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By the wane Author 


Modern India 


Its problems and their 

V H. Rutherford 

.A, MB., 



Do you know why English soldiers are called 
gocjfi ams ? 

Gandhi. No. EveVy one calls them goddams. 

ndia. It is because they are always calling on their God 
to ccyidenfn their souls Jo perdition. That is what 
goddam means in their language. How do you 
like it? 

Gandhi. God will be merciful to them, and they will act like 
good children, when they go back to the country 
He made for them, and made them for. I have^ 
heard the tales of Clive and Hastings. The 
moment they touched the soiltof our country 
the devil entered into them and made them 
black fiends; but at home, in the place made 

-* ' * XT g 

for them by God, they were good. It is always 
so. If I went into England to conquer England 
and tried to live there and speak her language, 
the devil would enter into me ; and when I was 
old I should shudder to remember the wicked- 
nesses I did. 

With apologies to G. Bernard Shaw. 



i. MAHATM/? (jANDHi ..... i 










XII. EDUCATION ...... 230 



^frMOVERNMENT FOR JlfDIA. . . 246 


INDEX "* ..... . 26f 


tion and medical services in the villages, of housing in 
the towns, and oui: comparative negled. of agricultural 
and industrial development, stamp our rule as both 
" inefiicient " and " injurious." 

Our forefathers took India by the " mailed fist " for 
the purpose of exploiting her resources, and we hold 
India in subjection to-day for the same immoral pur- 

Our imposition by force of European standards upon 
Indian civilisation has been fraught with disaster to 
moral progress and to a higher standard of civilisation. 

Our Indian Empire has poisoned us with the virus of 
Imperialism, has lowered our standard of moral values 
at home and abroad, and fostered in us the spirit of 
arrogakice, intolerance, greed and dishonesty, degr^d- 
ing*our national life. 

One evil leads ( to another. In order to tighten our 
hold on India we have rattled into barbarism by seizing 
Egypt, Cyprus, Aden, Somaliland, Mesopotamia, .etc. ; 
by partitioning Persia, which evil has been undone 
sLflce the war ; by consolidating our South African 
Empire by wars ; by making a naval base at Singa- 
pore ; by waging wars against Afghanistan ; and by 
indulging in armaments on such a scale that we vie 
with France as the greatest military and naval Power 
in the world. 

Our emasculation ofvjoo millions of pz&pl&Jgy pre- 
venting their natural evolution and by deprivingThem 
of control of the administration, military and political 
services, of their own country, stands conSemned as an 
unpsy:4onable offence. 

God made th# natioris, and '-nan made the empires 
in frustration of His designs, t and in consequence the 
wrath of God has been visited on every empire from 


time immemorial. Who so bold as to deny that the 
Great War wa#the Nemesis of European empires, com- 
peting for "spots in the sun/' empires which had' 
dafied, and continue to defy, God by enslaving other 
nations with or without the camouflage of " mandate " ? 

Foijunately for freedom, the British Empire has not 
Escaped " the mifls of God/' which ground off Amferica 
*first, then Canada and South Africa, and most recently 
Ireland, wMch,4vith Australia and New Zealand, are free 
and independent nations to-day in the British Common- 

We mus distinguish between " empire " and* 
" commonwealth." Empire is an artificial amalgama- 
tion of nations held together by the " sword " against 
the will of the People, while Commonwealth is a ftatural 
union of peoples, cemented together by common Con- 
sent, by common ties and ideals, in t which union each 
group of peoples enjoys absolute freedom to work out 
its Qjvn salvation. 

Like the late President Wilson, I should like to dis- 
tinguish between Peoples and Governments, because the 
British people, though responsible for and punished for 
the acts of their Government, are largely ignorant of 
the crimes of the Government in India, and are ne^er 
consulted on the policy pursued in India, and even their 
representatives in Parliament are rarely consulted ; 
and, fujtH^ the people are deceived by the hypo- 
criffcal pretences of Government that we rule India 
for the good of Indians and not for our own national 
benefit ; thaF&e hold India in bondage as trustees, for- 
getting to add that Indians denounce us as* V self- 
appointed " and " fraudulent "'trustees. 

As far as the outsidp world is concerned, history 
reveals the character of our pretended trusteeship in 


the fact that India has been used as a pawn by Great 
Britain in her imperial designs upon China, Afghan- 
istan, Persia, Mesopotamia and Egypt, making Indians 
hated V>y Asiatics and Africans, and robbing Indians, of 
self-respect by incriminating them and their country, 
by using the Indian army in these attacks upon the 
liberty and independence of other countries. 

How " fraudulent " has been our " self-appointed " 
trusteeship in India was exposed when Vjfeinm Hastings 
was tried for seven years before the House of Lords 
on charges of " high crimes and misdemeanours," when, 
*in spite of the overwhelming evidence of gross misrule, 
that assembly dishonoured itself and England by white- 
washing him. Recently the House of Lords published 
to the*' world the fraudulency of our trusteeship J?y 
repeating its earlier error in extolling the " high crimes 
and misdemeanours " of O'Dwyer and Dyer. 

Queen Victoria, when she assumed in 1858 "the 
government hitherto administered in trust for us by 
the ' Honourable East India Company/ " issued a 
pif>clamation reiterating the assurance given by 
Parliament in 1833 that " as far as may be " her 
Indian subjects, " of whatever creed or race," would 
be? freely and impartially admitted to offices in the 
service of the Crown. From 1833 to 1926 is nearly 
one hundred years, and Indians are still waiting for 
the fulfilment of th^ge royal and j^jjpmpntary 

Lord Lytton, who was Viceroy of India in the 
halcyon da^s of Disraeli, who waged 3g|ressive wars 
agaiijst the Afghans to bring Afghanistan within the 
orbit of ^imperial* Britain, let the cat out of the bag in 
a peculiarly frank and cynical manner. 

Referring to the claims and expectations of Indians 


based upon the solemn declarations of both Queen 
Victoria and Parliament, Lord Lyt^on wrote : 

" We all know that these claims and expectations 
liever can or will be fulfilled. We have to choose 
between prohibiting them and cheating them, and 
we kave choserythe least straightforward course. . . . 
Since I am writing confidentially, I do not hesitate 
to say tha* both the Government of England and 
of India appear to me up to the present moment 
unable to answer satisfactorily the charge of having 
taken evesy nftans in theii power of breaking to the 
heart the words of promise they had uttered to the 

%[ now deliberately accuse the British Government, 
which passed the so-called reforms of 1919, " of hairing 
taken every means in their power of breaking to the 
heart the words of promise they had uttered to the 
ear %' promises of " responsible government," of 
" partnership/' and of all the lovely things that would 
accrue to India as an ally in the Great War for Freedcftn, 
Sir Austen Chamberlain tells us that we are not a 
" logical " people, but the more important question 
now arises whether we are " honest." Parliament,^ 
the 1919 Government of India Act, made it clear 
without a possible shadow of doubt that our politicians 
and wouj^-kfl statesmen were dishonest." The mere 
fadffiiat Lord Birkenhead, the arch-conspirator of 
rebellion in Ulster, is Secretary of State for India, 
where " pafHBtism " is a crime punishable at law, 
proves His Majesty's Government to be * disfyogest " 
as well as " illogical, " unless* Mr. Baldwin appointed 
him with the definite intention to lead Indians out of 
bondage to the promised land of self-government. 


I love my country, and my love for her impels me 
to appeal to the higher and nobler elements in her 
nature, to clear' herself of " dishonesty " and 
" hyjfccrisy." 

The problem of governing ourselves is big enough 
without undertaking the government of India. 

The history of our own country revbals the incapacity 
of our ruling classes to govern justly. The present 
condition of the masses in general, and \>>the miners 
in particular, is a homely illustration of the failure 
of British statesmanship, and oi^ the vanky of 

Our Empire has not saved us from a low and de- 
grading standard of life, but has depressed it more, 
and aggravated the extremes between the poor %*?d 

Instead of England being a land fit for heroes to 
live in, it is a pleasure ground and an exploiting ground 
for the rich, too many of whom have amassed their 
wealth at the expense of the poor of India and the' poor 
of c England. 

Incapable of governing ourselves well, how can we 
govern others ? 

What right have we to govern others without their 
consent ? Therein constitutes the gravity of our crime. 
" Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, we 
have ventured in a se^ of vain pomp a^i glory, but 
far beyond our depth." 

Clothed in self-righteousness, our besetting sin, we 
strut like Pharisees ovfir the imperial stt^e, and thank 
God e tlpt rfe are not like other Imperialists Greeks, 
Romany and Huns (ancient and modern). A little 
sober thinking might suggest to us that we are greater 
sinners against a world of peace and goodwill than our 


imperial brothers the Greeks, Romans, ana xiuns, for 
they had not te advantage of the light and lessons 
to mankind which flow from Calvary, the French and 
the Russian Revolutions. 

Living in glass houses, we denounce German and 
Austrian Imperialists for doing in Alsace-Lorraine and 
Italy what we do on a bigger scale in India, Egypt and 

The rod f>f* empire wielded by Britons injures and 
pains economically, physically, and morally Indians, 
Egyptians and others in the same way that the rod 
of empire wieldea by Germans and Austrians injured 
and pained Alsatians, Lorrainers and Italians. To 
evade the rod of empire in the hands of Germans over 
our own bodies and souls what sacrifices did we :^iake ! 
To get rid of the rod of empire was ostensibly the great 
aim of the Great War, and is the greatest need of the 
world to-day. Since that war ended the rod of empire 
has flourished fiercely in India. 

Tlfet which we abhor ourselves should we not abhor 
equally when applied to others ? 

Ought we not as a nation to walk humbly before 
God, to confess our sins with contrition, and to turn 
our hearts and minds from the lure of empire, with all 
its falseness, baseness and brutality, to the beauty of 
holiness, of human brotherhood and human freedom ? 
Would it not be better for Eng^^nd, 
spiritual graricleur, for her influencg 
be a doorkeeper in the house of 
the tents of imperial wickedness] 

India is rightf ully'struggling 
is wrongfully resisting this legitj 
aim. How much longer is 
against the pricks ? 



The great renunciation must come one day, the 
renunciation of the empire of the svaord and of the 
empire of selfishness, which some would translate as 
the Anpire of capitalism. Until that day comes poor 
demented humanity must continue to wade through 
seas of blood and extortion and torture. 

The greatest service that Great Britain can Tender 
the world now is to set her own house in order by 
ceasing to play the part of gaoler and exploiter to one- 
fifth of the human race. 

Let England act on the admonitipn of her greatest 
son, and 

" Fling away ambition : 

By that sin fell the angels ; how can man then, 
TJJie image of his Maker, hope to win by't ? 
Love thyself last : cherish those hearts that hate thee ; 
Corruption wins not more than honesty. 
Still in thy r|ght hand carry gentle peace, 

tfe just, and fear not : 

Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's, 
Thy God's, and truth's." 




The Jfoif-Co-operatiov Movement 

THE history of Indians overseas may be read in the 
ife of Mahatma Gandhi from 1893 to 1914, when he 
'ought and won the first round in the battle of freedom 
or Indians in South Africa, and in consequence for* 
ndians in the British Empire, where th^y were treated 
is helots, and the history of India from 1919 to the 
>resen4day in his struggle for her freedom. 

What Mazzini was to Italy, what Parnell and Davitt 
/ere to Ireland, what Washington was to America, 
nd what the Carpenter of Nazareth was to the poor 
f Palestine, Mahatma Gandhi is to India. 

With brilliancy and power, with simplicity and 
delity, Romain Rolland has written the life of this 
reat spiritual, social and political Messiah, "qui a 
>ulev6 troia rrt nt millions d'homirJfts, 6branl le British 
mpireret inaugur dans la politique humaine le plus 
lissant mouvement depuis pres de deux mille ans." * 

A little man,1Fail as an aspen feaf, with.lqjrge pro- 
uding ears, short moustache, closely cropped hair, 

1 "Who has uplifted three Hundred million men, shaken the 
itish Empire, and inaugurated in human policy the most power* 
movement since well-nigh two thousand years." 


luminous dark eyes, and a smile made sweet of all 
accord, I felt in the presence of one flrtiom love of God 
had blessed, anci one who loved his fellow-man. A 
white loin-cloth falling short of his knees, and a wrap 
made of cotton homespun hanging over his shoulders, 
laid bare part of his chest and the whole of his 
attenuated legs and feet, shod in wooden sandfcls. 

Eating mostly rice and fruits, and drinking ojjly 
water and milk, Gandhi frequently fegts, especially 
when any of his followers sin againsf the light. 

Reminding him of the preciousness of hi$ life to 
India, I gently admonished him, as a medical man, 
on the danger of long fasting, when he reproved me 
with a sweet smile, as much as to say, " You doctors 
doifc't know everything, and as for me, I must be about 
jny Master's business." I had noticed two or three 
days before that when he addressed upwards of 
10,000 people* at the Indian National Congress he 
sat in a chair because of the feebleness of his body. 
Without any apparent effort, without any *6f the 
demonstration common to impassioned orators, without 
ringing the changes of intonation, speaking with deep 
conviction, calmly and slowly, in simple lucid language, 
he appealed chiefly to the intelligence of his vast 
audience, which he held riveted in rapt attention. 

Mocking British officials, who used to taunt the 
Nationalists and S^prajists as a party confined to 
the intelligentsia, now admit that Mafetma Gandhi 
has awakened the national spirit and the national 
consciousness among the masses andunited them as 
they hatfe never been before in tfieir legitimate demand 
fo*r sglf-government.. 

Admired by all, save one or two who for a piece 
of silver have not hesitated to betray him, beloved 


and worshipped by the common people as saint and 
saviour in spite of his request not to be regarded as 
supernatural, the Mahatma is the " uncrowned King 
of India." * 

Mahatma is the title bestowed on Gandhi by the 
people of India, which means " great soul " from 
maha, grtat, and aima, soul and can be traced back 
to the Upanishads, where it designates the Supreme 
Being and, bjj communion with knowledge and love, 
those who unite themselves to Him. 

Educated at the Universities of Ahmedabad and 
London, he was called to the Bar in England. After 
practising as a barrister for a year in Bombay, he went 
to Pretoria to plead an important case in 1893. 

In^ Natal he suffered gross insults from white r^en 
possessed by the devil, by Xenophobia, by race hatred,, 
who had neither the wit nor the will to see deeper than 
the colour of his skin ; he was thrown^ out of hotels 
and trains, and struck and kicked. In consequence of 
this t??atment he would have returned at once to 
India had he not entered into engagements for a year. 

At the end of that time, in obedience to the dictates 
of his conscience and the heart-beats of love, he 
renounced a lucrative practice of 5,000 to 6,000 a 
year, embraced poverty like Francis of Assisi, initiated 
an agricultural colony on Tolstoian lines near Durban, 
and there lived in common with his jpoorand persecuted 
fellow-countrymen, undertaking servile tasks, in order 
that he might lead them out of the economic and 
political bondageand iniquitous cruelty of the white 
man and the white man's government. 

As related in another chapter, Indians in Sjmdi 
Africa were not only subjected to " overwhelming 
taxation, humiliate police restrictions, public out- 



rages, and sometimes lynching, pillage, and destruc- 
tion," but to anti-Indian legislation, against which 
Gandhi organised the Indian Congress of Natal, an 
association for the education of Indians ; a journal, 
Indian Opinion, published in English and in 'three 
Indian languages ; public demonstrations of protest ; 
monster petitions to the Imperial Parliam&it ; and 
the Non-Resistance or Passive Resistance .Movement, 
which RpUand^described^s " a religjoiRs^strike^ against 
which all violence breaks itself, as .that of imperial 
Rome against th^earlyJChristians/' r 

The Mahatma beat *the record of Christians by not 
only pardoning but loving his enemies, for he formed 
an Indian Red Cross service during the Boer War, 
which was twice mentioned for its bravery undej fire, 
<and he organised a hospital in 1904, when the plague 
broke out at Johannesburg, and he ran an ambulance 
during the wat against the natives in 1906, when the 
Natal Government thanked him publicly. The same 
Government, a little later, put him in prison, coficlemn- 
ing him to solitary confinement and hard labour. 

Gandhi experienced every kind of suffering, being 
incarcerated four times, beaten by the mob, and once 
* left for dead. 

In 1909 General Smuts declared that he would never 
erase from the statute book a measure injurious to 
Indians ; but by 4914 Gandhi's gospel of love and 
conscientious objection by passive resistance conquered 
the General, who avowed that he was happy to remove 
it, thereby abolishmg the capitation^ tax of 3 per 
house atid permitting Indians 'to reside in Natal as 
free pien. 

After twenty years of ceaseless struggle and sacrifice 
Mahatma Gandhi not only won a celebrated victory 


for Indians in South Africa and in the British Empire, 
but a far greater fcnd more valuable world victory for 
his cherished principles of "Love*" and " Npttr 
Violence," which he put in the following phraseology : 
" Our object is friendship with the whole world. Non- 
violence has come to men, and it will remain. It is the 
enunciation of peace* on earth." 

This epic, struggle and epic victory won by one man 
against innuiHef^le odds has been too little sung in 
England, which once worshipped heroes in the great 
moral and progressive fights, but now prefers Empire- 
builders who bfeak every law, human and divine. 

His mission accomplished in South Africa, and his 
spurs won as a leader of men, Mahatma Gandhi 
returned to India in 1914 to support and strengthen 
the hands of those noble and devoted patriots Gokhaty 
and Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the fight for 
India's freedom. At this date, or evfen before, the 
spiritual leadership passed to the Mahatma, while 
C. R.t)as and Motilal Nehru right loyaUy fulfilled the 
functions of political leaders of the National Congress. 

At this point it would be interesting to note that if 
the British Government in England and the British 
rulers in India had been loyal to their pledges and 
avoided the policy of the " mailed fist " in India, the 
Mahatma, who was a religious devotee first and a 
politician second, would probably never have been 
driven into what the bureaucrats are pleased to call 
the Extremist Camp (thatjSjjttie^mgwhich makes 
thg^r^tes^sacrifices v fQr the jiberty oLtEeir country), 
and would never have inaugurated the Non-Co-opera- 
tion Campaign, and one of the , darkest and /nost 
disgraceful chapters ol British rule in India would .never 
have needed_t<2Lbe written. 


