Reaction of Verious People at The Arrest of Dr. Aziz

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      Doctor Aziz was a Muslim who was arrested on the accusation made by Adela Quested that she had been criminally assaulted by him in the Marabar Caves. This engenders a storm in the otherwise calm life of Chandrapore. Both the communities, the English and the Indian, are agitated and angry against each other.

      It will be quite interesting to trace the mental and emotional reactions of the various persons of the two races aroused at his arrest.

      First of all we take up the case of Fielding who was the Principal of the local government College. He was a true educationist and believed in the equality of men. He believed that Englishmen and Indians must live in an atmosphere of peace and amity. Both the communities should come closer to meet each other in an atmosphere of friendship. He did what he preached. He cultivated friendship with Aziz and promised to accompany him to the Klarabar Caves. Unfortunately, he was late as he was detained by Prof. Godbole's long 'puja'.

      On arrival at the Marabar Caves he found Adela suddenly leaving with Miss Derek without informing Aziz. Fielding took this as a rude behavior by the English woman towards her host. After Aziz's arrest he at once met the Superintendent of Police and told him that he did not believe that Adela was molested by Aziz in the Caves. He declared that Miss Adela Quested must be made to make such baseless accusations. She must be under some hallucination. He wanted to see Miss Adela Quested but permission, was not granted. He sent her a note which was intercepted on the way. His request to see Aziz in the prison was also rejected by McBryde.

      The English community at Chandrapore looked with suspicion on the moves for peace made by Fielding. He was being discouraged and was to be banished from the community, if he did not side with it. He pleaded for amity in the club when everyone else was talking of revenge. His remark at the club, that they should wait for the verdict of the court, enraged everyone and he was turned out of the club. This raised him in the eyes of the Indians as one of those few Englishmen who had the guts to tell the truth, unmindful of the strength of the opposition. He was the most reasonable of Englishmen. He was sticking to the fundamental principle of the British jurisprudence when he pleaded that no one was to be regarded as guilty until tried and convicted by the court.

      The Englishmen were mad with anger. Even the Collector Turton, who was a good person on the whole, was acting ignobly. He was touched not by his care for the girl but my sense of pride as to how an Indian could dare insult an English girl and go scot-free. He was earnest in his opinion that Aziz was guilty. He was unhappy when Fielding stuck to his stand and resigned from the club.

      McBryde, the Superintendent of Police who daily dealt with cases of rape and murder took these incidents as a part of this mean and uncertain life. He was not surprised when Adela lodged her complaint of molestation with the police. He was not concerned with the authenticity of the complaint. He was more concerned with the racial aspect of the problem. The Englishmen should swim or smile together irrespective of the personalities involved. He was unable to understand the attitude adopted by Fielding. Why should an Englishman side with an Indian who did not belong to his race? So, he prevented Fielding from seeking an interview with Adela or Aziz. He took the opportunity to present before Fielding certain objectionable letters and photographs recovered from the Aziz's residence as a proof of his guilt. He had his own set opinion about the unreliability of all the natives. He believed that all Indians were criminal by nature.

      The English women took pity on Adela, their fallen sister. They regarded her as the author of her own disgrace and as such, they had no affection for her.

      Even Major Callendar did not behave like a professional. He also became sentimental and accused Aziz of bribing Adela's servant in order to make his way clear so as to be able to rape the English girl.

      The army major pleaded for entrusting the city to the military so as to teach a lesson to the Indians.

      Ronny, being the lover of Adela, was the main aggrieved person. He was all out to defend the prestige of the English administration. He had become a martyr in the eyes of the Englishmen and women.

      The reactions of all the Indians were based on race consciousness. Hamidullah, an educated Indian did not come out openly in favor of Aziz. He, however, wanted inwardly the support of all the Indians for his friend.

      Professor Godbole's reactions was quite strange. He avoided the issues and prevaricated. He talked philosophically when Fielding pressed him to declare his opinion on Aziz's guilt. He explained that good and evil were both aspects of the same supreme being.

      Besides Fielding, Mrs. Moore was the only other example of quality and sanity. She intuitively felt that Aziz was innocent. She told this plainly to Miss Adela and influenced the latter's stand greatly at the trial. Her opinion made Adela think that she was mistaken in accusing Aziz and helped her withdraw the charge. She sailed home without appearing as a witness in the court. Her evidence could be of great importance.

      The trial had brought the racial question to the fore and had added bitterness to the already estranged relations between the Indians and the Englishmen.

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