‘To Rule India by the Heart’: A H Hallam Murray (Post No.2715)

bombay cart

Written by london swaminathan

Date: 11 April, 2016


Post No. 2715


Time uploaded in London :–  10-35 AM


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


bombay temple

Walkeshwar Temple, Malabar Point, Bombay; sketch by Murray in 1905.

“The appeal which India makes is as many-sided as it is universal and irresistible, with its glorious architecture, its unique landscapes, its rich historic associations, and above all its strangely interesting people, whose customs and character have come down unaltered through the centuries, and are now submitted to the impact of new ideas and new conditions, to them doubtless in great part incomprehensible.  The effect of the collision of this new and old, of East and West, is partially hidden from us by the apparent indifference of a calm demeanour, which at once conceals the tremendous capacity for passion that glows beneath an impassive surface, and heightens the mystery that surrounds a fascinating people.


“I have, I hope, given typical views of   typical places, but though not neglecting the more striking scenes and buildings which form the goal of every pilgrim’s quest, I have tried to fix the attention of the lovers of beautiful on the essentially picturesque side, on the little pictures that unfold themselves at the very turn of the wheel of life in India and might well be overlooked by the casual wayfarer.


“Englishman who spends a few months on the threshold of an ancient and mysterious land and life, and we had no exceptional opportunities or capacities for penetrating behind the veil; but by the exercise of a little sympathetic imagination, and with the help of books on special sides of Indian life such as within reach of all, we tried to understand such phases of the life as fell under our notice. If we have not quite misinterpreted that life, it is owing to the kind friends who, both in India and at home, tried so generously to set our feet in the right way.

roadside tombs

I should like to think that these efforts might, in their small way, help to pave the highway of sympathetic understanding which might unite East and West, if – as all who realise the vast responsibilities of our Indian Empire must desire – the unselfish devotion and unstinting self-sacrifice of those who have toiled for its welfare are to be crowned with success, and we are ever, in Lord Curzon’s words, to rule India by the heart.


This was written in the preface of THE HIGH-ROAD OF EMPIRE by A H Hallam Murray in 1905.His book has his water colour and pen and ink sketches. I have already given his Benares sketches in one post. He wants India to stay ever under the British rule as Jewel in the Crown.

Year of publication 1905



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