In support of this contention British Imperialists 
must be reihinded of the fact that when the Great 
War broke out Gandhi came over to England to raise 
an* ambulance corps, believing, as he himself % said, 
that he was a " citizen of the Empire," and that " no 
Englishman had co-operated more strictly than he 
with the Empire during twenty-fiine years ?>f public 
activity. Four times he had endangered , his life for 
England. . . ,| Until 1919 he ha^ * advocated co- 
operation with sincere conviction./' 

When the Great War broke ou^, India rose as one 
man to help Englanfl against Gernfany instead of 
rising as one man, according to German expectations, 
to fight for her own freedom. The Declaration of 
War aims, namely, " To make the world safe for 
democracy," " The protection of small nationalities," 
and " Self-determination for all peoples," captured 
the minds ancf hearts of the people of India, who read 
in it their title to freedom and self-government. 

In August, 1917, the Secretary of State for* India 
(Mr. Montagu) promised " responsible government 
to India within the British Empire," and the following 
winter visited India for the purpose of learning Indian 
public opinion and consulting the Viceroy, Lord 
Chelmsford, with regard to ways and means of carrying 
out this solemn pledge. 

On April 2nd, 19*8, the Prime Minister (Mr. Lloyd 
George), alarmed by the danger confronting the Allied 
armies, sent a message to India reminding her of 
" the intention of tfie rulers of Germany to establish 
ajtyranrfy not only over Europe, but over Asia as well," 
and Asking "every lover of freedom and law " to play 
his part in preventing " the menace spreading to the 
East and gradually engulfing the^ world," and hoping 


that India " will add to the laurels it has already won," 
and " be the bulviark which will save Asia." Mahatma 
Gandhi, on behalf of Indian reformers of all shades of 
opinion, joined the War Conference at Delhi * on 
April 27th, 1918, when the King-Emperor's message 
declared that " the need of the Empire is India's 

India Contributed in money not less than 
i^o,ooo 1 ggp % aiul in men 1,457,000, and her services 
were recognised and spoken of in the most eulogistic 
terms by the Viceroy and the Prime Minister of 
England. India awaited confidently the reward of 
her fidelity after the Armistice. 

India's goodwill and stupendous sacrifices to win 
the war were repaid by the British bureaucracy, jirst, 
by suspension instead of extension of the existing 
liberties ; by abuse of the Defence of. India Act, 
under whose dangerous provisions large number 
of Indians of unblemished character, along with 
Mrs.** Besant, were arrested and interned ; and, 
secondly, by the introduction of theJRowlatt Bilkifl 
February, 1919, in the Imperial Legislative Council jd: 


The object of these black Bills was to take awajj 
trial by jury, and assessors in cases of sedition, holding 
trials _iflL .camera after the Star Chamber pattern, 
admitting evidence without cr9ss-examinajtion, and 
unrecorded by the^court, and, worst oi all, reserving 
to the executive the right and power not only to 
restrict the liberty of the subject by demanding 
securities with or, without sureties, by restricting his 
residence, or requiring notification of change. f*fesi^ 
dence, and demanding abstention from certain acts, 
such as engaging in journalism, attending meetings, 


etc., but also to deprive him of all liberty by arresting 
and confining him. 

The whole c&untry protested against this un- 
wafranted encroachment on the fundamental rights 
of citizens, but the cruel and callous Government of 
India passed the Bills into an Act in March, 1919, 
whereupon some members (Loid Sinha and Sir 
Sankaran Nair) of the Imperial Legislative Council 
resigned their seats, and Gandhi led*a campaign of 
refusal to obey these laws, laying down the principle 
that " in this struggle we will faithfully follow the 
truth and refrain fro violence to life, person, or 

Satyagraha * is the name which Gandhi himself gave 
to the movement, which lasted four years and shook 
the British Empire as it had not been shaken since the 
American War of Independence. 

The Satyagntha was a " constitutional opposition " 

in the opinion of Romain Rolland, whose disinterested 

and unbiassed judgment should have weight eveff with 

imperialists, against an " unjust " and " dishonouring 

law/' and if that did not suffice to re-establish justice, 

Jie members of the Satyagraha reserved to themselves 

the right to extend their disobedience to other laws, 

and even to withdraw entirely their co-operation from 

the Government. 

Gandhi's philosophy taught his disciples that 
violence never j&nvjnces. that they must conymce^ by 
the i nuance of love, by_abnggation, by sufferings, 
freeiy^jSul joyously accepted, which Rolland pro- 
nounces AS " irresistible propag&nda " ; " by it the 

S<ya==righteous ; graha endeavour. Some critics maintain 
that tills derivation violates Sanskrit laws. Gandhi said its root 
meaning is " holding on to truth/ 1 hence truth-force. 


cross of Christ and of His little flock conquered the 
Roman Empire/'* 

Christian Imperialists how a Christian can be an 
Imperialist has always been incomprehensible to Jthe 
writer will learn with surprise that Gandhi attributes 
his idea of Passive Resistance as the most righteous 
weapon* for the attainment of justice and liberty, 
whether applied to individuals or nations, to reading 
the Sennonjan ^he^Mount, which made him overflow 
with joy, and which the " BhagavaiGita," one of the 
sacred books of the Hindus, fortified, and " The 
Kingdom of God is jn You," by Tolstoi, supported. 

As there is considerable confusion in English minds 
regarding Gandhi's methods, the following translation 
of an important passage from Romain Rolland's feook 
is submitted : 

" The term ' Satyagraha ' had bejn invented by 
Gandhi in South Africa in order to distinguish his 
action from Passive Resistance. It is necessary to 
insist with the greatest force upon that distinction, 
for it is precisely by ' passive resistance ' (or by 
' non-resistance ') that Europeans define Gandhi's 
movement. Nothing is falser. No man in the world 
has more aversion to passivity than this tireless 
fighter, who is one of the most heroic types of ' un- 
yielding ' (Resistant). The spirit of his movement 
is Active Resistance, througl^gaergy firedjjy love, 
byjaith, and by sacrifice. And this triple energy is 
expressed in the word Satyagraha" 

Gandhi himself defined it as " the triunptpli of truth 
by^soul-fprce and^love. . . . Non-violence doe^'not 
meanlaieek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but 
the pitting of one's whole soul against the will of the 


tyrant. ... I would risk violence a thousand times 
rather than emasculation of the %:ace. . . . Where 
there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, 
I Advise violence. I cultivate the j^uiet. courage of 
dying without killing. But to him who has not this 
courage I advised that of killing and being killed rather 
than that of shamefully fleeing fit>m danger.* For he 
who runs away commits mental violence,; he runs 
away because he has not the courage^ be killed while 

In the perpetual war of principles the Mahatma 
reflects the ideal expressed by Krishna in the " Bhaga- 
vad Gita " when he exhorted his disciple Arjuna to 
" stand up and fight," only Gandhi limits himself 
anihis disciples to the weapon of love. " Te_hardest 
$b must melt in the fire of love. If jLdoes .no tmelt, 
itjs because the not strong enough." 

On March ^}rd, 1919, Mahatma Gandhi issued his 
manifesto fixing April 6th for the observance of an 
all-India hartal (stoppage of work), and as a Say of 
'fasting, prayer and penance. The hartal was observed 
at Delhi on March 3Oth, when a riot ensued from a 
quarrel between a demonstrator and the stall-keeper 
at the railway station, and the military police and a 
small military force shot some people. On April 6th 
the hartal was observed, quietly and without outward 
incident, by rich and poor, high and low, educated and 
uneducated, villagers and townsmen, throughout India. 
India hadjre^covered her soul. 

Whilst proceeding to Delhi to enlighten the people 
ugon thSir duties and to relieve the sufferings of those 
who Jtad been shot down Gandhi was served with an 
order not to enter the Punjab or Delhi, and on his 
refusal to obey the order he was arrested and sent back 


to Bombay. The news of his arrest exaspemteu public 
opinion throughout the country, and Sir Michael 
O'Dwyer, the Governor of the Punjab, added to his 
arbitrary and reactionary methods the folly of 
deporting on April loth Drs. Kitchlew and Satyapal, 
Amritsar's two popular leaders, when a large body of 
men, wAo were proceeding to the house of the Deputy 
Commissioner in order to ask for the release of their 
leaders, were *^red upon, and some were fatally 
wounded. A riot at once ensued, when two Europeans 
were murdered, two ladies assaulted, and some banks 
and Government offices burnt and looted. 

The Massacre of Amritsar 

General Dyer occupied Amritsar with troopte on 
the night of April nth, and no untoward incident 
happened either on the nth or i2th. 

The following description, with abbreviations, is 
takeM from the report of the Committee of Inquiry 
appointed by the Government of India (four months 
after the events), and presided over by Lord Hunter, 
lately Solicitor-General for Scotland : 

" First News of a Meeting 

" About i p.m. General Dyer heard that the people 
intended to hold a big meeting about 4.30 p.m. In 
reply to the question ' Why did you not take measures 
to prevent its being held ? ' General Dyer answered : 
' I went there as soon as I could. I had to think the 
matter out ; I had to organise my forces and make up 
my mind as to where u l might put my pickets. I 
thought I had done enough to make the crowd not 
meet. If they were going to meet, I had to consider 


the military situation and make up my mind what to 
do, which took me a certain amount bf time/ " 

With regard to General Dyer's proclamation pro- 
hibfting public meetings, the report remarks: /' It 
does not appear what steps were taken to ensure its 

" At the BagK 

" About four o'clock in the afterncyJh *f April I3th 
General Dyer received definite information that a 
meeting was being held at Jallianw|Lla Bagh, contrary 
to the terms of the proclamation issued by him that 
morning. He then proceeded through the city with a 
number of pickets, which he left at prearranged places, 
and# special force of twenty-five Gurkhas and twenty- 
ve Baluchis armed with rifles, forty Gurkhas armed 
only with kukris, and two armoured cars. On arriving 
at Jallianwala *Bagh he entered with his force by a 
narrow entrance which was not sufficiently wide to 
allow the cars to pass. They were accordingly left in 
the street outside. 

" The Jallianwala Bagh is not in any sense a garden, 
as its name would suggest. It is a rectangular piece 
of unused ground, covered to some extent by building 
material and debris. It is almost entirely surrounded 
by the walls of buildings. The entrances and exits 
to it are few and imperfect. It seems to be frequently 
used to accommodate large gatherings of people. At 
that end of the Bagh by which General Dyer entered 
there is raised ground on each side of the entrance. 
A large crowd had gathered at ttfe opposite end of the 
Baght an( * we ^ e being addressed by a man on a raised 
platform about 100 yards from where General Dyer 
stationed his troops. According to the report sent 


by General Dyer to the Adjutant-General after the 
occurrence, the crowd numbered about 6,000. It is 
probable that it was much more numerous, and that 
from 10,000 to 20,000 people were assembled.* * 

" Firing 

" As soon as G&ieral Dyer entered the Bagh he 
stationed twenty-five troops on one side of the higher 
ground at th$ iterance, and twenty-five troops on the 
other side. Without giving the crowd any warning 
to disperse, which he considered unnecessary, as they 
were in breach of his proclamation, he ordered his 
troops to fire, and the firing was continued for about 
ten minutes. There is no evidence as to the nature of 
the address to which the audience was listening. Jjjfone 
of them were provided with firearms, although som 
of them may have been carrying sticks. 

" Casualties 

" jfe soon as firing commenced the crowd began to 
disperse. In all 1,650 rounds were fired by the troops. 
The firing was individual, and not volley firing. Many 
casualties occurred among the crowd. As General 
Dyer, when the firing ceased, immediately marched 
his troops back to the Ram Bagh, just outside the city, 
there was no means at the time of forming a correct 
estimate of the number killed and wounded. At first 
it was thought that about 200 had been killed. 
Recently an investigation into the number has been 
completed by the Government with the assistance of 
a list compiled by the? Allahabad Social Service League. 
As a result of this investigation it was discovered that 
approximately 379 people were killed. No figure was 
given for the wounded, but this number may be taken 


as probably three times as great as the number 

" After the firing at Jallianwala Bagh no serious 
o^ifcreak occurred in Amritsar. 

" Criticism of this Action 

" General Dyer's action in firing to the crowd is open 
to criticisgx~iii two respects: first, that Jie started 
ijring without giving^ the people whj^h^i assembled 
a, chance toxlispeEggj aqjl second, that he continued 
firing for a ^ubstanuST period of time after the crowd 
commenced to disperse. 

v- " Firing while Crowd dispersing 

1" Jn continuing to fire for so long as he did it appears 
t> us that General Dyer committed a grave error. 
General Dyer said : ' I fired, and continued to fire, 
until the crow<4 dispersed, and I consider this is the 
least arftSunt of firing which would produce the neces- 
sary moral and widespread effec^it was my duty to 
produce if I was to justify my action. If more troops 
had been at hand the casualties would have been 
greater in proportion. It was no longer a question of 
merely dispersing the crowd, but one of producing a 
sufficient moral effect from a military point of view 
not only on those who were present, but more especially 
throughout the Punjab. There could be no question 
of undue severity. ... It was a horrible duty I had 
to perform. I think it was a merciful thing. I thought 
that I should shoot well and shoot strong, so that I, 
or anybody else, should not have Ho shoot again. 1 " 

TR^ comment of tfce Hunter Committee on this is, 
" In our view this was, unfortunately, a mistaken 
conception of his duty." 


" Attention to Wounded 

" On being questioned as to whether he had taken 
any measures for the relief of the wounded General 
Dyer explained that the hospitals were open and ftie 
medical officers were there. His own words were : 
' Certainly not. It was not his job. Hospitals were 
open, and they coulci have gone to them/ 

" Effect 

" The action taken by General Dyer has also been 
described by otherj as having ^aved the situation in 
the Punjab, and having averted a rebellion on a scale 
similar to the Mutiny. It does not, however, appear 
to us possible to draw this conclusion, particularly in 
view of the fact that it is not proved that a conspi?acy 
to overthrow British power had been formed prior to** 
the outbreaks." t 

In the company of some of Amritsar's most dis- 
tinguished citizens, the writer visited this enclosure 
a veritable death-trap the scene of the massacre, 
which surpasses that of Glencoe in cruelty, and learnt 
more harrowing details ; for instance, how the killed 
included boys of thirteen and fourteen years of age. 

" Conspiracy 

" On the evidence before us there is nothing to show 
that the outbreak in the Punjab was part of a pre- 
arranged conspiracy to overthrow the British Govern- 
ment in India by force." 

This is the conclusion of the Hunter Committee 1 upon 
an atrocity which, if it had been committed by Abdul 
"the Damned," would have made Great Britain ring 
with denunciation from John o' Groat's to Land's End. 


How unnecessary it was, how easily avoidable it 
was, the reader may judge from General Dyer's 
admission before the Committee : 

* I think it is quite possible I could have dispersed 
the crowd without firing, but they would have 'come 
back again and laughed, and I should have made what 
I consider to be a fool of myself/' 1 ' 

Martial Law and a Reign ^ Terror 

Subsequently to the massacre, on April I4th, 
martial law was declared in Amrits f ar, Lahore, Gujerat, 
and Lyallpur districts, and a reign of terror ensued, 
which Rolland describes : " Aviators threw bombs on 
disarmed crowds. The most honourable citizens were 
jdragged before military tribunals, publicly whipped, 
compelled to crawl on their bellies in a public street, 
and subjected* to shameful humiliations. One would 
have said that a wave of madness swept over the 
English tyrants. As if the law of non-violencJg pro- 
claimed by India had had for its first effect to 
exasperate the violent from Europe even to frenzy ! 
Gandhi did not ignore it. He had not promised to 
lead his people to victory by a white road. He had 
promised them the path of blood. And the day of the 
Jallianwalla Bagh was only the day of baptism." 

According to the report of the Hunter Committee, 
114 cases were tried in Lahore, involving 852 accused, 
before Martial Law Commissioners, who tried cases 
unfettered by the rdinary recognised rules of pro- 
cedure or laws of evidence. Of thdse 581 were convicted ; 
108 persons condemned to death, 265 transported for 
life, 2 sentenced to transportation for other periods, 
5 to imprisonment for ten years, 85 for seven, and 104 


for shorter periods. Substantial alteration of these 
sentences was made by the local Government. Of the 
108 death sentences only 23 have been maintained. 
Of the remaining 85 sentences 23 have been coA- 
mutecf to transportation for life, 26 to rigorous 
imprisonment for ten years, 14 to seven years, I to 
six years; 10 to five tyears, and n to periods ranging 
from one to four years. Of the sentences of transporta- 
tion for life 2 gnl^were maintained ; in 5 the Govern- 
ment ordered immediate release of the convicts, while 
the remaining 258 sentences were commuted to terms 
of imprisonment, 2 \OT ten years and the remainder 
for periods ranging from one to seven. 

The Congress Punjab Inquiry 

The Punjab Sub-Committee of the Indian National 
Congress appointed M. K. Gandhi, C. R. Das, A. S. 
Tyabji and M. R. Jayakar, all eminent barristers-at- 
law, t6*make an independent inquiry, and to report. 
Unfortunately, the Hunter Committee had been unable 
to examine the evidence produced by this weighty 

The following are amongst the most important 
conclusions contained in the valuable report of this 
committee : 

1. The people of the Punjab were incensed against 
Sir M. O'Dwyer's administration by reason of his 
studied contempt and distrust of the educated classes, 
and by reason of the cruel and compulsory methods 
adopted during the War for obtaining recruits and 
monetary contributions, and by his suppression, of 
public opinion by gagging the local press. 

2. The arrest and internment of Mr. Gandhi and 


the arrests and deportations of Drs. Kitchlew and 
Satyapal were unjustifiable, and were the direct cause 
of hysterical popular excitement. 

*j. The Jallianwalla Bagh massacre was a calculated 
piece of inhumanity towards utterly innocent and 
unarmed men and children, and unparalleled for its 
ferocity in the history of moderA British administra- 

4. No reasonable cause had beeij^sh^wn to justify 
the introduction of martial law. 

5. The martial law tribunals resulted in abortion 
of justice on a wide scale, and 1 caused moral and 
material sufferings to hundreds of men and women. 

6. The " crawling " order and other fancy punish- 
mepts were unworthy of a civilised Administration, 

,and were symptomatic of the moral degradation of 
their inventors. 

