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sexuality test 2020

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-14 21:29:45
Typefacelarge in Small
It is time to escape from Chouringhi Road and get among the long-shore folk, who have no prejudices against tobacco, and who all use pretty nearly the same sort of hat.

He abandons England for a while, and now we get a glimpse of the cloven hoof in a casual reference to Hindus and Mahomedans. The Hindus will lose nothing by the complete establishment of plurality of votes. They will have the control of their own wards as they used to have. So there is race-feeling, to be explained away, even among these beautiful desks. Scratch the Council, and you come to the old, old trouble. The black frock-coat sits down, and a keen-eyed, black-bearded Englishman rises with one hand in his pocket to explain his views on an alteration of the vote qualification. The idea of an amendment seems to have just struck him. He hints that he will bring it forward later on. He is academical like the others, but not half so good a speaker. All this is dreary beyond words. Why do they talk and talk about owners and occupiers and burgesses in England and the growth of autonomous institutions when the city, the great city, is here crying out to be cleansed? What has England to do with Calcutta’s evil, and why should Englishmen be forced to wander through mazes of unprofitable argument against men who cannot understand the iniquity of dirt?

And now, “let us see the handsome houses where the wealthy nobles dwell.” Northerly lies the great human jungle of the native city, stretching from Burra Bazar to Chitpore. That can keep. Southerly is the maidan and Chouringhi. “If you get out into the centre of the maidan you will understand why Calcutta is called the City of Palaces.” The travelled American said so at the Great Eastern. There is a short tower, falsely called a “memorial,” standing in a waste of soft, sour green. That is as good a place to get to as any other. Near here the newly-landed waler is taught the whole duty of the trap-horse and careers madly in a brake. Near here young Calcutta gets upon a horse and is incontinently run away with. Near here hundreds of kine feed, close to the innumerable trams and the whirl of traffic along the face of Chouringhi Road. The size of the maidan takes the heart out of anyone accustomed to the “gardens” of up-country, just as they say Newmarket Heath cows a horse accustomed to more shut-in course. The huge level is studded with brazen statues of eminent gentlemen riding fretful horses on diabolically severe curbs. The expanse dwarfs the statues, dwarfs everything except the frontage of the far-away Chouringhi Road. It is big—it is impressive. There is no escaping the fact. They built houses in the old days when the rupee was two shillings and a penny. Those houses are three-storied, and ornamented with service-staircases like houses in the Hills. They are also very close together, and they own garden walls of pukka-masonry pierced with a single gate. In their shut-upness they are British. In their spaciousness they are Oriental, but those service-staircases do not look healthy. We will form an amateur sanitary commission and call upon Chouringhi.

Listen for a moment from the fire lookout to the voices of the night, and you will see why they must be so. Two thousand sailors of fifty nationalities are adrift in Calcutta every Sunday, and of these perhaps two hundred are distinctly the worse for liquor. There is a mild row going on, even now, somewhere at the back of Bow Bazar, which at nightfall fills with sailormen who have a wonderful gift of falling foul of the native population. To keep the Queen’s peace is of course only a small portion of Police duty, but it is trying. The burly president of the lock-up for European drunks-Calcutta central lock-up is worth seeing-rejoices in a sprained thumb just now, and has to do his work left-handed in consequence. But his left hand is a marvellously persuasive one, and when on duty his sleeves are turned up to the shoulder that the jovial mariner may see that there is no deception. The president’s labors are handicapped in that the road of sin to the lock-up runs through a grimy little garden-the brick paths are worn deep with the tread of many drunken feet-where a man can give a great deal of trouble by sticking his toes into the ground and getting mixed up with the shrubs. “A straight run in” would be much more convenient both for the president and the drunk. Generally speaking—and here Police experience is pretty much the same all over the civilized world-a woman drunk is a good deal worse than a man drunk. She scratches and bites like a Chinaman and swears like several fiends. Strange people may be unearthed in the lock-ups. Here is a perfectly true story, not three weeks old. A visitor, an unofficial one, wandered into the native side of the spacious accommodation provided for those who have gone or done wrong. A wild-eyed Babu rose from the fixed charpoy and said in the best of English: “Good-morning, sir.” “Good-morning; who are you, and what are you in for?” Then the Babu, in one breath: “I would have you know that I do not go to prison as a criminal but as a reformer. You’ve read the Vicar of Wakefield?” “Ye-es.” “Well, I am the Vicar of Bengal-at least, that’s what I call myself.” The visitor collapsed. He had not nerve enough to continue the conversation. Then said the voice of the authority: “He’s down in connection with a cheating case at Serampore. May be shamming. But he’ll be looked to in time.”

A pause follows the black-bearded man’s speech. Rises another native, a heavily-built Babu, in a black gown and a strange head-dress. A snowy white strip of cloth is thrown jharun-wise over his shoulders. His voice is high, and not always under control. He begins: “I will try to be as brief as possible.” This is ominous. By the way, in Council there seems to be no necessity for a form of address. The orators plunge in medias res, and only when they are well launched throw an occasional “Sir” toward Sir Steuart Bayley, who sits with one leg doubled under him and a dry pen in his hand. This speaker is no good. He talks, but he says nothing, and he only knows where he is drifting to. He says: “We must remember that we are legislating for the Metropolis of India, and therefore we should borrow our institutions from large English towns, and not from parochial institutions.” If you think for a minute, that shows a large and healthy knowledge of the history of Local Self-Government. It also reveals the attitude of Calcutta. If the city thought less about itself as a metropolis and more as a midden, its state would be better. The speaker talks patronizingly of “my friend,” alluding to the black frock-coat. Then he flounders afresh, and his voice gallops up the gamut as he declares, “and therefore that makes all the difference.” He hints vaguely at threats, something to do with the Hindus and the Mahomedans, but what he means it is difficult to discover. Here, however, is a sentence taken verbatim. It is not likely to appear in this form in the Calcutta papers. The black frock-coat had said that if a wealthy native “had eight votes to his credit, his vanity would prompt him to go to the polling-booth, because he would feel better than half-a-dozen gharri-wans or petty traders.” (Fancy allowing a gharri-wan to vote! He has yet to learn how to drive!) Hereon the gentleman with the white cloth: “Then the complaint is that influential voters will not take the trouble to vote. In my humble opinion, if that be so, adopt voting papers. That is the way to meet them. In the same way—The Calcutta Trades’ Association—you abolish all plurality of votes: and that is the way to meet them.” Lucid, is it not? Up flies the irresponsible voice, and delivers this statement: “In the election for the House of Commons plurality are allowed for persons having interest in different districts.” Then hopeless, hopeless fog. It is a great pity that India ever heard of anybody higher than the heads of the Civil Service. The country appeals from the Chota to the Burra Sahib all too readily as it is. Once more a whiff. The gentleman gives a defiant jerk of his shoulder-cloth, and sits down.

And Lucia loved shall still be Lucia mourned.


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