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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 64.


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64


AFGHANISTiN


Amir in his autobiography, published shortly before his death, stated
that he already possessed arms and war material for 300,000 men,
should necessity arise.
Afghans enlist in the Indian army; but recruiting therefor is not
carried on in Afghanistan, the men coming down to British territory
and offering thenselves for service of their own accord.
Police arrangements in Afghanistan are under the control of the
kotwdls of the large towns. The subordinate duties are carried on by
selected men from the regular army. It is calculated that about 2,500
men are so employed. The jails are also under the management of the
kotwdls. Long-term sentences are seldom given, serious offences being
otherwise dealt with; nevertheless there is always a large jail population.
Only prisoners who are fed at the expense of the State are set to work;
those who can afford to pay for their food are merely kept in close
confinement. Escapes are numerous, notwithstanding the severity of
the punishment invariably inflicted on the guards in such cases.
The education of the people is of a very primitive character, and is
conducted by the Mullas, themselves an ignorant and bigoted class.
The method of teaching is that common in Indian village schools-the
repetition of the lesson aloud by the whole class, accompanied usually
by the swaying of the body from the waist upwards in time with the
monotonous sing-song. The Koran is the universal textbook; and
the scholastic course seldom advances beyond the elements of reading,
writing, and the religious creed, though some of the more advanced
Mullas are able to teach a certain amount of mathematics. There are
no schools or colleges for higher education, but many of the Sardars
prove, as the result of private tuition, to be men of culture and good
manners. The present Amir has recently turned his attention to this
important question. He has ordered the introduction of something
like compulsory education among the children of the masses, and is
engaging native scholars from India with a view to the establishment of
a superior Madrasa (college) at Kabul for those who can afford to avail
themselves of higher education. At present English is not taught in
Afghanistan, though it is to be included in the curriculum of the new
Madrasa; and with the exception of the few foreigners in the Amir's
service, and Indians employed as translators, there are probably not fifty
men in the country who can speak or understand a word of the language.
Of the medical attainments of the Afghan hakim there is unfortunately
no reason to alter what was written by Bellew over a quarter of a century
ago. 'They know nothing either of anatomy, or the pathology of disease,
and their acquaintance with surgery is even less than that with medicine,
and often really dangerous.' Very much the same opinion was formed
by Dr. J. A. Gray, who spent four years in the employ of the Amir,
between I889 and i893. He writes: 'The hakims practise according



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