7. It is oui*deliberate opinion that Sir M. O'Dwyer, 
General Dyer, Colonel Johnson, Colonel O'Brien, 
Mr. Bosworth Smith, Rai Ram Sud and MaliR'Saieb 
Khan have been guilty of such illegalities that they 
deserve to be impeached, but we purposely refrain 
from advising any such course, because we believe 
that India can only gain by waiving the right. Future 
purity will be sufficiently guaranteed by the dismissal 
of the officials concerned. 

8. We are of the opinion that the Viceroy, Lord 
Chelmsford, should be recalled, because he endorsed 
the action of the Punjab Government without inquiry ; 
he clothed the officials with indemnity in indecent 
haste ; he failed to inform the public and the Imperial 
Go^prnment of the full nature of the Jallianwalla Bagh 
massacre, or the subsequent acts done under martial 
law, etc. 


Condonation of the Massacre 

Immediately after the massacre Sir Michael 
O'Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Go vernor of the Punjab, 
allowed a telegram to be sent to General Dyer : " Your 
action correct. Lieutenant-Governor approves " ; and 
the Government of Jndia, " anticipating the inquiry 
of the Hunter Committee," rushed an Indemnity 
Bill by their official bloc through the Imperial Council, 
in the face of tnfe strong protests of the non-official 
members. The result of this is that, so far as India is 
concerned, officials responsible for excesses and abuse 
of authority are immune in the Indian courts from 
prosecution in civil suits for anything done under 
martial law in good faith. 

In England Dyer was publicly presented witA a 
sword of honour, and was hailed in the House of Lords 
as a saviour of empire because he hac^ given Indian 
patriots a lesson in Prussianism. 

The Khalifat Question 

Next to the Rowlatt Act and the reign of terror 
arising out of it, the question of the Khalifat disturbed 
the people of India. Indian Mussulmans to the number 
of 70 millions had to choose between England and 
Turkey, whose sultan was the defender of their faith. 
They backed England on the Prime Minister's assur- 
ance of immunity of the holy places in Arabia and 
Mesopotamia, regarding which Mr. Lloyd George said : 
" Nor are we fighting to deprive Turkey of its capital 
or of the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and 
Thrace, which are predominantly Turkish in race.iJ 

Khalifat conferences were held at Delhi, Amritsar 
and Bombay in 1919 and 1920, and a manifesto 


warned the Governments of India and England 
against violating " the deepest religious feelings of 
Mohammedans, supported by the Hindu population/' 

teandhi presided at the first Khalifat Conference of 
All India at Delhi on November 24th, 1919, and 
proclaimed the union of Hindus and Muslims, declaring 
that Hindus were at one with Mussulmans in Upholding 
the Mussulman cause. " Already the union had been 
cemented in blood, when Mohammqflan$ and Hindus 
were killed together by the English on the field of 
massacre at Amritsar." 

In spite of the Muslim manifesto and deputations 
to London, the Peace Terms which were published 
on May I4th, 1920, proved to be disastrous to Turkey, 
and caused deep indignation among the Muslims, who 
decided on May 28th, 1920, to adopt Gandhi's Non- 
Co-operation policy. A joint Hindu-Muslim conference 
held at Allah&bad on June 3Oth, 1920, unanimously 
adopted Non-Co-operation, giving a month's notice to 
the Viceroy. 

Attitude of British Government 

The British Government not only wakened up to 
the danger too late, but committed the same crimes in 
India that previous Governments had committed in 
Ireland, sandwiching microscopic concessions with 
macroscopic coercion. 

The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, which we deal 
with elsewhere, were accompanied by a proclamation 
from the King oit December 24th, 1919, inviting 
Indians to co-operate in working them, and asking the 
Viceroy to amnesty.political prisoners. 

Although he judged the reforms inadequate and 
incomplete, Gandhi considered them and the proclama- 


tion together as an olive branch, as an offer of peace, 
and counselled their acceptance by the National 
Congress, which otherwise, in all probability, would 
have .rejected them, for many of the leaders looked 
upon them as a trap. 

Later Gandhi changed his views on the subject, 
and recognised that^e had walked into a trap. 

His hop<j3 of peace and justice were soon dashed by 
the Viceroy, whc% instead of showing clemency accord- 
ing to the King's request, permitted many political 
prisoners to languisji in gaols, and some to be sent to 
execution, a denouement which broke Indian confidence 
in British good faith. 


The programme of Non-Co-operation drawn up by* 
Gandhi and his committee of Non-Ca-operators in- 
cluded : 

1. Surrender of titles and honorary offices. 

2. Non-participation in Government loans. 

3. Refusal to attend Government levies, durbars, 


4. Boycott of schools and colleges controlled by the 


5. Boycott of British courts and settlement of 

disputes by private arbitration. 

6. Boycott of reformed councils. 

7. Refusal on the part of military, clerical and 

labouring classes to reamit the services in 

8. The propagation of Swadeshi, of spinning, and 

weaving in every home, with the boycott of 
foreign cloth. 


9. Removal of " untouchability." 

10. Removal of drink curse. 

In his own words, Gandhi said, " Personally I do not 
mind Governmental fury as I mind mob fury/.' and 
accordingly he took precautions to keep order and 
discipline in the ranks of Non-Co-operators, maintaining 
that " effective Non-Co-operation depends upon com- 
plete organisation, and disorderliness comes from 
anger, orderliness out of intelligent resistance ; . . . 
that the first condition of real success is to ensure 
entire absence of violence ; . . . tfcat violence done to 
persons representing the Government or to persons 
who don't join our ranks means retrogression, cessation 
of Non-Co-operation, and useless waste of innocent 

European revolutionists rub their eyes in astonish- 
ment when they read this programme and advocacy 
of non-violence, and wonder what good thing can 
come out of it in the way of freedom, forgetting that 
Non-Co-operation had been tried in other countries, 
like Hungary and Ireland, and had finally succeeded. 

On August ist, 1920, Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated 
the Non-Co-operative Movement by returning his titles 
and decorations in a famous letter to the Viceroy : 
" It is not without a pang that I return the Kaisar-i- 
Hind gold medal granted to me by your predecessor 
for my humanitarian work in South Africa, the Zulu 
War medal granted in South Africa for my services 
as officer-in-charge of the Indian Volunteer Ambulance 
Corps in 1906, and the Boer War, medal for my services 
as assistant superintendent of the Indian Volunteer 
Stretcher-Bearer Corps during the Boer War of 1899- 
1900. I venture to return these medals in pursuance 
of the scheme of Non-Co-operation. Valuable as these 


honours have been to me, I cannot wear them with an 
easy conscience so long as my Mussulman countrymen 
have to labour under a wrong done to their religious 
sentiments. Events that have happened during ftie 
past month have confirmed me in the opinion that the 
Imperial Government have acted in the Khalifat 
matter in an unscrupulous, immoral and unjust 
manner, and have been moving from wrong to wrong 
in order to .defend their immorality. I can retain 
neither respect nor affection for such a Government. 

" The attitude of the Imperial and Your Excellency's 
Government in the Punjab question has given me 
additional cause for grave dissatisfaction. I had the 
honour as one of the Congress Commissioners to 
investigate the causes of the disorders in the Punjab 
during April, 1919. And it is my deliberate conviction^ 
that Sir Michael O'Dwyer was totally unfit to hold the 
office of Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, and that his 
policy was primarily responsible for infuriating the 
mob at Amritsar. No doubt the mob excesses were 
unpardonable ; incendiarism, murder of five innocent 
Englishmen, and the cowardly assault on Miss Sher- 
wood were most deplorable and uncalled for. But the 
preventive measures taken by General Dyer and other 
officers were out of all proportion to the crime of the 
people, and amounted to wanton cruelty and in- 
humanity almost unparalleled in modern times. 

" Your Excellency's light-hearted treatment of the 
official crime, your exoneration of Sir Michael O'Dwyer, 
Mr. Montagu's despatch, and, abave all, the shameful 
ignorance of the Punjab events and callous disregard 
of the feelings of Indians betrayed by the Hotije of 
Lords, have filled me with the gravest misgivings 
regarding the future of the Empire, have estranged 


me completely from the present Government, and have 
disabled me from tendering, as I have hitherto whole- 
heartedly tendered, my loyal co-operation. 

*' In my humble opinion the ordinary method of 
agitating by way of petitions, deputations, and the 
like is no remedy for moving to repentance a Govern- 
ment so hopelessly indifferent tfc the welfare of its 
charge as the Government of India has proved to be. 
In European countries, condemnation of^uch grievous 
wrongs as the Khalifat and the Punjab would have 
resulted in a bloody revolution by the people. They 
would have resisted at all cost national emasculation 
such as the said wrongs imply. But half of India is 
too weak to offer such violent resistance, and the other 
hal( is unwilling to do so. I have, therefore, ventured 
to suggest the remedy of Non-Co-operation, which 
enables those who wish to to disassociate themselves 
from the Government, and which, if it is unattended by 
violence and undertaken in an ordered manner, must 
compel it to retrace its steps and undo the wrongs 
committed. But whilst I shall pursue the policy of 
Non-Co-operation in so far as I can carry the people 
with me, I shall not lose hope that you will yet see 
your way to do justice. I, therefore, respectfully ask 
Your Excellency to summon a conference of the 
recognised leaders of the people, and in consultation 
with them find a way that would placate the Mussul- 
mans and do reparation to the unhappy Punjab." 

Gandhi's example was followed at once by hundreds 
of magistrates resigning, by abandonment of the law 
courts, by withdrawal of thousands of students from 
schools and colleges, and Indian universities, Indian 
colleges and schools, free from Government control, 
springing up in their place. 


A special session of the Indian National Congress 
was held at Calcutta in September, which sanctioned 
Gandhi's programme and decided that non-violent 
Non-Co-operation must be adopted until India's 
wrongs were righted and Swaraj (Home Rule) was 

Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Mohammad Ali, and 
others touted through the country, amidst scenes of 
wild enthusiasm* conducting a campaign at the same 
time to advance Hindu-Muslim unity, the settlement 
of disputes betweeq Brahmins and non-Brahmins, and 
to rid Hinduism of the reproach of *' untouchability." 

To a friendly critic, who deplored " direct action " 
and appealed to Gandhi as a " saint " to take up the 
larger mission of uniting the world, the Mahatma's 
reply is worth reading in extenso in Young India o 
May I2th, 1920, but the following extracts reveal the 
character of our hero : " The word ' saftnt ' should be 
ruled^ out of present life. It is too sacred a word to be 
lightly applied to anybody, much less to one, like myself, 
who claims only to be a humble searcher after truth. 
. . . The politician in me has never dominated a single 
decision of mine, and if I seem to take part in politics, 
it is only because politics encircle us to-day like the coil 
of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter 
how one tries. . . . Never has anything been done on 
this earth without " direct action." It was direct action 
in South Africa which converted General Smuts. I 
rejected the word ' passive resistance ' because of its 
insufficiency. . . . What was the? larger ' symbiosis ' 
that Buddha and Christ preached ? Buddha fearlessly 
carried the war into the enemy's camp and brought 
down on its knees an arrogant priesthood. Christ drove 
out the money-changers from the temple of Jerusalem, 


and drew down curses from Heaven upon the hypo- 
crites and the Pharisees. Both were intensely for direct 
action. But even as Buddha and Christ chastised, they 
sh8wed unmistakable gentleness and love behind pvery 
act of theirs. . . . Christ died on the cross with a crown 
of thorns on his head defying the might of a whole 
empire. And if I raise resistances of a non-violent 
character, I simply and humbly follow in tfye footsteps 
of the great teachers." * 

Romain Rolland emphasised the fact that Gandhi's 
campaign had not only for object tjjie paralysing of the 
English Government by Non-Co-operation, but the 
organisation of a new India capable of supporting herself, 
and of creating her material and moral independence. 
Towards national and economic independence Swadeshi 
was the sanest and simplest means in Gandhi's opinion 
(an opinion from which he has never swerved in spite 
of any amounf of criticism), and which he summed up 
as follows : " (i) Learn spinning yourself, whether man 
or woman. Charge for the labour if you need money, 
or make a gift of at least an hour's labour to the nation 
daily. (2) Learn weaving yourself, whether for recrea- 
tion or for maintenance. (3) Make improvements in 
the present handlooms and the spinning wheels, and if 
you are rich pay for them to those who would make 
them. (4) Take the Swadeshi vow and patronise the 
cloth that is both hand-spun and hand-woven. (5) In- 
troduce such cloth among your friends, and believe that 
there is more art and humanity in Khadi whose yarn 
has been prepared by your poor sisters. (6) If you are 
a mother, you will give a clean and national culture to 
you&children and make them wear clothes made out of 
beautiful Khadi, which is available to millions and 
which can be most easily produced. Swadeshi involves 


the honour of Indian womanhood. It will save them 
from road labour and from working in the mills. It 
means even distribution of wealth from an occupation 
next, in importance only to agriculture. It supple- 
ments agriculture, and, therefore, automatically assists 
nationally to solve the problem of our growing poverty. 
It will help to save the annual drain of 60 million 

Towards moral independence it would be necessary 
to deny themselves many national satisfactions, to 
practise and obey l^ws of health, above all, to root out 
" the curse of drink " and to boycott the wines of 
Europe. So strong was the wave of temperance that 
the Mahatma was compelled to intervene and stop the 
crowds from closing the drink-shops by force or from 
sacking them, when he explained that " It is not per-, 
missible to make people pure by force." 

The music of the spinning wheel, of the Charkha, 
whose^every revolution spins peace, goodwill and love, 
excited the benediction of India's venerable national 
poet, Rabindranath Tagore, who had already relin- 
quished his title from patriotic motives. 

When Gandhi gave the order to burn foreign manu- 
factured clothes, which he regarded as an emblem of 
slavery, and Bombay consigned to the flames in 
August, 1921, a pyramid of the finest sadis, shirts and 
jackets, to the tumultuous joy of a vast concourse of 
people, who felt that their shackles were being broken, 
Mr. C. F. Andrews, one of the firmest friends of India, 
one who wore Khaddar, and one* of the greatest ad- 
mirers of the Mahatma, protested that it shocked him, 
because he feared that it was a form almost of violence, 
a subtle appeal to racial feeling, a retrograde step to the 
old, bad, selfish nationalism, " I was supremely happy 


when you were dealing great giant blows at the great 
fundamental moral evils, drunkenness, drug-taking, 
untouchability, race arrogance, etc., and when you 
were, with such wonderful and beautiful tenderness, 
dealing with the hideous vice of prostitution. But 
lighting bonfires of foreign cloth ajid telling people it is 
a religious sin to wear it . . . I cannot tell you how dif- 
ferent all this appears to me." Thus wrote Andrews to' 
his friend Gandhi, who replied, in a loving spirit, on the 
" Ethics of Destruction," from which I cull the follow- 
ing quotations : "I remain just as Convinced as ever of 
the necessity of burning. There is no emphasis on the 
process of race feeling. . . . Experience shows that the 
richest gifts must be destroyed without compensation 
and hesitation, if they hinder one's moral progress. . . . 
If the emphasis were on all foreign things, it would be 
racial, parochial and wicked. The emphasis is on all 
foreign cloth. The restriction makes all the difference 
in the world. I do not want to shut out English lever 
watches or the beautiful Japanese lacquer work. Love 
of foreign cloth has brought foreign domination, pau- 
perism, and, what is worst, shame to many a home. , . . 
Not long ago hundreds of ' instructive ' weavers of 
Kathiawar, having found their calling gone, became 
sweepers. And some are helpless witnesses of the shame 
of their daughters and even their wives, who, under 
pressure of one sort or another, are obliged to sell their 
honour. . . . Proud weavers of the Punjab, for want 
of occupation, not many years ago, took to the sword 
and were instructed* in killing the proud and innocent 
Arabs at the bidding of their officers, and not for the 
sake- of this country but for the sake of their livelihood. 
... Is it now any wonder, if I consider it a sin to touch, 
foreign cloth ? . , . Foreign cloth to India is like 


foreign matter to the body. The destruction of the 
former is as necessary for the health of India as of the 
latter for the health of the body. . . . India is to-day 
nothing but a dead mass movable at the will of another. 
Let lier become alive by self-purification, i.e., self- 
restraint and self-denial, and she will be a boon to her- 
self and mankind, iet her be carelessly self-indulgent, 
^aggressive, grasping, and if she rises, she will do so like 
Kumbha fcfaqna, only to destroy and be a curse to her- 
self and mankind." 

" On the racial, parochial and wicked " side of the 
argument Mahatma Gandhi might effectively have 
quoted the action of the British Government, which 
stamps all letters sent through the Post Office in bold 
letters, big enough for the blind to read, with " Buy 
British Goods/' " British Goods are Best/ 1 

Gandhi argued that millions of Indians had been 
ruined by English manufactures ; that many had 
fallen to the rank of pariahs and mercenary soldiers, 
and flieir wives and daughters to prostitution ; that 
Indians hated their English exploiters, and, therefore, 
the hatred must be turned from men to things. He did 
not hesitate to lay the blame on the Indians who bought 
as well as on the English who sold. With him the con- 
suming of foreign cloth in bonfires was a necessary sur- 
gical operation, performed not as an act of hatred, but 
of repentance. To have given these soiled goods to the 
poor, as suggested by some, would, in his view, have 
been dishonourable. 

