The Indian Delegates

'A farcical comedietta now running
with enormous success in London'




Scene, a spacious public hall in England.
Trio of Indian Delegates discovered singing softly
to music of vina and sitar. Great British Public in foreground



TRIO. DELEGATES

Delegates we
From over the sea
From the teeming millions of down-trod Ind;
With an education
The British nation
Supplies for the use of the Indian mind.


RECITATIVE. DELEGATES

(Con molt. exp. to obligato accompaniment of their own trumpets)

We have mastered in decades five or six
The whole of your system of politics ;
Assimilated the centuries
As we took your trousers, your boots and ties.
We have learnt to print the folly we write,
We worship Kaye and Blunt and Bright.
By the knowledge we've gained in the schools they built,
We accuse our rulers of crime and guilt;
By right of the learning we've swallowed raw
We are fit to administer rule and law;
By virtue of what you have taught us, we
At the end of one century claim to be free;
And appeal in Equality's sacred name
For the land misgoverned from whence we came.


They speak, from divers platforms on many subjects.
G. B. P. generalizes hastily after its fashion:

CHORUS. G.B.P.

The facts which we deduce
From the language that they use
And the excellent impressions they convey,
Is that natives, all and each,
Are as fluent in their speech
As the gentlemen we've listened to today;
(Crescendo) That the millions of lnd.
Are enlightened and refined,
That they study Mill and Kant (without the C)
And in every single way
The nation 'neath our sway
Is rather more intelligent than we .
(Crescendissimo Impetuoso) And these things being so
We should greatly like to know
Why a bureaucratic, autocratic crew
(Civilians and such)
Oppress our friends so much
As these gentlemen of colour say they do.

They proceed to make enquiries at the British Museum
and elsewhere. Interval of twenty minutes allowed for enquiries.
Re-enter
G.B.P. with books of reference in their hands,
and wet towels round their foreheads . They generalise hastily:



CHORUS. G.B.P.

The facts are simply thus,
They are not homogenus;
And Babus and Pathans will never mix;
And the ryots when they rest,
Do not study with a zest
The course of Indo-British politics,
(Cres. Queruloso) Which we thought,
From our friends' oration,
Was their principal occupation.

Gurmukhi and Tamil!
Bullock cart and camel!
Bhils and Ghonds! Punjabi and Marattha!
Indo-Mussulmanic shindies!
Parsees, Assamese, and Sindees!
Our notion of United India shatter!
(Crescendo as above. With trombone accompaniment.)

And we thought at the very least,
These gentlemen of the East,
Stood man by man as ally and as brother;
But we find it is not the case,
And one half of that civilized race
Objects to eating dinner with the other.

Wedlocks precocious! Customs atrocious!
Think of our girls in the grip of the purdah!
Babe-widowed wives
Leading such lives
As drive them perforce to abortion and murder.

(Crescendo as above)

And we fancied these excellent men
Did not marry wives of ten;
But they do, and we think it very beastly!
The 'pressing reforms' that they want
Are not in our power to grant;
But wholly in their houses in the East lie!

They continue to make enquiries; and sing pianissimo to one another:

We are a simple public we
And blind;
But this much we can plainly see—
The kind
Of gentlemen we've met to-day
Do not
Stand for, in any single way,
That lot
Of ill-conditioned peoples who
Would fight
At once like wolves if we withdrew
Our right
Of interference; and we find,
If these
Were really gentlemen of Ind.
Deep peace
(Marred maybe by sedition cheap)
Would fall,
Upon the Empire that we keep ...
That's all!

CHORUS OF A BORED AND BRUTAL PROLETARIAT

Hi! You! Bring forward if yer can
A 'orny 'anded workin' man!
A Hinjian workin' man!

TRIO. DELEGATES—(Largendo imperioso)

We wholly fail to understand
How our requirements are affected
By low-caste brutes with horny hand;
Or how a link can be detected
Between ourselves, who really are
High caste, and mistri or chumar.
Extended life political—

Alarms and interruptions. G. B. P. generalizes afresh
from information received:


CHORUS. G.B.P.

The Indian artizan
Lies not within your plan,
Nor for trader, nor for tiller do you care!
That you fight for your own hand
We can fully understand,
But to pose as British India isn't fair!

Oh eloquent orators, swarthy and sweet!
Have you heard of the Tailors of Tooley Street?'
Too-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo-ley Street (Da capo ad lib)
Two thousand strong at most
Is the 'nation' that you boast
(A 'nation' of M.A.'s and LL.D's)
And, in every single point,
Its ideas are out of joint
With the peoples' of our Empire overseas.
Oh! silver-tongued Trio, again we repeat,
Have you heard of the Tailors of Tooley Street?
RECITATIVE. G.B.P .

Urgent reforms you need—See that you get 'em.
Make women of your wives; don't cuff and pet 'em.
Doctor them when they're ill—they die like flies.
Reform corrupt Municipalities.
We worked our freedom out through thirty reigns—
Show your own power to manage your own drains.
Don't howl for Government when things look black.
Grow moral backbone in your moral back.
Try to speak truth—you've years before you plenty—
And marry on the other side of twenty!


GRAND FINALE. FULL ORCHESTRA

When you and yours shall eat with us—
your wives as equals meet with us—
Then comes the time to treat with us—
Not now oh fluent Three!
When sterner-knit your morals are—
When sunk sectarian quarrels are—
For you our brightest laurels are,
To wear them worthily—


Bass-viol solo on the lower D—And when shall these things be?



CURTAIN