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THE ORIENTAL HERALD
No. 5.-MAY 1824.-Vol. 2.
NECESSITY OF A CONTROLLING POWER IN INDIA AS A SECURITY
In entering on the Second Volume of our Work, we take occasion to express the satisfaction with which we have witnessed its reception in the circles, where its merits or defects could alone be adequately estimated; we mean, among those formerly resident in India and the Colonies, and others, whose connexions with these quarters have induced them to turn their attention to the affairs of the Eastern and Western world.
The difficulty of creating an interest in the fate of distant countries, or of rousing a sympathy in distant sufferings, has been felt and acknowledged in all ages : nor is there less reason to lament this at present, than there has been at all former periods. It appears to be a truth, illustrated by universal experience, that whatever is near, excites our feelings most powerfully, and whatever is remote, operates on them less effectually, in proportion to the distance of time and space through which the information has to pass before it can reach us. We do not complain of this, any more than of other laws of nature. All that we desire is, to see the knowledge of this fact applied to the lesson which it ought evidently to touch, namely, that the superintendence and control of affairs in any one country, ought never to exist beyond that country itself; and that it becomes less and less efficient, in proportion to the distance at which the seat of such control is placed from the scene of action.
This indifference to Indian and Colonial affairs, which is observed in all classes of English society, except those immediately connected by former residence or present intercourse with the countries themselves, ought to convince all who consider the subject worthy of a moment's attention, that nothing can be more pernicious, than the prevailing idea
of men in power in our distant possessions being responsible to Public Opinion in the mothercountry; and nothing more mischievous, than their being permitted to rid themselves of all responsibility to Public Opinion in the countries they govern, on the plea that they acknowledge submission to its influence in another hemisphere. Orient. Herald, Vol 2.