Recognising that economic freedom would be foolish 
without spiritual freedbm, Mahatma Gandhi was anxious 
to substitute Indian culture for European, an$ to 
that end he opened the National University of Gujerat 
at Ahmedabad in November, 1920. On that occasion 


he unfolded some of his ideals : " The National Univer- 
sity stands to-day as a protest against British injustice, 
and as a vindication of national honour. ... It draws 
it^ inspiration from the national ideals of a ijinited 
India. It stands for a religion which is the Dharma of 
the Hindus and Islam of Mohammedans. It wants to 
rescue the Indian vernaculars from unmerited oblivion 
and make them the foundations of national regenera- 
tion and Indian culture. It holds thatna systematic 
study of Asiatic cultures is no less essential than the 
study of Western sciences for a complete education for 
life. The vast treasures of Sanskrit and Arabic, Persian 
and Pali, and Magadhi have to be ransacked in order to 
discover wherein lies the source of strength for the 
nation. It does not propose merely to feed on or repeat 
ftie ancient cultures. It rather hopes to build a new 
culture based on the traditions of the past, enriched by 
the experienced of later times. It stands for the syn- 
thesis of the different cultures that have come to stay in 
India, that have influenced Indian life, and that, in 
their turn, have themselves been influenced by the 
spirit of the soil. This synthesis will naturally be of 
the Swadeshi type, where each culture is assured its 
legitimate place, and not of American pattern, where 
one dominant culture absorbs the rest, and where the 
aim is not towards harmony, but towards an artificial 
and forced unity. That is why the University has de- 
sired a study of all the Indian religions by its students. 
The Hindus may thus have an opportunity of studying 
the Koran, and the Muslims of knowing what the Hindu 
Shastras contain. If the University has excluded any- 
thing, it is the spir# t of exclusion that regards any sec- 
tion of humanity as permanently untouchable. The 
study of Hindustani, which is a national blend of 


Sanskrit, Hindu and Persianised Urdu, has been made 
compulsory. The spirit of independence will be fos- 
tered, not only through religion, politics, and history, 
but through vocational training also, which can giVe 
the youths of the country economic independence and 
a backbone that comes out of a sense of self-respect. 
The University hopes'to organise higher schools through- 
out the mofussil towns, so that education may be spread 
broadcast n filtered down to the masses as early as 
possible. The use of Gujerati as the medium of educa- 
tion will facilitate this process, and ere long the 
suicidal cleavage between the educated and non-edu- 
cated will be bridged. And, as an effect of industrial 
education to the genteel folks and literary education 
for the industrial classes, the unequal distribution of 
wealth and the consequent social discontent will be con- 1 
siderably checked. The greatest defect of the Govern- 
ment universities has been their alien control and the 
false values they have created as regards ' careers. ' The 
Gujerati University, by non-co-operating with the 
Government, has automatically eradicated both these 
evils from its own system. If the founders and pro- 
moters stick to this resolve till the Government becomes 
nationalised, it will help them to cultivate a clear per- 
ception of national ideals and national needs." 

This long quotation is given for the purpose of 
enabling the reader to know the man who defied 
British authority in India. 

To rear educators for the young, Gandhi established 
a monastery at Ahmedabad Satyagrah Ashram 
where masters and pupils subscribed to the vows of 
(i) truth, never to lie even for tj^ benefit of tjieir 
country ; (2) Ahimsa, not to kill even tyrants, but to 
conquer by love ; (3) celibacy ; (4) simpler living ; 


(5) not to steal, a theft being defined as the employ- 
ment of objects of which we have no real need ; (6) 
non-possession of everything which is not absolutely 
neHessary for the body's requirements ; (7) Swadeshi, 
boycott of foreign goods and clothes ; (8) fearlessness, 
freedom from fear of kings, people, family, men, wild 
beasts, and death. At the end \)i ten years' train- 
ing these young servants of India had a free choice to 
take these vows or retire. 

Romain Rolland describes this spiritual work of 
Mahatma Gandhi as the creation of a legion of apostles 
who, like those of Christ, would be file salt of the earth, 
and he designates the Mahatma as the moulder of a new 

How richly the Mahatma deserved this high esteem 
of the great French writer may be appreciated by 
the reader when he learns that during the stern and 
strenuous fight against the British Government Gandhi 
combined the combat for the rights of man with the 
combat for the rights of nations, the rights o the 
oppressed classes in India with the rights of India to 
complete justice and equality in the brotherhood of 
men and of nations. " If Indians," he argued, " have 
become pariahs of the Empire, it is the return of eternal 
justice. . . . Untouchability has degraded India. Even 
the Mussalmans caught the sinful contagion from us, 
and in South Africa, in East Africa and in Canada, the 
Mussalmans, no less than Hindus, came to be regarded 
as pariahs. All this evil has resulted from the sin of 
untouchability. . jThe first duty is to protect the 
weak, and not to outrage the human conscience. We 
are jio better than brutes as long as we fail to wash our- 
selves of this sin. Swaraj ought to be the reign of jus- 
tice on earth." He was prepared even to sacrifice his 


religion if untouchability formed part of its dogma. He 
presided over the " Suppressed Classes Conference " at 
Ahmedabad in April, 1921. He organised them, and on 
his initiation the Indian National Congress passed the 
resolution stating that the removal of this blot on 
Hinduism was necessary for the attainment of Swaraj. 

The cause of women, their emancipation from social 
and political injustice, from the curse of early marriage 
and from th*e degrading evils of prostitution, never had 
a nobler, more devoted, and more powerful champion 
than Mahatma Gandhi. 

In the words of Rolland, Gandhi succeeded in har- 
monising religion, patriotism and humanity. What 
more can we say of this light of the world, of this bright 
effluence of bright essence increate, of this prince of 
peace, of this beautiful reflection or reincarnation of 
Buddha and Christ ? 


At first the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, treated the 
Non-Co-operative Movement with superior contempt, 
saying in August, 1920, that " of all the foolish schemes 
this was the most foolish," but by November 6th of the 
same year he issued an official statement threatening 
to institute criminal proceedings against those who 
passed the limits of non-violence. The limits were 
soon passed, but by the Government, as Rolland 
points out. 

In December, 1920, the Indian National Congress at 
Nagpur, at which there* were 469 Mussulmans, 65 Sikhs, 
5 Parsis, 2 untouchables, 106 women, and 4,079 Hindus, 
as delegates, confirmed (instead of rejected, as the 
Government hoped) the Non-Co-operation vote of the 


special session in September, inscribing as the first 
article of its constitution : 

" The object of the National Congress is to attain 
Swaraj for the people of India by every paci^c and 
legitimate means." 

Further, the Congress announced that refusal to pay 
taxes would be resorted to if necessary. Meanwhile all 
Indians were exhorted to practise with more zeal the 
programme of Non-Co-operation. This* was regarded 
by the British bureaucracy as an affirmation of a State 
within the State, of an Indian State against the British 
Government, and instead of seeking an understanding 
with the Indian leaders of the patriotic movement in a 
conciliatory spirit, the British authorities determined 
to destroy Indian nationalism by repression and vio- 
lence, the usual weapons employed by Imperialists in 
treating with subject races. 

Curiously 6nough, the outbreaks of violence on the 
part of the Government occurred in extraneous move- 
ments, when the police put down with bloodsfied an 
agarian revolt of tenants against landlords in the United 
Provinces. Next, the Government intervened in the 
Akali agitation in the Punjab amongst the Sikhs, who 
sought to reform and control their religious shrines, 
and in February, 1921, the Government failed to pre- 
vent the massacre of unarmed and devotedly religious 
Sikhs, when 200 men were killed, and more wounded, by 
the partisans of the Mahants, whose claims to certain 
temples Government supported. 

With regard to the Akali movement, the writer feels 
it to be his duty to place on^recoVd that when he visited 
Lahore in January., 1926, he found large numbers of 
Sikhs still in gaols, undergoing sentences for a religious 
strike, the justice of which strike was practically 


acknowledged by the Gurdwara Act, recently passed by 
the Legislative Council of the Punjab, and accepted by 
the Punjab Government, by which the shrines a^e 
restored to the Sikhs. So deeply was I stirred that I 
made a public appeal to the Governor of the Province 
to release these prisoners, not merely as an act of con- 
ciliation and grace, but as an act of justice. I believe 
that they have been released since. 

The Government then resorted to repression of the 
Non-Co-operators, culminating in the suppression of 
volunteer organisations, the promulgation of the Sedi- 
tious Meetings Act, and the arrest and incarceration of 
thousands of Indians on mere suspicion. For the 
benefit of the reader, it should be explained that " sedi- 
tion " is an extraordinarily comprehensive offence in 
the eyes of the Government of India, including the 
preaching of " disaffection " to the Government, a 
crime which is committed in England (3nd wherever 
parliamentary government exists) by every political 
party when in opposition, whether it be Liberal, Labour 
or Tory. 

Volunteers by the hundreds were thrown into gaols 
for " peaceful picketing " of liquor shops, which formed 
an important source c/ revenue to the Government, and 
the picketing of which the Government would not 
tolerate, preferring India drunk to India sober, and 
India immoral to India pure. This was not the first 
time that alcoholism and European civilisation marched 
together, remarks Rolland. Carte-Uanche was given 
to the police to crush the movement, and coercion pro- 
duced reprisals, collisions between the mob and the 
police, and murders and incendiarism, just as happened 
in Ireland when the British Government gave way to 


With the growth of the national movement the 
" brutal repressions " Holland's description and im- 
morality of the Government increased beyond all 
bounds. Riots, accompanied by bloodshed, bujrst out 
at Malegaon, in Nasik, at Giridih, in Berar, and elsewhere, 
but worse was to follow. In May, 1921, 12,000 coolies 
working in the tea-gardens of Assam struck on account 
of low wages, and made a great exodus to Chanpur, 
where they were attacked by Gurkhas iirthe service of 
the Government. To the exquisite torture of starva- 
tion weife added the horrors of militarism by a British 
Government professing paternal friendship and trus- 
teeship for the poor. This display of frightfulness led 
to a sympathetic strike among the working classes on 
the railroads and steamers in East Bengal, which created 
a complete deadlock for nearly two months. 

Becoming alarmed or conscience - stricken, Lord 
Reading, the Viceroy, had long interviews with Mahatma 
Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Pandit Madan Mohan 
Malaviya, but without relaxing his policy of coercion 
and tyranny , and without exhibiting any trace of states- 
manship by removing the causes of the national dis- 
orders of his own, his predecessor's and the Home 
Government's creation. The Ali brothers, the stout 
leaders of the Muslims, had been accused of speeches 
calculated to provoke violence ; Gandhi obtained from 
his Mussulman friends a formal declaration that they 
would never appeal to violence. 

The Khalifat Conference of All India, which met at 
Karachi on July 8th, 1921, reiterated the demands of 
Islam, and passed a resolution 'declaring it " unlawful 
fo* any faithful Mussulman to serve from that day in 
the army or help or acquiesce in the recruitment." It 
also declared that, if the British Government fought 


the Angora Government, the Muslims of India would 
start civil disobedience and hoist the flag of the Indian 

The, All India Congress Committee meeting at Bom- 
bay on July 28th resolved to boycott the Prince of 
Wales, because it regarded the visit of the Prince as a 
" political move " calculated to give strength and 
support to a system of government that has resulted 
in a breach oifaith with the Mussulmans and atrocious 
injustice to the people of India, and a system that is 
designed to keep India as long as possible from her 
birthright of Swaraj. This was the first meeting of 
the committee after the inauguration of the deceptive 

On August igth the Moplahs (a Mussulman com- 
munity) of Malabar broke out into open rebellion, at 
first against the Government, but subsequently against 
the Hindu population as well. The immediate cause of 
the outbreak was the attempted arrest by the District 
Magistrate of some Khalifat workers, f oflowing on ruth- 
less repression of their legitimate activities. Carried 
away by fanaticism and ignorance, these wild men 
looted Hindu houses, forcibly converted some of the 
inhabitants, and committed unmentionable atrocities. 
They received short shrift at the hands of the military, 
and sometimes slow and painful death. On one occa- 
sion they were herded together like cattle in tightly 
closed trucks on the railway, and died from asphyxiation 
without their cries for water being heard ; seventy were 
taken out dead at the end of a day's journey. The 
Mahatma and Maulaha Mahomed Ali hurried from 
Calcutta to Malabar to pacify the, Moplahs, but were 
prevented by the Government in their mission of 


In September fear took possession of the Govern- 
ment, and the leading Muslims, Mahomed Ali, Shaukat 
Ali, Dr. Kitchlew, Pir Galam Mujadid, Nisar Ahmed, 
&c., were arrested for the proposals of civil disobedi- 
ence voted at the Khalifat Conference. Gandhi at once 
took up the cudgels on behalf of his brother-Mussul- 
mans, and published a manifesto, signed by fifty 
eminent members of the National Congress, vindicating 
the right of every citizen to express hisr^pinion upon 
non-participation with a Government which has caused 
the moral, economic and political degradation of India. 

The Ali brothers were brought to trial at Karachi, and, 
along with their comrades, sentenced to two years' 
rigorous imprisonment. 

The Committee of the National CongreiS Iftet at 
Delhi on November 4th, and, after confirming Gandhi's 
manifesto, took the decisive step of authorising civil 
disobedience *by the flon-payment of taxes, imposing 
the conditions of the programme of Swadeshi and of 
Non-Co-operation, and emphasising non-violence. 

On November I7th the Prince of Wales landed in 
Bombay, where he was received by officials, Europeans, 
Parsis and the rich, but boycotted by the middle and 
working classes. Mobs got out of hand and began to 
molest visitors to the reception. From small beginnings 
the riots assumed larger proportions ; tramcars were 
burnt, liquor shops smashed, and even some Parsi ladies 
molested. Mahatma Gandhi, who also happened to be 
in Bombay, holding a meeting in another part of the 
city, rushed to the scene, censured the crowds and 
implored them to disperse. He said that the Parsis had 
thp right to welcom^ the Prince if they wished, and that 
nothing could excuse unworthy violence. At first his 
appeal succeeded, but later the unruly elements broke 


loose again, and many persons were wounded and killed 
during the next few days. Romain Holland remarks 
that the riots remained limited all the time ; the least 
of our revolutionary days in Europe would leave mofe 
damage. This was the only brutal explosion in all 
India, where the hartal (the solemn strike) was reli- 
giously observed in ffeace, without incidents. 

Gandhi, however, was " pierced as by an arrow/' and 
publicly derived that such misdoings rendered impos- 
sible mass civil disobedience, which he suspended. To 
punish himself for the violence of others he imposed 
upon himself a religious fast of twenty-four hours every 

After the Bombay riots panic seized the Europeans 
in India,* who pressed the Viceroy; to take immediate 
action, which he did by declaring, on November igth, 
the Khalifat and Congress Volunteer Corps unlawful 
under section 16 of the Indian Criminals Law Amend- 
ment Act, 1908, which had been passed to suppress 
anarchists and secret societies. Thousands of arrests of 
innocent Indians were made, and the Europeans, who 
in their cups and in their clubs stigmatise Indians as 
cowardly, breathed again freely. 

One must not be too severe or too caustic in criticism 
of the Viceroy, for he only did what Imperialists have 
always done in similar circumstances, what the Russian 
Czarists did in Poland, what the Austrians did in Italy, 
and what the British did in Ireland. Another reflection 
on his action which naturally arises is his sensitiveness 
to the opinion of the English residents in India, and 
his utter disregard of "the opinion of Indians, on whose 
behalf he was supposed to govern India. His behavjour 
as well as that of his predecessor, Lord Chelmsford, in 
the reign of terror which they conducted against 


Indians rightly struggling to be free, is another proof of 
the impossibility of one nation to govern another righ- 
teously. In the long and tragic history of Imperialism, 
nft nation has ever succeeded in ruling another without 
gross and disastrous injury and injustice. Will the 
English people learn this simple truth, and, learning it, 
hand over the government of Indfa to Indians, who by 
nature are best fitted to govern themselves ? 

The reign of terror and coercion procfvMed accord- 
ing to plan by the Government arresting and imprison- 
ing, in the beginning of December, the leaders of Indian 
nationalism for no baser crime than loving their coun- 
try, for working zealously and constitutionally for its 
emancipation from British domination. Mr. C. R. Das, 
the next-best-beloved man to Gandhi in India, Pandit 
Motilal Nehru, the highly venerated legal luminary, 
Lala Lajpat Rai, the lion of the Punjab, Maulana Abul 
Kalam Azad,<the heroic Mussulman, were pitched into 
gaols, as if they were the scum of the earth, along with 
thousands of young volunteers who differed from Lord 
Birkenhead, Lord Carson, Mr. Bonar Law, and other 
Tory revolutionaries, in that they pledged themselves 
to non-violence. Indian national sentiment was out- 
raged, and the Moderates protested strongly against this 
violent attack on the elementary rights of citizens, 
sending a deputation under Madan Mohase Malruja to 
the Viceroy to request the withdrawal of the notification 
under the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the Sedi- 
tious Meetings Act and the release of the persons im- 
prisoned under them, and also the calling of a Round 
Table Conference of the representatives of the people to 
solye and discuss with the Government the problem of 
India's freedom. The Viceroy rejected the offer of 
"peace with honour," hardened his heart against 


Indians like Pharaoh did against the Israelites, and 
plunged deeper into repression. 

Meanwhile the Prince of Wales was subjected to the 
foolish and provocative policy of the Viceroy, to 'ftie 
humiliation of marching through the streets of Calcutta 
bristling with bayonets, but deserted by the populace, on 
December 24th, which day was observed by Indians as 
a complete hartal. How much longer is the Home 
GovernmeilSgoing to abuse the Prince by making him 
a " commercial traveller " and " smoother " of Imperial 
mistakes ? It is not only dishonouring to him, but dis- 
honouring to our country, and tends to strengthen the 
growing conviction in India and in the world that the 
Indian Empire is run and retained for profits. 

The illustrious Frenchman, author of " Gandhi," 
seemed to find a parallel between the Indian National 
Congress, which opened at Ahmedabad at this time, and 
the Etats G6neraux of 1789. The Presktent (C. R. Das) 
was incarcerated. The discussions were brief. The 
principle of Non-Co-operation reaffirmed ; all citizens 
were invoked to offer themselves as " volunteers/' in 
order to be arrested ; the people were invited to hold 
public meetings everywhere ; " civil disobedience " was 
proclaimed equal in force and superior in humani- 
tarianism to " armed rebellion ; " and as soon as the 
masses were initiated into the methods of non-violence 
civil disobedience was put into operation. Foreseeing 
that most of the members would be arrested at the end 
of the session, the Congress delegated all powers to 
Gandhi, a dictatorship in fact, with the right to appoint 
his successor, with ohe reserve only, that the national 
credo should not be modified, and that peace with the 
Government should not be concluded without the con- 
sent of the Congress Committee. A fraction of the 


assembled delegates moved a resolution which tended 
to violent action in order to estafcjfeh as soon as possible 
the complete independence of InQia, but the majority 
rejected it in fidelity to Gandhi's principles. 

India had found her soul, for 40,000 men and women 
went joyfully to prison for the sake o*their country, 
and behind them thousands of otheirs arose waiting their 
turn to affirm their patriotism. 

Mass civil disobedience by refusal too^jDay taxes, 
Gandhi announced to the Viceroy in a courteous letter 
on February 8th, 1922, would be started in Bardoli, a 
district in the Province of Bombay, comprising 140 
villages, with 87,000 inhabitants, as a protest against 
the Government, which had put down brutally liberty 
of speech, liberty of association, and liberty of the press, 
unless the policy of the Government was changed for 
the better within seven days. 

