Paul Scott

“For years, since the eighteenth century, and in each century since, we have said at home, in England, in Whitehall, that the day would come when our rule in India will end, not bloodily, but in peace, in—so we made it seem—a perfect gesture of equality and friendship and love. For years, for nearly a century, the books that Indians have read have been the books of our English radicals, our English liberals. There has been, you see, a seed. A seed planted in the Indian imagination and in the English imagination. Out of it was to come something sane and grave, full of dignity, full of thoughtfulness and kindness and peace and wisdom. For all these qualities are in us, in you, and in me, in old Joseph and Mr. Narayan and Mr. White and I suppose in Brigadier Reid. And they were there too, in Mr. Chaudhuri. For years we have been promising and for years finding means of putting the fulfilment of the promise off until the promise stopped looking like a promise and started looking only like a sinister prevarication, even to me, let alone to Indians who think and feel and know the same as me. And the tragedy is that between us there is this little matter of the colour of the skin, which gets in the way of our seeing through each other’s failings and seeing into each other’s hearts. Because if we saw through them, into them, then we should know. And what we should know is that the promise is a promise and will be fulfilled.” But”

Paul Scott, The Raj Quartet, Volume 1: The Jewel in the Crown
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The Raj Quartet, Volume 1: The Jewel in the Crown The Raj Quartet, Volume 1: The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott
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