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The FeringheesSir Robert and Sir William — Two Europeans in India: Volume 2: The Straight Race$
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Elizabeth Hamilton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199460113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199460113.001.0001

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A Tour of the States

A Tour of the States

(p.173) 18 A Tour of the States
The Feringhees

Elizabeth Hamilton

Oxford University Press

Sir William goes on a four-month tour of the princely states, taking his wife as his secretary. They arrive at a time of tension when the delegates and Gandhi return from the Round Table Conference. The exhausting itinerary, which includes visiting power stations and telephone exchanges, meeting the maharajahs, and listening to lacklustre debates in the Legislative Assembly, is told through Lady Barton’s meticulously kept and well-written diary. Friends talk to them more readily as they are not ‘part of the system’ and there are interesting sidelights on attitudes to Gandhi, to emancipated Indian women, to the news that two Bengali girls had shot an ICS officer, and to the Sarda Act allowing people to marry as they liked. They are welcomed by old friends, including Sir Mirza Ismail, in Bangalore. There is a widespread feeling of unease. Their stay at the viceroy’s house throws a favourable light on Lord Willingdon and the firm line he is taking to restore law and order.

Keywords:   tour of India, princely states, Gandhi, Lady Barton’s diary, Sarda Act, viceroy, Lord Willingdon

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