Scarcely had this letter been posted than the drama 
of Chauri Chaura, in the district of Gorakhpur, took 
place. An unarmed procession was attacked by the 
police, who in turn were attacked by the members of 
the procession, upon whom the police opened fire, and, 
then overpowered, sought refuge in the police station, 
to which the population set fire, when the policemen 
were either burnt to death or killed by the mob. 

Gandhi was torn to pieces by this tragedy, taking 
upon himself the sins of the people, although not one 
" volunteer " had participated in the crime. Having 
despatched his ultimatum to the Viceroy a day or two 
before, how could ke withdraw it without ridicule ? 
" Satan," pride, forbade him. Putting Satan behind 
hinv he bravely stopped civil disobedience for the 
second time, and on February i6th, 1922, published 
" My Confession," one of the most extraordinary docu- 


ments of his extraordinary life, from which the following 
extracts are taken : 

" God has been abundantly kind to me. He has 
warned me the third time that there is not as yet*in 
India that truthful and non-violent atmosphere which, 
and which alone, can justify mass disobedience, which 
can be at all described as civil, which means gentle*, 
truthful, humble, knowing, wilful yet loving, never 
criminal aiH hateful. He warned me in 1919 when the 
Rowlatt Act agitation was started. Ahmedabad, 
Viramgam and Kheda erred ; Amritsar and Kasur 
erred. I retraced my steps, called it a Himalayan mis- 
calculation, humbled myself before God and man, and 
stopped not merely mass civil disobedience, but even 
my own, which I know was intended to be civil and non- 
violent. The next time it was through the events of 
Bombay that God gave a terrific warning. He made 
me an eye-witness. ... I stopped mass civil dis- 
obedience which was to be immediately started in 
Barcfoli. The humiliation was greater, but it did me 
good. I am sure that the nation gained by the stopping. 
India stood for truth and non-violence. But the bit- 
terest humiliation is that of to-day. . . . God spoke 
clearly through Chauri Chaura. . . . When India hopes 
to mount the throne of liberty through non-violence, 
mob violence even in answer to grave provocation is a 
bad augury. . . . Non-violent non-co-operators can 
only succeed when they have succeeded in attaining 
control over the hooligans of India. . . . The drastic 
reversal of the whole of the aggressive programme may 
be politically unsouad and unwise, but there is no 
doubt that it is religiously sound, and I venture to 
assure the doubters that the country will have gained by 
my humiliation and confession of error. The only 


virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay 
no claim to superhuman powers. I want none. I 
w^ar the same corruptible flesh that the weakest of my 
fellow-beings wear, and am, therefore, as liable t;o err 
as any. My services have many limitations, but God 
has up to now blessed them in spite of the imperfections. 
. . . Confession of error is like a* broom that sweeps 
away dirt. ... I feel stronger for my confession. And 
the cause must prosper for the retracingf^Never has 
man reached his destination by persistence in deviation 
from the straight path. ... It haf been argued that 
Chauri Chaura cannot affect Bardoli. ... I have no 
doubt on that account. The people of Bardoli are, in 
my opinion, the most peaceful in India. But Bardoli is 
but a speck on the map of India. Its effect cannot suc- 
ceed unless there is perfect co-operation from the other 
parts. ... A grain of arsenic in a pot of milk renders 
it unfit as footf. . . . Chauri Chaura is a deadly poison, 
. . . and Chauri Chaura represents India as much as 
Bardoli. . . . In civil disobedience there should \>e no 
excitement. Civil disobedience is a preparation for mute 
suffering. ... Its effect is marvellous, though unper- 
ceived and gentle. . . . The tragedy of Chauri Chaura 
is really the index finger. ... If we are not to evolve 
violence out of non-violence, we must hastily retrace 
our steps, and re-establish an atmosphere of peace, and 
not think of starting mass civil disobedience until we 
are sure of peace being retained in spite of Government 
provocation. . . . Let the opponent glory in our so- 
called defeat. It is better to be charged with cowardice 
than to sin against God. ... I tfmst undergo personal 
purification. / must become a fitter instrument, able to 
register the slightest variation in the moral atmosphere 
about me. My prayers must have much deeper truth 


and humility. . . . For me there is nothing so helpful 
and purifying as a fast, accompanied by the necessary 
mental co-operation. ... I am imposing on myself a 
five plays' continuous fast, permitting myself water. 
... I urge co-workers not to copy my example, for 
they are not the originators of disobedience. . . . J 
have been an unskil/ul surgeon. I must either abdicate 
or acquire greater skill. . . . My fasting is both a pen- 
ance and a^punishment for myself and for those who 
sinned at Chauri Chaura. . . . I would advise those who 
are guilty and repegtant to hand themselves voluntarily 
to the Government for punishment, and make a clean 
confessiori, for they have injured the very cause they 
intended to serve. ... I would suffer every humilia- 
tion, every torture, absolute ostracism and death itself 
to prevent the movement from becoming violent or a 
precursor of violence." 

Romain Holland's comment on Gandhi's confession 
and action will interest the reader. Freely translated, it 
is, "'The history of the human conscience counts few 
pages so lofty. The moral worth of such an action is 
exceptional. But as an act of policy it was disconcert- 
ing. Gandhi himself recognised that it might be judged 
' politically absurd and unwise/ It is dangerous to ' 
unite all the resources of a people, to cry halt before 
the aim is achieved, to give the command to proceed 
and then when the formidable machine is in motion to 
stop it three times. It risks shattering hope." 

When the All India Congress assembled at Delhi on 
February 24th, 1922, a vote of censure against the 
Bardoli decision to drop civil disobedience was sub- 
mitted ; but the majority supported the Mahatma, 
who was under no illusion as to the schism in the ranks 
of the Congress, which caused him great anguish. With 


his customary courage and frankness, he referred to it 
on March 2nd, 1922, in the following terms : " There was 
sumach undercurrent of violence, both conscious and 
unconscious, that I was actually praying for a disas- 
trous defeat. I have always been in a minority. . . . 
In South Africa I started with unanimity, reached a 
minority of sixty-four, and even sixteen, and went up 
again to a huge majority. The best and thg most solid 
work was done in the wilderness of minority. The only 
thing that the Government dread is this huge majority 
I command. They little know thrt I dread it even 
more than they. I have become sick of the admiration 
of the unthinking multitude. I would feel certain of 
my ground if I was spat upon by them. ... A friend 
warned me against exploiting my dictatorship. . . . 
Far from exploiting my ' dictatorship/ I have begun to 
wonder if I am not allowing myself to be ' exploited/ 
I confess that *I have a dread of it such as I never had 
before. My only safety lies in my shamelessne^s. I 
have warned my friends of the Committee that I am 
incorrigible. I shall continue to confess blunders each 
time the people commit them. The only tyrant I accept 
in this world is the ' still small voice ' within. And even 
though I have to face the prospect of a minority of one, 
I believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless 
minority. That to me is the only truthful position. I 
am a sadder and, I hope, a wiser man to-day. Our 
non-violence is skin-deep. We are burning with indig- 
nation. The Government is feeding it by its insensate 
acts. It seems almo*st as if the Government wants to 
see this land covered with murder, arson and rapine, 
in order to be able *to claim exclusive ability to put 
them down/' 
" This non-violence seems to be due merely to our 


helplessness, as if we are nursing in our bosoms the 
desire to take revenge the first time we get the oppor- 
tunity. Can voluntary non-violence come out of tfyis 
force^ non-violence of the weak ? Is it not a futile 
experiment I am conducting ? What if, when the fury 
burst, not a man, woman or child is safe, and everjj 
man's hand is raised against his fellow ? Of what avail 
is it then, if I fast myself to death after such a catas- 
trophe ? . '>. Co-operation with the Government is as 
much a weakness and a sin as alliance with suspended 
violence. ... If it^is through ' show of force ' that we 
wish to gain Swaraj, let us drop non-violence, and offer 
such violence as we may. It would be a manly, honest 
and sober attitude an attitude the world has been used 
to for ages past. No man can then accuse us of the 
terrible charge of hypocrisy. ... If the majority do 
not believe in non-violence, let them realise their 
responsibility. They are now bound nftt to rush to 
civil disobedience, but to settle down to quiet work of 
construction. ... If we do not take care we are likely 
to be drowned in the waters whose depth we do not 
know. . . . The minority has different ideals. It does 
not believe in the programme. Is it not right and 
patriotic for them to retire from the Congress and form 
a new party ? . . . The country will decide which is 
the popular party." 

It was the night in the Garden of Olives for Gandhi, 
as Rolland beautifully put it. He was ready to be 
arrested, waiting patiently in his beloved retreat, the 
Ashram of Sabarmati, near to AMmedabad, amongst 
his devoted disciples. *He had made all his dispositions 
" if arrested " as far back as November loth, 1920. " I 
desire that the people should maintain perfect self- 
control, and consider the day of my arrest as a day of 


rejoicing. ... If the people resort to violence, they 
will be playing into the hands of the Government. 
Tjjeir aeroplanes will then bomb the people, their 
Dyers will shoot into them, and their Smithg will 
uncover the veils of our women. There will be other 
officers to make the people rub their noses against the 
ground, crawl on their bellies, ancf undergo the scourge 
of whipping/' 

" In other countries Governments hav<? been over- 
thrown by sheer brute force, but I have often shown 
that India cannot attain Swaraj by that force. . . . 
The people should pursue peace, should not observe 
hartals (suspension of work), should not hold meet- 
ings, but carry out the programme of Non-Co-opera- 
tion by vacating Government schools and opening 
national schools and colleges, by settlement by arbitra- 
tion of cases before the law courts, by renunciation of 
foreign cloth,*by not enlisting in the army or in any 
other Government service, by those able to earn their 
livelihood by other means withdrawing from Govern- 
ment services, by complete boycott of the Reformed 
Councils, etc. ... If the people act thus, victory will 
be theirs ; if not, they will be crushed. 11 

On the evening of March loth, a little after the hour 
of prayer, the police who had given previous notice 
arrived at Ashram, and the Mahatma delivered himself 
into their hands. 

The great trial of Mahatma Gandhi and Mr. Banker, 
the printer and publisher of Young India, took place 
on March i8th before Mr. C. N. Brownsfield, District 
and Sessions Judge of Ahmed&bad, on a charge of 
exciting " disaffection " towards His Majesty's Govern- 
ment established in British India, when both the 
accused pleaded guilty. 


The statement made by the Mahatma on this occa- 
sion seems to me of such supreme importance for a 
proper understanding of the Indian view of British 
domination in India, that I reproduce much of it : 

" I owe it to the Indian public and to the public in 
England, to placate which this prosecution is mainly 
taken up, that I should explain why from a staunch 
loyalist and co-operator I have become an uncom- 
promising diSoffectionist and non-co-operator. To the 
court, too, I should say why I plead guilty to the 
charge of promoting disaffection towards the Govern- 
ment in India. . . . My first contact with British 
authority began in 1893 in South Africa, where I 
discovered that I had no rights as a man, because I 
was an Indian. ... I thought that this treatment of 
Indians was an excrescence upon a system that was 
mainly good. I gave the Government my hearty 
co-operation, criticising it when I felt it was faulty, 
but never wishing its destruction. . . . When the 
Empitfe was threatened in 1889 by the Boer challenge, 
I raised a volunteer ambulance corps, . . . and simi- 
larly in 1906 in the Zulu ' rebellion.' . . . For these 
services I was given a Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal by 
Lord Hardinge. ... In the war between England and 
Germany my ambulance and recruiting work was 
acknowledged by the authorities to be valuable. . . . 
In all these efforts I was actuated by the belief that it 
was possible by such services to gain a status of full 
equality in the Empire for my countrymen. The first 
shock came in the Rowlatt Act, a law designed to rob 
the people of all freedom. . . . Then followed the 
Punjab horrors, beginning with the massacre at Jallian- 
wala Bagh and culminating in crawling orders, public 
floggings and other indescribable humiliations. . . , 


" I discovered that the plighted word of the Prime 
Minister to the Mussulmans of India regarding the 
jptegrity of Turkey and the holy places of Islam was 
not likely to be fulfilled. ... In spite of thesp fore- 
bodings, I fought for co-operation and working the 
>, reforms, hoping that the Prime Minister would redeem 
his promise, and that the Punjab wound would be 
healed. ... All that hope was shattered. The 
promise was not to be redeemed. The ^Punjab crime 
was whitewashed, and most culprits went not to 
imprisonment, but remained in service, and continued 
to draw pensions from the Indian revenue, and some 
were even rewarded. I saw, too, that not only did the 
reforms not mark a change of heart, but they were a 
method of further draining India of her wealth and of 
prolonging her servitude. I came to the conclusion 
that the British connection had made India more 
helpless thafti she even was before politically and 
economically. A disarmed India has no power of 
resistance. . . . She has become so poor that she has 
little power of resisting famines. Before the British 
advent India spun and wove in her millions of cottages 
the supplement she needed for adding to her meagre 
agricultural resources. This cottage industry, so vital 
for India's existence, has been ruined by heartless and 
inhuman processes. . . . The semi-starved masses of 
India are slowly sinking to lifelessness. . . Their 
miserable condition represents the brokerage they get 
for the work they do for the foreign exploiter, whose 
profits and brokerage are sucked from the masses. . . . 
The government in British India is carried on for this 
exploitation of the.masses. No sophistry, no juggling 
in figures, can explain away the skeletons in many 
villages. . . . Both England and the town-dweller of 


India will liave to answer, if there is a God above, for 
this crime against humanity, which is perhaps un- 
equalled in history. The law itself has been used tp 
serve the foreign exploiter. My unbiassed examination 
of the Punjab Martial Law cases has led me to the 
conclusion that in nii\e out of every ten the condemned 
men were totally innocent. Their crime consisted in 
the love of their country. In 99 cases out of 100 
justice has b?fen denied to Indians as against Europeans 
in the courts of India. . . . The greatest misfortune 
is that Englishmen ,jand their Indian associates in the 
administration of the country do not know that they 
are engaged in the crime I have described. . . . Many 
Englishmen and Indian officials believe that they are 
administering one of the best systems, . . . and that 
India is making steady progress. . . . They do not 
know that a system of terrorism and an organised 
display of force on the one hand and tht deprivation 
of all powers of retaliation or self-defence on the other 
have emasculated the people, and induced in them the 
habit of simulation. . . . Section i2^A t under which 
I am charged, is designed to suppress the liberty of the 
citizen. Affection cannot be regulated or manufactured 
by law. If one has no affection for a system, one should 
be free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection 
so long as he does not incite to violence. . . The 
section under which we are charged is one under which 
mere promotion of disaffection is a crime. . . . Some 
of the most loved of India's patriots have been con- 
victed under it. I have no. ill-will against any adminis- 
tration ; much less can* I have any disaffection towards 
the King. But I hold it to be a virtue to be disaffected 
towards a Government which has done more harm to 
India than any previous system. India is less manly 


under British rule than she ever was before. ... I 
believe that I have rendered a service to India and 
J^ngland by showing in non-co-operation the way out 
of the unnatural state in which both are living. 9 Non- 
co-operation with evil is as much a duty as co-operation 
.with good. In the past non-co-operation has been 
expressed in violence to the evildoer. I am endeavour- 
ing to show to my countrymen that violent non- 
co-operation only multiplies evil. . . . I* am here to 
submit cheerfully to the highest penalty that can be 
inflicted upon me for what in law^is a crime and what 
appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The 
only course open to you, the judge, is either to resign 
your post, if you consider the law is an evil, or to 
inflict on me the severest penalty, if you believe the 
system and the law are good for the people of this 
country, and that my activity is, therefore, injurious 
to the public^weal." 

In giving judgment the judge said : " Mr. Gandhi, 
you have made my task easy by pleading guilty. . . . 
It would be impossible to ignore that, in the eyes of 
millions of your countrymen, you are a great patriot 
and a great leader. Even those who differ from you 
in politics look upon you as a man of high ideals and of 
noble and of even saintly life. . . . You have con- 
sistently preached against violence, and . . . have ' 
done much to prevent violence. ... I am trying to 
balance what is due to you against what appears to be 
necessary in the interest of the public, and I propose 
in passing sentence to follow the precedent of Bal 
Gangadhar Tilak under the same section, namely, six 
years' simple imprisonment ; , , and if the Govern- 
ment reduce the period and release you, no one will 
be better pleased than I." 


When Tilak and Gandhi, the two noblest and most 
beloved citizens of India, are sentenced to six years' 
imprisonment for constitutionally striving for Hom 
Rule ;, when the noblest and most beloved leaders of 
the Mohammedans are incarcerated for agitating for 
Home Rule ; when 40,000 of India's most distinguished , 
and cherished patriots are put in gaol for advocating 
Home Rule ; when others without a blemish on their 
character afS confined behind prison walls and barred 
doors without charge or trial; when love of country 
becomes a criminal offence, is it not time that we 
recognised that we have created in India a Greater 
Ireland, and that the solution of India's ills is Home 

From March till December Gandhi's body languished 
in prison, in spite of the calmness and brightness of his 
spirit. In December he was seized with abdominal 
pain accompanied by fever, to which the jlrison officials 
paid little heed at first. Then becoming alarmed lest 
he should die on their hands, and the whole of India 
rise in revolt, the officials urgently called Colonel 
Maddock, the civil surgeon, in consultation, who 
diagnosed acute appendicitis, and who, without 
waiting for the necessary authorisation, immediately 
carried his patient in his car to the hospital in the 
neighbouring city of Poona, where he operated the 
same evening January I2th and found a deep- 
seated abscess attached to the appendix. The surgeon 
was just in time to save the patient's life, and Gandhi's 
gratitude to him for his kindness "and skill knew no 
bounds. * 

January i8th was observed as. a day of national 
prayer throughout India for the recovery of the 
national hero, and the Government was besought on 


all hands to release him, and the order for his discharge 
was signed on February 4th, 1923. 

