and the Passes from Afghanistan have been secured against any possible invaders. At the same time, the Native chiefs have been allowed to take a more important position than before in the armies of India. A number of them had come forward with offers of money and troops to aid in the defence of the country. Under Lord Lansdowne these offers were accepted. Many of the Feudatories now maintain regiments, carefully drilled and armed, which in time of war would serve with the troops of the British Government. These regiments are kept up free of cost to the British Government, and are a free-will offering to it from the loyalty of the Native princes, who have greatly pros- pered under the Queen's rule. Progress of Self- Government. — While the Native princes are thus zealous to aid the Sovereign Power, the peoples and races in the British provinces have been learning the first lessons of local self-government. Municipal Councils and District Boards have, during the past thirty years, been gradually created throughout India. Their members consist chiefly of Native gentlemen, many of whom are elected by their fellow citizens. These Municipal Councils and District Boards now manage many branches of the Local Adminis- tration. Their legal powers and their practical ability to do