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The Saracenic Arch and the Parsi Arch

In all India none made preparation to greet the King and Queen more joyously than Bombay. Delhi could rightly claim to be the scene of the Imperial Durbar. Calcutta as the seat of Government of India , absorbed the larger share of the Emperor's limited time. But none could challenge the title of Bombay to be the first to receive the Emperor of United India. Standing in themidst of a western seaboard which possesses no other great natural harbour and in close touch with the most productive districts of the country, the fortunes of the city are broad based on unshakeable geographical advantages.

They are buttresed by a population composed of the most acute trading races of the East. Parsis, Banias, Khojas and Bhattias, inspired by the example of Englishmen, have here united to make this one of the great cities of the world, justifying in a remarkable degree the prescience of the Viceroy of Goa who declared that India will be lost on the day when the English nation is settled in Bombay - then a collection of mean islets separated by swamps. Here too the significance of the Royal visit was recognised from the day it was announced: it was seen that the event was one of profound Imperial significance, a demonstration to the peoples of the land , and to a wider Empire of which it forms a great and splendid part, made in the most conspicuous manner possible, that that not only is indissolubly one with the far flung Dominions of the Crown, but has a great and special place in the responsibilities of the Royal House.

The citizens of Bombay can also claim, with better right than any other part of India to be a united people. Not that there are no differences, racial, communal, religous and sectarian amongst its million inhabitants, but because when occasion arises they are brushed aside like an impalpable cobweb and all act as one enterprising homogenous body. Commerce has proved a wonderful solvent, and the influence of the Parsis, free from caste restrictions and religous bigotry, standing between Englishmen and Indian, has welded far more closely than has been practicable elsewhere in Asia.

Animated by this spirit , the generosity of the citizens furnished abundant funds for the decoration of the city.....