Thus endeth the second chapter of the Mahatma's 
work for his country. The first chapter, as we have 
seen, ended in a great victory for his fellow-countrymen 
t in South Africa ; the second chapter ended, according 
to his enemies, British Imperialisms, in failure, to which 
conclusion even some of his bellicose friends in the 
National Congress subscribed. As Mr. feloyd George 
would say, he failed " to deliver the goods " : he failed 
to deliver India from the British yoke. Some day 
some historian, writing in " HOT& India Fought for 
Freedom," with more enlightenment and longer vision 
than imperial weathercocks, will relate that Gandhi 
won a great moral victory over the British Empire ; 
that he showed to the world that Indian civilisation, 
with the gospel of non-violence, sacrifice and peace, is 
higher than*British civilisation, with its doctrine of 
the sword, might is right, and exploitation of weak 
nations by physically stronger nations ; th'at he 
awakened the soul of India from the sleep of slavery, 
so that it will never sink back again under foreign 
thraldom; and that he influenced world opinion so 
strongly that the British people must react quickly to 
it, and grant his country the inalienable right to govern 

" They never fail who die 
In a great cause." 

But Gandhi is not dead yet. He is very much alive. 
He is still the " Uncrowned King of India," leading 
and uplifting its social and spiritual life, while co- 
operating wisely ajid faithfully with its new political 
leaders, as we shall see in the next chapter. 




WITH the removal of Mahatma Gandhi from the 
sphere of active politics first by imprisonment and 
then by ill-health, Mr. C. R. Das and Pandit Motilal 
Nehru became the redoubtable leaders of the Indian 
Nationalists, who in the special Congress held in 
Delhi in September, 1923, passed a resolution sanc- 
tioning " Council Entry." The Swarajists, acting on 
this sanction, contested the elections for the Councils 
in December, 1923, and won a sweeping victory over 
the Liberals both in the Provincial Councils and All 
India Legislative Assembly. They had a^clear majority 
in the Central Provinces, and, with the Independents, 
they>commanded a majority of votes in the Legislative 
Assembly and in the Provincial Council of Bengal. 

The Swaraj ultimatum to the Government demanded 
the release of all political prisoners, the repeal of all 
repressive laws, the immediate establishment of auto- 
nomy in the Provincial Councils, and the summoning 
of a National Convention to frame the future Constitu- 
tion for India. If the Government refused these 
demands, a policy of obstruction, on the model of the 
Irish party under Parnell in the House of Commons, 
would be adopted with a view to^aking government, 
through the Assembly and the Councils, impossible. 
The non-acceptance of office under the Government 
was religiously observed when members of the party 
were invited to become Ministers. 



This formed a substantial change in the Non-Co- 
operation policy of the National Congress. Gandhi's 
attitude to this change was, like himself, full of mag- 
franimity : " You will not expect from me an opinion 
upon the delicate question of election of members of 
the Congress to the Legislative Councils and to the 
Assembly. Although I have not changed my opinions 
upon the boycott of the Councils, of the Law Courts, 
and of the Government schools, I have not the facts 
which permit me to arrive at a judgment upon the 
modification in tactics. I do not wish to express any 
opinion before I have been able fo discuss with my 
illustrious compatriots their action in recommending 
the cessation of the boycott of the legislative bodies." 

The Mahatma and his followers were not converted to 
the new policy of Council Entry until Lord Reading, the 
Viceroy, published the Bengal Ordinance on October 
25th, 1924, establishing a Star Chamber for the sum- 
mary arrest and trial of persons suspected of connection 
with associations which, in the opinion of the GoVern- 
ment of Bengal, were revolutionary. The arrest and 
incarceration of the chief executive officer of Calcutta, 
and other distinguished members of the Swaraj party, 
under this nefarious ordinance, so outraged Indian 
national sentiment that Gandhi, Das and Nehru issued 
a manifesto calling for a united front on the part of all 
the different groups of Nationalist workers in support 
of the country's cause, and in opposition to the new 
policy of coercion, and recommending the Congress, 
which was to meet ^oon at Belgaum, to suspend the 
programme of Non-Co-operation t so far as the Legis- 
latures were concerned, and to encourage home-spun 
cloth, Hindu-Muslim unity, and the removal of un- 


Mr. Das had already achieved a Hindu-Muslim Pact 
for Bengal which laid down a definite proportional 
representation in all offices for the two communities. 

In June, 1925, the national cause suffered a sad ancl 
severe blow by the death of C. R. Das, when the leader- 
ship of the Swarajist party fell to Pandit Motilal Nehru. 
The success of the Swarajists (Home Rulers) in the 
All India Legislative Assembly was evidenced (i) in 
the rejection of the Budget of 1924-25, which the 
Viceroy certified, in spite of the adverse vote, under 
the arbitrary powers conferred upon him by the 
Government of Intlia Act, and (2) in the adoption of 
the following resolutions, amongst others, upon the 
most vital questions pertaining to the political life of 
India : 

I. " This Assembly, while confirming and reiterating 
the demand contained in the Resolution passed by it 
on the i8th February, 1924, recommendsrto the Gover- 
nor-General in Council that he be pleased to take 
immediate steps to move His Majesty's Government to 
make a declaration in Parliament embodying the fol- 
lowing fundamental changes in the present constitu- 
tional machinery and administration of India : 

' ' (a) The Revenue of India and all the property vested 
in or arising or accruing from property or 
rights vested in His Majesty under the Govern- 
ment of India Act, 1858, or the present Act, or 
received by the Secretary of State in Council 
under any of the said Acts, shall hereafter vest 
in the Governor-General inCouncil for the pur- 
poses of the Government of India. 
' ' (b) The Governor-General in Coyincil shall be respon- 
sible to the Indian Legislature, and subject to 
such responsibility shall have the power to con- 


trol the expenditure of the Revenues of India 
and make such grants and appropriations of 
any part of those Revenues or of any other 
property as is at present under the control or 
disposal of the Secretary of State for In'dia in 
Council, save and except the following, which 
shall for a fixed term of years remain under the 
control of the Secretary of State for India : 
" (i.) Expenditure on the Military Services up 

to a fixed limit. 
" (ii.) Expenditure classed as political and 

foreign. f 

" (iii.) The payment of all debts and liabilities 
hitherto lawfully contracted and in- 
curred by the Secretary of State for 
India in Council on account of the 
Government of India. 

" (c) The Council of the Secretary of State for India 
shall be abolished, and the position and func- 
tions of the Secretary of State for India shall be 
assimilated to those of the Secretary of State 
for the self-governing Dominions save as other- 
wise provided in clause (b). 

" (d) The Indian Army shall be nationalised within a 
reasonably short and definite period of time, and 
Indians shall be admitted for service in all arms 
of defence, and for that purpose the Governor- 
General and the Commander-in-Chief shall be 
assisted by a Minister responsible to the 

" (e) The Central and Provincial Legislatures shall 
consist entirely of members elected by consti- 
tuencies on as wide a franchise as possible. 
" (/) The principle of responsibility to the Legislature 



shall be introduced in all branches of the ad- 
ministration of the Central Government sub- 
ject to transitional reservations and residuary 
powers in the Governor-General in respect of 
control of the Military, Foreign and Political 
affairs for a fixed term of years : 

" Provided that during the said fixed term the 
proposals of the Governor-General in Council 
for the appropriation of any revenue or moneys 
for military or other expenditure classified as 
' Defence ' shall be submitted to the vote of the 
Legislator?, but that the Governor-General in 
Council shall have power, notwithstanding the 
vote of the Assembly, to appropriate up to a 
fixed maximum any sum he may consider 
necessary for such expenditure and in the event 
of a war to authorise such expenditure as may 
be considered necessary exceeding the maximum 
so fixed. 

" fg) The present system of dyarchy in the Provinces 
shall be abolished and replaced by unitary and 
autonomous responsible Governments subject 
to the general control and residuary powers of 
the Central Government in interprovincial and 
all-Indian matters. 

" (h) The Indian Legislature shall after the expiry of 
the fixed term of years referred to in clauses (b) 
and (/) have full powers to make such amend- 
ments in the constitution of India from time 
to time as may appear* to it necessary or 
desirable. 9 

' ' ' This Assembly further recommends to the Governor- 
General in Council that necessary steps be taken : 

" (a) To constitute in consultation with the Legislative 


Assembly a convention, round table conference 
or other suitable agency adequately representa- 
tive of all Indian, European and Anglo-Indian 
interests to frame, with due regard to the 
interests of minorities, a detailed scheme based 
on the above principles, after making such 
inquiry as may be necessary in this behalf ; 

" (b) To place the said scheme for approval before the 
Legislative Assembly and submit the same to 
the British Parliament to be embodied in a 

This resolution was carried by seventy-two votes 
to forty-five on September 8th, 1925. 

II. " That this Assembly recommends to the Gover- 
nor-General in Council that he be pleased : 

" (a) Forthwith to secure the immediate release of all 
political prisoners detained without trial ; 

" (b) To tate steps to remove all difficulties in the way 
of the return to India of all Indian exiles in 
foreign countries who may be, or may "have 
been, suspected of being concerned in any revo- 
lutionary or other activities regarded by the 
Government as prejudicial to the interests of 
India ; 

" (c) To bring to trial under the ordinary law of the 
land such persons against whom the Govern- 
ment think that they have sufficient evidence 
to go to Court." 

On January 26th, 1926, fifty-three voted for this 
resolution and forty-five against. 

The importance of the voting on these occasions 
stands out more prominently when it is realised that 
the Government has a solid block of official and 
nominated members of about forty. 


As the Government treated the resolutions of the 
Assembly with contempt, the obvious deduction is that 
there is something rotten in the Constitution whic^ 
allow^ the Government to carry on in direct defiance 
of the votes of the elected representatives of the 

In any other country with any pretence to self- 
government on more or less democratic lines, the 
Government would have resigned in similar circum- 
stances, and the Opposition would have been asked to 
form a Government. 

This brings us, therefore, to an examination of the 
Constitution under which India is governed. 



THE Constitution of India is very complex, and 
requires more space for its elaboration than can be 
given in these pages. The student of constitutional 
history will find in "The Indian -Constitution," by 
Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, an interesting analysis and 
comparison with other constitutions in the British 

The Crown 

The powers of the Crown include the appointment of 
an auditor of 'the accounts of the Secretary of State, a 
High Commissioner, the Governor-General, the mem- 
bers of the Governor-General's Executive Council, 
Governors, the Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts, 
and Advocate-General ; the approval of the Constitution 
of a new province and the appointment of its lieutenant- 
governor ; the assent to enable an Act which has been 
certified by the Governor-General to have effect ; the 
veto on Bills and Acts submitted to or passed by local 
legislatures, etc. 

According to the British Constitution, these powers of 
the Crown are exercised upon the advice of the Minister 
in England. * 

The Secretary of^State 

The Secretary of State is the ^adviser of the Crown 
and the agent of the British Parliament his salary is 
now on the British Estimates and has plenary powers 



of superintendence, direction and control over the 
Government of India and its revenues and over all 
officers appointed and continued under the Act q 
1919., Constitutionally he is not and cannot be 
responsible to the people of India, but to Parliament, 
and, unfortunately for justice and progress in India,, 
his responsibility to Parliament is largely nominal, as 
India, since the days of Burke, has been treated as a 
subject above party politics. 

I must make a very grave criticism here. Whenever 
any great question^is removed from the clash of party 
controversy, it is doomed to neglect by Parliament. 
It was so with Ireland. Until Gladstone made Ireland 
the live issue between Liberals and Tories Ireland was 
either neglected by Parliament or, worse, was subjected 
to tyranny, which makes us blush with shame. My 
contention is that India has been cruelly neglected by 
Parliament, and that until the leader <5f one of the 
political parties, with the vision and courage of Glad- 
stone" forces Indian Home Rule to the front, Parlia- 
ment will continue to shirk its duties, and India will 
continue to be misgoverned. 

The Indian Council 

The Indian Council sits in London, and is composed 
of eight to twelve members (half of whom must have 
served or resided in India for at least ten years), 
appointed by the Secretary of State. The salaries 
of the members are paid out of the revenues of India. 
Its functions are purely advisory,* and the Secretary 
of State goes as he pluses. 

Indian opinion insists on the- abolition of this 
Council, which is either superfluous or acts as a drag 
on the progress of India. 


The Governor-General in Council 

" The superintendence, direction and control of the 
civil and military Government of India is vested in 
the Governor-General in Council, who is required to 
,pay due obedience to all such orders as he may receive 
from the Secretary of State." In Lord Curzon's words, 
the Government of India (from the constitutional 
point of view) is a " subordinate branch of the British 
Government 6,000 miles away." But in practice it 
resolves itself into a question of relativity, the strong 
man overcoming the weaker man. 11 With Montagu as 
Secretary of State and Chelmsf ord as Governor-General, 
Chelmsford was the Government of India ; with Olivier 
as Secretary of State and Reading as Governor-General, 
Reading was the Government of India ; and with 
Birkenhead as Secretary of State and Reading as 
Governor-GeAeral, the former was the Governor of 
India. Other things being equal, the odds are in 
favour of the " man on the spot." c 

The Governor-General is appointed for five years, 
which term was extended in the case of Lord Curzon. 

His Council consists of eight members, appointed 
by the Crown, and their term of office is customarily 
five years. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army is an 
extraordinary member. The Governors of Madras and 
Bombay become extraordinary members of the Council 
when it meets within their presidencies. 

As three at least of the members must have been 
ten years in the Service of the Crown in India, it 
means that the Indian Civil Sei^ce, with its interests 
and points of view, holds a strong position in the 
executive. Further, as their promotion to governor- 
ships and lieutenant-governorships lies chiefly in the 


recommendation of the Viceroy, the danger is that 
they become mere satellites of the Viceroy. 

The Governor-General's Executive Council differs 
from 3. Cabinet (i) in that the members comprising a 
Cabinet ordinarily are members of the same political 
party as the Prime Minister, with a common policy and . 
common political ideals, and (2) in that it can ignore 
and does ignore adverse votes of the Assembly. In 
other words, the Governor-General and the Executive 
Council are " irremovable " and " untouchable " by 
the chosen representatives of India in the National 

In ordinary circumstances the Governor-General is 
bound by the decision of the majority of his Executive 
Council, and if they are equally divided, he has the 
casting vote ; while in measures affecting the safety 
and tranquillity or interests of British India he can over* 
ride his Council. Reduced to practical politics, the 
Governor-General (Viceroy) is a foreign despot, who 
may Be " benevolent " or otherwise, with only the 
Secretary of State to check him. 

The executive work of the Governor-General in 
Council, often described as the Government of India, is 
distributed among the following departments : Finance, 
Foreign, Home, Legislative, Revenue and Military 
Supply. Each department except the Foreign Depart- 
ment is assigned to one of the members of the Council, 
with a permanent secretary at the head. The Foreign 
Department comes under the immediate superinten- 
dence of the Viceroy, who becomes, therefore, his own 
Foreign Minister. $ 

In addition to th^e nine departments of the 
secretariat, there are special departments attached 
to some one of them, like the Post Office and Tele- 


graph, the Survey, and the Railways, which are 
centrally administered, while Forests, Agriculture, 
Education and Indian Medical Service, are adminis- 
tered by the local Governments but supervised fry the 
Government of India. 

The Legislature 

The Indian Legislature is bicameral, consisting of a 
Council of State, equivalent to our House of Lords, and 
a Legislative Assembly in imitation of the House of 

The Council of State, as at present constituted, con- 
sists of 34 elected members, 6 nominated non-officials, 
and 20 officials. The electorate numbers about 20,000 
voters. The Governor-General appoints the President 
of the Council from among its members, and its 
ordinary term is five years. 

The Legftlative Assembly comprises 103 elected 
members and 41 nominated members, of whom 26 are 
officials. The number of electors is under one ihillion. 
The President is elected by the Assembly from among 
its members, and its life is three years. 

The members of the Governor-General's Executive 
Council are not ex-officio members of either Chamber, 
but each of them has to be appointed a member of one 
or other Chamber, and can vote only in the Chamber of 
which he is a member. Any member of the Executive 
Council may speak in either Chamber. 

The Governor-General has the power to dissolve or 
extend the term*bf either Chamber at his own dis- 
cretion. f 

A Bill to become law must be passed by both Cham- 
bers. In case of disagreement between the Chambers 
they meet and vote conjointly. The Governor-General 


has power to return a Bill for reconsideration by either 

Women have not the vote and are not eligible 03^ 
election, but educated public opinion is growing in their 

The constituencies are divided into non-Moham 
medan, Mohammedan, European, non-European, Sikh 
and special constituencies of Landholders and Chambers 
of Commerce. The franchise for general constituencies is 
based on (i) community, (2) residence, and (3) (a) occu- 
pation or ownership of a building, (b) assessment to, or 
payment of, municipal or cantonment rates or taxes or 
local cesses, or (4) the holding of land or membership of 
a local body. 

The powers of the Indian Legislature are very limited, 
the limitations standing out in bold relief when com- 
pared with the " plenary powers " possessed by the 
Dominion Legislatures. * 

No measure affecting (a) the public debt or revenues 
of India ; or (b) the religion, rites or usages of British 
subjects in India ; or (c) the discipline 'or maintenance 
of the military, naval or air forces ; or (d) the relations 
with foreign princes or States ; or (e) any provincial 
subject which has been declared by rules to be subject 
to legislation by the Indian Legislature ; or (/) any Act 
of a local legislature ; or (g) any Act or ordinance made 
by the Governor-General, can be introduced at any 
meeting of either Chamber without the previous sanc- 
tion of the Governor-General. Further, the Secretary 
of State alone can raise a loan in tngland, and the 
Indian Legislature is Debarred from passing any law 
affecting in any way this power o the Secretary of 

The Annual Estimates of Expenditure are laid before 


both Chambers, but no proposals of any revenue or 
moneys for any purpose can be made except on the 
recommendation of the Governor-General. Any demand 
for money or provision for any tax, or the .whole 
Finance Bill, may be refused by the Legislature, but 
this refusal becomes null and void in view of the power 
of the Governor-General to restore them by " certifica- 
tion," which he did in the cases of the Finance Bill and 
the Salt Tax when thrown out by the Assembly. Cer- 
tain heads of expenditure are " protected " from, and 
" non-votable " by, the Legislature^ for example, Army 
and Foreign Department, the Church of England in 
India, the salaries and pensions of the members of the 
Imperial services. The Governor-General has allowed 
the Assembly to discuss the Army Budget, but it is not 
put to the vote. The salaries and pensions in the 
superior services have been fixed by the Executive 
Government* without the concurrence of the Legisla- 
ture, and the increases given by the Islington and Lee 
Commissions were without the consent or the approval 
of the Assembly. The increases under the Lee Com- 
mission were rejected, in fact, by the Legislative As- 
sembly by sixty-eight votes to forty-six, a verdict which 
was reversed by the Upper Chamber. Pandit Motilal 
Nehru, the leader of the Swaraj party, in the debate on 
the recommendations of the Lee Commission, main- 
tained that " the present constitution of the Indian 
services was an anachronism, and that the Govern- 
ment was attempting the impossible task of working a 
reformed constitution by means of an unreformed 
administrative machine." / 

The conclusion that any fair-minded person is driven 
to is that the control of the Indian Legislature over 
Finance and the Civil Service and the Executive 


amounts to nothing, and that its powers of legislation 
are limited by the Council of State and the superior 
powers of the Governor-General and the Secretary ol 
State; whose veto is final. Beyond criticism and the 
formation of public opinion, for which the Government 
of India cares little, the Indian Legislature possesses no 
power to shape the destinies of the millions which it 

The power of veto of the Governor-General in respect 
of legislation hangs like the sword of Damocles over 
the Legislative ^sembly. The power of veto of 
the Crown, as provided for by the Dominion Acts in 
Australia, Canada, and South Africa, should be enough. 

