In 1876 Disraeli made Queen Victoria Empress of India. The governor general, Lord Lytton, was confirmed in his belief that the British were the true heirs to the Moguls, and he was further convinced that Britain’s natural allies in India were the native princes, not the Western-educated commoners, the “babus,” or intellectuals, whom he saw as potentially dangerous. Lytton’s predecessor as viceroy, Lord Mayo, had argued that the British hold on India was precarious and that Indians should be encouraged to become involved in the government of their country. Lord Lytton held the more conventional view that Indians had no claim to representative government since they were not British settlers imbued with British values. Some felt that the Indians could be educated up to the point where they might be capable of running their own affairs, as Macaulay had suggested in 1833, but Lytton was not one of them. In any case, the question was hypothetical. It was agreed that the Indians had not yet reached that stage of development and that therefore they had to be ruled autocratically.
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