In defence of the Maharaja of Kashmir
The Government of India and H.H. the Maharaja of Kashmir. A Letter to the Rt. Hon. Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth. London Indian Political Agency 1890
First edition, pp.226. A very good copy in lightly soiled original limp cloth. Corners bumped, spotting to fore-edge and margins.
William Digby (1849–1904), British journalist, moved to Ceylon as sub-editor on The Ceylon Observer in 1871, and was appointed editor of The Madras Times a few years later. He was a volunteer relief worker during the Madras famine of 1876-78, when more than five million people died of starvation, and became strongly critical of government's failure to provide effective relief. He returned to England in 1879 and continued to advocate reform, and indeed self-government, for India while serving as Secretary of the National Liberal Club. In 1888 he set up the Indian Political and General Agency to raise awareness of Indian grievances in Britain. He hosted Indian National Congress leaders when they visited London, and edited the Congress journal, India. Apparently Congress were rather slow in paying Digby for his lobbying on their behalf, and he resorted to private work for the Maharaja of Kashmir, Pratap Singh, raising the ire of Allan Octavian Hume, who set up a British Committee for the INC to oversee the agency's work. Digby emphatically defends Pratap Singh, as part of his lobbying efforts on the Maharaja's behalf, and rejects the charges being levelled against the Maharaja by the British as preposterous and without legal weight. He states that while the East India Company had no right to sell Kashmir to Ghulab Singh, it was not an action that the Government of India had a right to reverse, because the Maharaja had already annexed the region and been recognised as its sovereign. Appendices quote official publications on Kashmir, provide a verbatim report of the House of Commons debate, and a comparison of the situation with the Russian annexation of Khiva. Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, land-owner and politician, was briefly Secretary of State for India under Gladstone.