Provincial Governments 

The Presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay 
and the Provinces of the United Provinces, the Punjab, 
Bihar and Orissa, the Central Provinces and Assam are 
each governed by a Governor in Council, and in rela- 
tion To transferred subjects by the Governor with the 
Ministers appointed. Delhi, Ajmer-Merwara, Coorg 
and the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan 
are under Chief Commissioners. 

Burma was deliberately excluded from the Reform 
Act of 1919 because it differed so markedly from India 
historically, racially, etc. Burma, in fact, was inde- 
pendent until 1886, when it was annexed to British 
India by force of arms. 

This annexation was not only resisted by the people 
of Burma by warlike means, but was in direct opposi- 
tion to public opinioa in India, which was naturally 
incensed at British Imperialism robbing Burma of its 
freedom and adding another slave-nation to the Indian 


By Act of Parliament in 1922 Burma became a 
Governor's province, with an Executive Council and 
-Ministers in conformity with the Government of India 
Act, 1919. 

The Legislative Council of Burma consists of 104 
members, of whom 79 are elected and 25 nominated by 
the Government. The electorate is estimated at up- 
wards of two millions, and women exercise the vote. 

The Governors and the members of the Executive 
Council are appointed by the Crown. Bengal, Bombay 
and Madras have four members on. the executive, two 
belonging to the Indian Civil Service and two non- 
officials ; and in the United Provinces, the Punjab, 
Bihar and Orissa, the Central Provinces and Assam, 
there are two members on each executive. 


The Provincial Governments are divided into two 
departments dyarchy " transferred " and " re- 
served." The transferred subjects are Local Govern- 
ment, Education, Industries, Sanitation, Excise (except 
in Assam), Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operation, and 
the reserved subjects include Law and Order, Finance, 
Forests and Irrigation. 

The transferred subjects are administered by Minis- 
ters appointed by the Governor from among the elected" 
members of the Provincial Legislature, and the reserved 
subjects by members of the Executive Council, ap- 
pointed by the Crown. While the members of the 
Executive Councif act on the principle of collective 
responsibility, each Minister act* more or less on his own 
responsibility, the Ministers belonging frequently to dif- 
ferent political parties. Another distinction between 
Ministers and members of the Executive seems very 


anomalous, for whereas the salaries of the former are 
subject to the control of the Legislative Council, those 
of the latter are not. 

Provincial Legislatures 

The numerical strength of the Provincial Councils 
varies, Bengal leading with 125 members ; Madras and 
the United Provinces following with 118 each ; Bom- 
bay, in ; Bihar and Orissa, 98 ; Punjab, 83 ; the 
Central Provinces, 70 ; and Assam, 53. The statute 
provides that at least 70 per cent, must be elected and 
not more than 20 per cent, official members in a 

The Governor may summon and address a Council, 
but is not a member himself ; he has the right of 
nominating a certain number of members. The 
members of the Executive Council are nftmbers of the 
Provincial Councils. 

Te qualifications for eligibility for election and for 
inclusion on the electoral roll are similar to those in the 
case of the Assembly. In Madras, Bombay and the 
United Provinces the franchise has been extended to 
women. As only 3 per cent, of the total population 
have votes, there is a general demand for extension of 
the franchise. As in the case with the Assembly, the 
constituencies are cursed with " communal electorates," 
instead of being put on a democratic basis. In Madras 
five nominated seats are reserved for the backward 
communities. * 

The normal term qf a Legislative Council is three 
years, the Governor holding the same powers as the 
Governor-General with regard to dissolution, etc. The 
first Presidents were appointed by the Governors for 


five years, but are now elected by the Councils subject to 
the approval of the Governors. 

The powers of the Governor are almost as great as those 
jf the Governor-General over the Assembly. In the 
case of reserved subjects the Governor can override 
,the Council ; and in cases of emergency he can autho- 
rise expenditure for the carrying on of any departments, 
which practically makes his rule autocratic. He 
exercises power of " certification " of Bills relating to 
reserved subjects, and of the veto in regard to 
transferred subjects. 

In his Executive Council the Governor has a casting 
vote in case the Council is equally divided, but as he 
can override his Council, he holds despotic sway over 
20 to 60 millions of people. 

Recognising Dyarchy as an illogical, if not an 
entirely ridiculous, system, the Joint Parliamentary 
Committee ftcpressed the pious opinion that there 
should be joint deliberation between the two halves of 
the Provincial Governments, but Parliament macle no 
such provision in the Act. Consequently dyarchy has 
met with the failure it courted, succeeding only, as 
Lord Birkenhead indicated, where it was ignored. 
Ministers in charge of transferred subjects were directly 
responsible to the Provincial Legislature, while the 
officials in charge of the reserved subjects were free' 
from all responsibility to the Legislature. The system 
permitted two opposing policies on the part of the 
Government, a sort of facing both ways ; invited open 
and concealed antagonism between Ministers respon- 
sible for the transferred subjects ,and Executive officials 
in control of the reserved ; subjected Ministers to the 
control of the finance officer, who could mutilate or 
wreck their schemes by refusing to pay the bill ; and 


led Ministers into the bog of contempt, for they were 
blamed by the electors for the mistakes and follies of 
their official colleagues, who had no electoral and no 
public opinion to consider. 

Dyarchy divides a house against itself, and for the 
British Parliament to wait till 1929 before getting rid 
of this pernicious system, which it ought not to have 
enforced on India, would be to confess itself as bank- 
rupt in honesty as it was bankrupt in statesmanship in 

The powers of Provincial Councils are extremely cur- 
tailed : (i) by th superior powers of the Governor, as 
we have just seen ; (2) because the following subjects 
are forbidden both discussion and voting on : (a) pro- 
vincial contributions to the Central Government, (b) 
interest and sinking fund charges on loans, (c) expendi- 
ture of which the amount is presented by law, (d) 
salaries and pensions of persons appointed by the 
Crown or by the Secretary of State (members of the 
Imperial services), and (e) salaries of the judges of the 
High Court of the Province and of the Advocate- 
General ; and (3) by statute, which declares that " the 
local legislature of any province may not, without the 
previous sanction of the Governor-General, make or 
take into consideration any law, (a) imposing any new 
tax unless it is a tax exempted by rules made under 
this Act, or (b) affecting the public debt of India, or 
the customs duties, or any other tax or duty imposed 
by the Governor-General, or (c) affecting the dis- 
cipline or maintenance of the naval, military or air 

The check on the power of initiation by requiring the 
previous sanction of the Governor-General is further 
reinforced by the Reservation of Bills Rules, and 


encourages friction between the central and local 

Another serious limitation consists in the fact that no 
xnemberof any Provincial Council can introduce without 
the previous sanction of the Governor, any measure 
affecting the public revenues of a province or imposing 
any charge on these revenues. If a member wants to 
introduce a Bill limiting the increase in the land 
revenue or revising land revenue assessments, he must 
first secure the sanction of the Governor, which may be 
no easy matter. The injustice of this limitation stands 
out more clearly when it is realised that the landowners 
are well represented in the Provincial Councils, while 
the tenants are not. 

Any Bills passed by the Councils have to run the 
gauntlet of three possible vetoes, that of the Governor, 
the Governor-General and the Crown. 

The Civil Services in India 

" Unlike other countries, in which the permanent 
officials are controlled by Ministers, the administrators 
of India not merely execute a policy : they also initiate 
it. For many decades the Indian Civil Service was not 
only an administration, but it was also a Government." 
In these ominous words the Government Annual Report 
for 1924-25 reveals the real nature of the Government ' 
of India a bureaucracy up till 1919, and the Act 
of Parliament of that year, which Lord Birkenhead 
declared to be " a remarkable and extremely bold experi- 
ment," did nothing taore than expose this Government 
of alien bureaucrats to the criticism and censure of the 
elected representatives of the people of India, without 
power of appointment, dismissal, or even reduction of 
their salaries. The appointment, pay and dismissal of 


civil servants rests with the Secretary of State. Mem- 
bers of the services are responsible only to the Governor- 
General and not to the Legislatures. Three out of six 
ordiirary members of the Governor-General's Execu- 
tive Council represent the Civil Service, and at least 
half of the Governor's executive in the Provinces are 
members of the Service ; the permanent secretaries o 
all departments are members of the Civil Service, and 
the Civil Service commands a majority of posts in the 

The Civil Service, in which Englishmen nearly mono- 
polise the higher $osts, is to-day the master instead of 
the servant of India. 

Indian opinion insists on the reversal of this mon- 
strous regime, and that the Civil Service shall become 
the servant of India, appointed by and subject to the 
reconstituted Government of India, and entirely 
Indianised. * 

It will be easy for the reader to be able to understand 
now the formidable opposition of the Indian Civil 
Service to Swaraj, for Swaraj means an end to its 
vast powers and privileges and, so far as Englishmen 
in the service are concerned, subordination to the 
position of servants or agents of Indian Ministers, 
a position which their pride of race resents, and, 
finally, their eradication from the service. 

The Civil Service is fighting for its own hand, 
forgetful of the rights of Indians, and so far it has 
fought very successfully. When the secret history of 
the reforms comes to be written, it will be shown that 
Mr. Montagu was either outwitted or overruled by 
the bureaucracy mpst probably, the latter and his 
original intentions whittled down to the satisfaction 
of the bureaucrats in India and the House of Lords in 


England. The adoption of the recommendations of 
the Lee Commission by the British Parliament was 
another victory for the Civil Service, but in spite of 
these victories, regarded by some as pyrrhic, British 
bureaucracy in India is doomed. 

Although I have made a few comments en passant 
on the Constitution, I think it might be helpful to the 
reader and the general public if I went into more detail, 
and gave my own impressions of the Legislative 
Assembly and the Provincial Councils from a personal 
inspection of these institutions in 1926. 

Taking the Legislative Assembly at Delhi first, I 
was favoured in witnessing the opening ceremony of 
the new session by the Viceroy (Governor-General), 
Lord Reading, in viceregal robes, made to look like 
the King or King-Emperor, with bodyguard to right 
of him and bodyguard to left of him. This introduction 
of soldiery sfeemed incongruous, and defensible only 
on the plea that 

" All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players." 

Beholding the personage ascend the steps with a 
regal air and take his seat in a gilded chair placed on 
a dais with a cloth of gold, and then, with a royal 
wave of the hand and with the voice of command, say, * 
" Pray be seated, gentlemen," I was mightily impressed 
with the mimicry, and muttered between my teeth, 
" This is imperial fooling worthy of Gilbert and 
Sullivan, and bettfcr than the plain simplicity and 
rugged solidity of Edward VII y " whom I had seen 
opening Parliament, in the gilded Chamber. In the 
area sat the President of the Assembly, in wig and 
gown, dethroned for the time being, just to remind 


him and the Assembly, whose honour rested in his 
hands, that both he and the members were as dust at 
the feet of India's omnipotent dictator. 

Then, when a solemn silence filled the air and the 
people in the galleries, which were full, had assumed 
a proper aspect of awe, the great man, the greatest 
tyrant on earth, read his speech in clear, icy and 
hectoring tones, as the Kaiser used to do when address- 
ing his submissive soldiers on the parade ground, 
albeit with this marked difference, that defiance on 
the part of the Viceroy was answered by defiance on 
the part of India 'Sloyal sons seated on his left, doughty 
champions, many of whom had served long terms of 
imprisonment in the fight for national freedom. 

If Lord Birkenhead had been by my side and had 
witnessed this parody of decency, propriety and good 
feeling, the worm in him would have turned, and he 
would have cried aloud, " Hesitate not upon the 
manner of your going, but go at once, unworthy and 
unfit to overrule, and let an Indian take your place ; 
he, at least, would not add insult to injury, as you 
have done ; he would respect his fellow-countrymen 
as patriots working at great sacrifice for the good of 
Indians, while you represent the lowest and the most 
immoral system in the world the exploitation of one 
nation by another, the exploitation of India by 
England ! " 

Exit pompously the Viceroy, after 
castigation, without waiting for or 
on his address, contrary to the 
of Parliaments, which always 
address from the throne. . p n T 

The next day the members reassmj0bd, wftn tn6ft 
President reinstated in the chair, \meftVtheAfife 


been the day before, a chair like unto the Speaker's 
chair in the House of Commons, simple, solid, and 
.substantial, without gilt or cloth of gold. Right 
worthily did the President, an Indian, elected by the 
majority of the Assembly, discharge his duties, remind- 
ing me of Mr. Speaker Lowther in his palmy days, 
when his rulings were tested by a certain liveliness from 
across the Irish Sea. 

The arrangements of the Assembly were similar to 
those in the House of Commons, the members of the 
Government occupying the benches on the right of the 
President, and the Opposition tho on the left. A 
very notable difference, however, struck the eye, 
namely, the benches forming a complete semicircle 
in the Assembly, whereas in the House of Commons 
the benches on the right of the Speaker's chair are 
entirely separated from those on the left by the floor 
of the House^o that if a member of one English party 
wishes to join another party he must cross the floor of 
the Houle of Commons, while in the Assembly he can 
move to the central benches, which are chiefly occupied 
by Independents. 

The proceedings of the Assembly follow closely 
those of the House of Commons, questions with sup- 
plementaries coming first, and then motions, Bills, 

After a fortnight's attendance at debates, and careful 
and prolonged examination of the functions and powers 
of the All India Legislative Assembly, I was forced 
to the conclusion that the crowning piece of the 
anatomy of the Montagu-Chelmsford Constitution 
was an undoubted dud, without .power to displace or 
replace the Government in which it has no confidence, 
a Government which does not represent the people ; 


' * 

without power to appoint or dismiss Ministers ; without 
power of the purse ; without power to reduce the salary 
of a single bureaucrat ; without power to shift a single 
nail gr screw in the ." steel frame " ; and without the 
slightest power over the Governor-General (Viceroy), 
who, instead of being in the position of a constitutional 
monarch or of the representative of the Crown, as 
in Canada and the other self-governing colonies, acting 
on the advice of the Prime Minister, himself subject 
to the Assembly, is an autocrat with all the powers of 
a Tsar, who can defy the Assembly, and has defied 
the Assembly by^certifying the Finance Bill over its 
head, and by spurning its resolutions. 

The last time proceedings of this drastic and arbitrary 
character took place in England civil war ensued. If 
such drastic and arbitrary action was exercised by the 
Governor-General of any self-governing colony in the 
British Empire, that colony would instantly cut the 
painter and send the Governor-General back to England 
by the next boat. * 

In the Introduction I denounce the Constitution of 
1919, which was pitchforked on to India without the 
sanction of India's leaders, as a colossal hoax. But 
it is far worse : it is counterfeit ; the Assembly is 
made to resemble the House of Commons without an 
"iota of the power of the Mother of Parliaments. The 
Tsar of all the Russias behaved more honestly and 
honourably in yielding more power to the first Duma 
than the British Government did in creating a make- 
believe Parliament in Delhi. To cbnstitutionalists all 
over the world it is a question whether England has 
not done more harm to parliamentary government by 
establishing mock parliaments in India than Mussolini 
by openly smashing parliamentary institutions in 


Italy, for mock parliaments only bring parliamentary 
government into contempt. 

Cowards and hypocrites abound among British 
statesmen in England who defend this deceptive 
imitation, this illegitimate daughter of the Mother 
of Parliaments, on the ground that Indians should 
practise provincial autonomy and provincial self- 
government before enjoying national autonomy and 
national self-government. When one turns, therefore, 
to inspect the Provincial Legislative Councils, one 
naturally expects to discover that the pledge of respon- 
sible government has been redeemed, but inspection 
discloses, as I found in the Legislative Councils of Madras 
and the Punjab, whose meetings I attended, that the 
Provincial Councils are feebler and more futile than the 
All-India Assembly, and further that they are blasted 
with dyarchy, from which the Legislative Assembly, 
fortunately, io free. 

Dyatfefay was condemned by Sir William Marris, the 
Governor of the United Provinces, as " a complex, 
confused system, having no logical basis, rooted in 
compromise, and defensible only as a transitional 
expedient." Even Lord Birkenhead confessed : "I 
myself was always very distrustful of the dyarchical 
principle. It seemed to me to savour of a kind of 
pedantic and hide-bound Constitution, to which Anglo- 
Saxon communities have not generally responded, and 
which in my anticipation was unlikely to make a 
successful appeal to a community whose political ideals 
were, thanks in the main to Macaulay, so largely 
Derived from Anglo-Saxon models." 

I challenge the Earl of Birkentfead to declare whether 
the Tory party, for which he is in a position to speak 
with authority, or any other political party in Great 


Britain, in his opinion, would touch this " pedantic and 
hide-bound Constitution " with a barge pole. 

