The theory ran: “All unfortunate natives are criminals at heart, for the simple reason that they live south of latitude 30. They are not to blame, and they have not a dog’s chance – we should be like them if we settled here.”

Mr. McBryde, Chandrapore’s superintendent of police, has a racist theory that claims anyone born in a southern climatic zone is sure to be a criminal of one sort or another. While he doesn’t blame Indians for being born in one such zone, he does believe that being born in a northern clime automatically establishes your innate superiority. Beliefs along this line of thinking were common in the English, and their biases would have crept into all their official business in India, even if they attempted to be impartial. From individual relationships to the highest colonial governmental bodies, all British-Indian communications would have been tainted by the English’s assumption of their moral and cultural superiority.

The Collector sighed. There seemed nothing for it but the old weary business of compromise and moderation. He longed for the good old days when an Englishman could satisfy his own honour and no questions asked afterwards.

Although the Collector, or Mr. Turton, dutifully follows law and order, he wishes that the British could dominate India entirely. He’s grown exhausted by Britain’s attempts to mitigate political tensions by requiring due process in the justice system – or, at least, the appearance of it. In earlier days of colonial rule, British officials would have had more leeway to punish Indians without consequence, and without a fair trial, and the Collector wishes he could do the same to Aziz.

He replied in an odd, sad voice, “I don’t hate them, I don’t know why,” and he didn’t hate them; for if he did, he would have had to condemn his own career as a bad investment. He retained a contemptuous affection for the pawns he had moved about for so many years, they must be worth his pains.

If the Collector admits that he doesn’t like Indians – which he doesn’t, although he’s better at hiding it than some – it means that he would need to admit that British colonial rule has been a failure in India. One cultural goal of colonization is to convert natives to the perceived superior religion, traditions, and beliefs of the colonizing nation. The endless tension and division between Indians and Brits suggests to the Collector that the English have failed to integrate Western culture into India – Indians have not adopted a completely Western perspective, and therefore British-Indian friendships have remained nearly impossible due to a persisting cultural divide. Turton, who believes deeply in the Western white tradition, is terrified to consider that his entire career has been a waste of time, energy, and resources.

“You mean he’s more frightened of acquitting than convicting, because if he acquits he’ll lose his job,” said Lesley with a clever little laugh.

The English officials of Chandrapore, including Ronny, are all aware that it is highly unlikely that Judge Das will rule in favor of Aziz. Like most Indians, Das is constantly under implicit threat – he must behave in accordance with the British, or risk losing the place he has managed to make for himself in the hierarchy. Having an Indian judge rule on such a high-profile case is a purposeful, strategic move on the part of the English – to outsiders, it will appear unbiased should an Indian judge rule Aziz guilty, whereas a white judge ruling guilty could raise eyebrows. But Ronny and his peers know that, Indian or white, the trial has already been orchestrated from the beginning to favor the English regardless – such is the nature of their corrupt justice system.