He knows, and every intelligent citizen outside of a 
lunatic asylum knows, that not even the Tory party 
would work it, or try to work it, for a day, much less 
ten years. Then why does he dishonour himself and 
his country by upbraiding Indian patriots for refusing 
to do what Tories would not condescend to do, and for 
declining to co-operate with alien bureaucrats who 
outrage Indian public opinion and treat the elected 
representatives of the people in the legislatures as their 
inferiors ? % 

" Hath not an Indian eyes, hath not an Indian 
hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, 
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, 
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, 
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, 
as a Christian is ? If you prick IndiansMo they not 
bleed ? if you poison them, do they not die ?* and if 
you wrong them, shall they not revenge ? " 

It is this treatment as inferiors and slaves that is gall 
and wormwood to Indians, treatment which is all the 
more disgraceful and discreditable after British protes- 
tations of " equality " and " partnership." 

John Morley once said that bad manners in India 
'were not only an offence, but a crime. I was present 
at a discussion in the Legislative Assembly with regard 
to the release of political prisoners under the hateful 
Bengal Ordinance, and heard the laughter of the 
English officials at the expense of Irfdian feeling, which 
runs high on this injustice to Bengal. Needless to say, 
I was ashamed of my. countrymen, and apologised to 
some of the Indian leaders afterwards, when they 
replied that they were accustomed to insolence and 


callousness on the part of British officials in India, that 
what hurt them most was the attitude of superiority 
and of lords of the universe of the British Parliament 
in forcing upon them a Constitution condemning them 
to a further period of " inferiority and slavery." " If," 
they continued, the " British Parliament would descend 
from the Olympian heights of patronage which is so 
offensive, and meet us in the plains of equality and 
brotherhood, we could together frame a Constitution 
which would be satisfactory and honourable to England 
and satisfactory and honourable to us, retaining India 
within the Empire. The present Constitution is dis- 
honouring and demoralising to us, impossible to work, 
and altogether unworthy of the Mother of Parliaments. 
Give India a Constitution equal to that of Serbia and 
Poland, which God knows are more backward in civili- 
sation than India, and all will be well." 

Speaking *bf British officials and fitness to rule, 
common justice demands that I should place on record 
my observations on this head after attending debates 
in the Legislative Assembly and some of the Provincial 
Legislatures in India. With a natural bias in favour of 
my countrymen, truth compels me to state that I found 
a definite inferiority in talent among Britons as com- 
pared with Indians, and this inferiority was most 
marked in the Assembly, which is supposed to be 
responsible for the good government of the whole of 
British India. Lord Birkenhead is a great authority 
on " brains," and it would be well if a high sense of 
duty impelled hin/to visit India to see for himself this 
inferiority of the British bureaucrats. According to 
English standards of fitness to rule, by which his 
lordship climbed to the highest position but one in the 
Government of Great Britain, he would be constrained 


by a sense of justice to award the first prize to Indians, 
who far surpass their English rivals in brilliancy, wit, 
logic, knowledge, breadth of vision, and ideals of 
statesmanship. Comparisons are odious, but his lord- 
ship might nevertheless be tempted to liken British 
Ministers who hold the highest offices of state to 
babes in the wood alongside of Indian giants. 

Looking at, and listening to, these British bureau- 
crats dumped on India, Lord Birkenhead, with his 
analytical mind and lively imagination, would ask 
himself the question, What station in life would these 
gentlemen, dresse<?in a little brief authority, occupy in 
England or Scotland or Wales ? How many of them 
would rise higher than a civil servant, or a private 
secretary, or a first-class clerk ? What percentage of 
them would even attain to the position of " city 
fathers " or " legislators " in England ? Bold in 
speculation and prediction, his lordship \ould decide 
that not more than i or 2 per cent, would rise higher 
than a first-class clerk in a Government office. 

Reduced to its fundamental basis, India is governed 
by first-class clerks from England with a few lordlings 
thrown in as governors, and the 1919 Constitution has 
only concealed their despotic powers by dressing them 
in constitutional clothes. 

"' The contempt that Indians have for British rule in 
their country is, therefore, not to be wondered at. The 
wonder is that they have stood it so long. The new 
Constitution, instead of reducing this contempt, has 
increased it, and, worse still, adderf to it distrust in 
British pledges, for the counterfeit Constitution has 
swept away the last sljred of faith in British honesty. 

All England shrieked when in the exigencies of a life- 
and-death struggle Germany trampled upon Belgian 


liberties, and now in piping times of peace all the world 
wonders at British hypocrisy riveting tyrannical 
government on India under the pretence of taking 
Indians into partnership. , 

Can no good thing come out of evil ? Has nothing 
good come out of the deformed Councils ? Without 
answering the metaphysical question we may profitably 
answer the practical one. Yes ! one great truth, 
which must have important bearings on the future of 
India, stands out like a beacon-light on a surf-driven 
shore, namely, that Indians, judged by English as well 
as natural standards, are infinite!^ better fitted to 
govern India than their English overlords. In sheer 
intellectual and parliamentary capacity Indians out- 
shine their British adversaries. It is not so much 
Indians who require lessons in the art of responsible 
parliamentary government for they are to the manner 
born but Englishmen in India who are like fish out of 



ESTIMATES of the average annual income per head of 
the population : 

* * 


By whom made. 


(at the then rate 

of exchange). 


Dadabhai Naoroji . 


9 2 


Sir David Barbour . 


2 10 


Lord Curzon . 


2 O 


Hon. E. M. Cook . 



In 1921 the Statistical Branch of the Madras Depart- 
ment of Agriculture calculated the average annual 
income of the population of the Presidency at 100 
"rupees, or about 10, but the rise in prices brought this 
sum down to the equivalent of 42 rupees in 1899, or a 
little over 4. 

Dr. Harold Mann investigated recently the average 
income in two Deccan villages. In* one it worked out 
at 44 rupees per head, 25 persons having 77 rupees per 
head, 137 persons 62 rupees per head, and the remaining 
352 only 32 rupees per head, which is insufficient for 
food and clothing, without payment of interest on 



debt and other compulsory calls. This means that the 
majority of the villagers were insolvent and half starved. 
In the other the average family income amounted to 
168-8 rupees, and the cost of living to 219-6 rupees, so 
that the income only covered two-thirds of the bare 
f cost of living. " Eighty-five per cent, of the families 
were insolvent, their incomes being only equal to 
51-5 per cent, of the sum required for decent subsistence 
on the most modest scale." 

This comparison, showing the diminishing income of 
the Indian people, startled the big wigs in the British 
oligarchy, and Lord George Hamilton, Secretary of 
State for India, referred to it in the House of Commons 
on August i6th, 1901 : "I admit it at once that if it 
could be shown that India has retrograded in national 
prosperity under our rule we stand self-condemned, 
and we ought no longer to be trusted with the control 
of that courfiry " ; while Lord Curzon on March i8th, 
1901, upon the debate on the Indian Budget in the 
Viceregal Council at Calcutta, tried to upset his own 
estimate of 2 per head per annum by stating : " I do 
not say that these data are incontrovertible. There 
is an element of conjecture in these, but so there was in 
the figures of 1880. ..." 

All that we desire here is to quicken the conscience 
of the British people (i) by presenting a true picture 
of poverty and unemployment in India, and (2) by 
discussing their chief causes with a view to their 
amelioration or removal as far as possible. 

Since 1901 ther has been no official estimate of the 
income of the people an unreasonable negligence on 
the part of the Government, wftich produces a Statis- 
tical Abstract every year at some cost to the Indian 
taxpayer. The Statistical Abstract does, however, 


supply data from which the terrible poverty may be 

Let us consider the figures for the relief of famine, 
whicfy is both a consequence and a cause of poverty. 
Apart from charitable organisations like the Indian 
Famine Fund of the Lord Mayor of London, the 
Government of India disburses every year in and year' 
out financial aid in relief of " the extreme, the abject, 
the awful, poverty of the Indian people/ 1 

From the Statistical Abstract furnished by the 
Government of India : 


Famine Relief 


4,147,177 igiI-12 . 17,14403 

884,061 1912-13 . 28,33,278 

983,090 1913-14 23,62,671 

905,680 1914-15 * 4i>98> 2 77 

1,000,009 1915-16 . 11,20,420 

1,000,930 1916-17 . 28,14,254 

1,009,743 1917-18 . 56476 

1,296,063 1918-19 . 46,16,514 

1,645,179 1919-20 . 1,17,46,559 

1,000,000 1920-21 . 26,64,017 

13,871,902 Rs. 3,40,27,069 

For the first decade of the twentieth century the 
Government therefore spent on an average more than 
a million pounds sterling annually to help the famine- 
stricken, and in the second decade smore than 340 crores 
of rupees. 

With regard to the number of famines and loss of 
life, Mr. Digby supplied the following from official 
records : 






Deaths (Estimated 
or Recorded). 


1800 to 1825 



1826 to 1850 



1851 to 1875 



1876 to 1900 



For 1901 to 1925 the world awaits official figures. 

The Lancet estimated the death-roll from actual 
starvation or the diseases arising therefrom for 1890 
to 1900 at 19,000,000. Sir Antony MacDonald, Presi- 
dent of a Famine Commission, spoke of how the people 
" died like flies." Mr. Digby compared the loss of 
life by famine in India during the ten years 1891-1900 
at I9,ooo,ooowith the loss of life by war in all the world 
during one hundred and seven years (1793-1900) at 

The chief lesson which these figures of famine and 
famine relief teach us is that famine has come to stay 
in India, that famine is chronic, that in spite of efforts 
of the Government of India this scourge of humanity 
still tortures the poor of India. 

For an exhaustive examination of famine the reader 
must consult the volumes written on the subject both 
by English and Indians and the reports of the many 
Famine Commissions. By way of question and 
answer I shall endear/our to bring out some of its salient 

As we live in an age of materialism, which is careless 
of human values and counts famine as a good purge 
sent by God to correct the reproductive capacities of 


Indians, who do not practise Malthusian restriction of 
the race as their Christian overlords do, the question of 
the financial loss incurred by famine comes first, and 
is partly answered by the above figures for famine 
relief and by Mr. Digby, who estimated that two big 
famines in the last decade of the nineteenth century 
involved a loss of 120,000,000 each. Hence a vicious 
circle set up of poverty causing famine and famine 
causing poverty. Severe famine might be described 
as due to rain failure and poor monsoons falling upon 
impoverished people. 

What evidenc^ suggests that the Government of 
India regards famine as chronic ? The establishment of 
the Famine Code in 1880, which provides palliatives on 
a permanent basis for the relief of famine. This is one 
of the wisest and most humane achievements of the 
bureaucracy, of which we can all be proud 

To the question whether Indian famirfes are more 
destructive to health and life than in ancient days 
Mr. Digby gives an answer in the affirmative, asserting 
that aforetime famine only arose after two years of 
drought, whereas now one year's failure of rain at the 
right time for agricultural operations leads to acute 
famine. Then grain stores in the villages mitigated 
the suffering ; now, since the development of the 
railways, the surplus stores are exported, and prices rise 
with this artificial scarcity, so that millions have not 
the wherewithal to buy food. This point is emphasised 
by Mr. Vaughan Nash in his book on " The Great 
Famine," namely, that even in famin years food enough 
is grown in India for all, but at a price beyond the 
purchasing power of \he people. Hence " fever " 
has a massacre of innocents every year according to 
the Statistical Abstract, " fever/' which an Anglo- 


Indian medical authority defined as " a euphemism for 
insufficient food, scanty clothing and unfit dwellings/* 

What is the remedy for famine ? In 1878 Sir Arthur 
Cotton advocated " irrigation " as a great remedy, and 
the Famine Commissioners, in their report in 1880, 
said : 

" Among the means that may be adopted for giving 
India direct protection from famine arising from drought, 
the first place must unquestionably be assigned to works 
of irrigation. It has been too much the custom, in 
discussions as to the policy of constructing such works, 
to measure their value by their ^nancial success, 
considered only with reference to the net return to 
Government on the capital invested in them. The true 
value of irrigation works is to be judged very differently. 
First must be reckoned the direct protection afforded 
by them in years of drought by the saving of human 
life, by the Avoidance of loss of revenue remitted and 
of the outlay incurred in costly measures of relief. 
But it is not only in years of drought that they are of 
value. In seasons of average rainfall they are of great 
service and a great source of wealth, giving certainty 
to all agricultural operations, increasing the out-turn 
per acre of the crops, and enabling more valuable 
descriptions of crops to be grown. From the Punjab 
in the north to Tinnevelly, at the southern extremity 
of the peninsula, wherever irrigation is practised, such 
results are manifest ; and we may see rice, sugar-cane, 
or wheat taking the place of millets or barley, and 
broad stretches of indigo growing at a season when 
unwatered lands must lie absolutely unproductive." 

How has the Government of India acted upon the 
advice of its greatest engineer and of its own com- 
mission ? From 1882 to 1898 it spent, according 


to Mr. Digby, from revenue nearly seven times more 
on railways than on irrigation works, and from capital 
more than six times as much ; and from 1898 to 1926 
its policy has been one of comparative starvation of 
irrigation, India's chief means of redemption. When 
the increased productivity of the soil probably four- 
fold and the cheaper communication by navigable 
canals from irrigation are taken into account, the 
policy of the Government becomes incomprehensible, 
except on the theory that Imperialism got hold of the 
Government, and that strategic railways found greater 
favour in its siht. How many famines, how much 
loss of life and money, how much impoverishment, 
might have been avoided if the Government had pursued 
a bolder policy of irrigation, history will relate. 

The Government missed its opportunities, and, in 
the words of Mr. Digby, " discredit has taken the place 
of what would have been a monument of unassailable 

Coming to the economic conditions of present times, 
I cannot do better than recommend the reader to 
study the recent publications (1925) of Mr. Pillai 
" Economic Conditions in India " and of Mr. Darling 
" The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and Debt " 
in each of which he will find a gold mine of information 
and suggestion. 

In the introductory note to Mr. Pillai's work, 
Professor Gilbert Slater writes : " The poverty of 
India is a grim fact. In the main it is, as Mr. Pillai 
shows, the result, not of unequal distribution of what 
wealth is produced, excessively large incomes being 
very few, though conspicuous, as of a very small 
production per capita. A reasonable estimate of 
money income would be, for the present day, somewhere 


about 100 rupees per annum, or ^\d. per day. Taking 
the whole population together, rich and poor, it may 
be said that about two-fifths of the available income 
must be spent merely on the grains that form the basis 
of the Indian dietary rice, millets, and wheat 
leaving only $d. per head per day for all other foods, 
including even such indispensable supplements as 
salt and pulse, for clothing, education, medical aid, 
housing, religious festivals and observances, all the 
luxurious expenditure of the relatively inconsiderable 
number of well-to-do families, and the conventional 
necessities of rare indulgences of tfie poor, such as 
tobacco, betel, toddy, and a modicum of jewellery. 
This, or something like this, being the average con- 
dition, that of the poorest classes can be guessed. A 
detailed examination, family by family, of a Madras 
Parchery, i.e., a pariah settlement, in the middle of 
the city, by IMr. Ramachandran, Reader in Economics 
to the University, showed an average income of only 
o,\d. per head per day, which means only \d. per day 
in addition to a bare sufficiency of rice ; and a very 
recent inquiry by Mr. Ranga Nayakulu yielded an 
estimate of 30 rupees 45$. per annum as the average 
income per head for the labourers of untouchable castes 
in the Godavari delta." 

This estimate of $&. per day compares favourably 
with Lord Curzon's estimate of less than zd. in 1901, 
but unfortunately there must be set against it higher 
prices, the retail prices of food grains rising from 100 
in 1873 to 114 in 1894, 117 in 1905, 168 in 1910, and 
to 222 in 1914. 

Professor Slater goes on to say : " This estimate of 
30 rupees per annum may be unduly pessimistic, but 
of these people and of the kindred castes of Pallans, 


Parayans, Cherumas, etc., on whose toil the cultivation 
of the rice fields of Southern India mainly depends, 
it may be said generally that their earnings in grain 
and ooin barely suffice for the subsistence of families 
large enough to maintain their members from one 
generation to another, the surplus offspring dying, 
that they are habitually hungry, and that it is only 
because they make their own huts in their spare time, 
collect their own fuel, need scarcely any clothing, and 
enjoy abundant sunshine that they can subsist at all." 

To go back to the nineteenth century, Sir C. A. 
Elliott, K.C.S.I. Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, said 
when he was Settlement Officer of the North- Western 
Province : " I do not hesitate to say that half our 
agricultural population never know from year's end 
to year's end what it is to have their hunger fully 
satisfied," and " half our agricultural population means 
100 MILLIONS OF PEOPLE " ; and Sir Wilfiam Hunter, 
discoursing on " England's Work in India," and dis- 
cussing normal, not abnormal, conditions, said in 1880, 
" There remain 40 millions of people who go through 
life on insufficient food." 

Returning to present times, Mr. Darling, after making 
an exhaustive study of the peasant proprietors of the 
Punjab, wrote : " The first and most obvious con- 
'elusion is that the bulk of the cultivators of the Punjab 
' are born in debt, live in debt, and die in debt.' 
Probably in no district are more than a third free from 
debt, and in some the percentage is less than ten," 
And, again, the same trustworthy investigator con- 
cluded : "So far as the rest of India and its 300 
millions are concerned, no one can doubt that the 
supreme need of the country is food, more food, and 
still more food." 



Referring to the economic conditions in the towns 
and it is well to note that the census figures show that 
of the total population lO'i per cent, live in towns and 
89-9 per cent, in the villages Professor Slater observes 
that " the Bombay investigations quoted by Mr. 
Pillai show an average income per head for a large 
number of working-class families of 149 rupees 
11 35. 6d. That this should be considerably more 
than the average income measured in money for the 
whole Indian population is a significant fact ; it 
shows, on the one hand, to how small an extent the 
average income of all India is swollen by the incomes of 
the few rich, and, on the other, the effect of the extra 
cost of city life in forcing up wages, for, in spite of his 
relatively high money income, the condition of the 
Bombay cotton operative or dock labourer is de- 
plorable, far worse than that of the average villager, 
and scarcel^ better than that of the untouchable 
village coolie." 

Cotton Wages in the Mills in May, 1921 
(Average earnings per day) 




Big Lads 

All Work- 

*Rs, p. a. 

Rs. p. a. 

Rs. p. a. 

Rs. p. a. 


i 5 6 

o 10 9 


I 2 10 

Ahmedabad . 


12 I 

II 4 



0*15 ii 



12 8 

Other centres . 

i i 8 

10 I 

8 II 

o 15 6 

* i rupee = is. 6d. ; 16 annas = i rupee ; i anna 12 pies. 

From the table of Mr. Findlay Shirras (Report on 
the Wages and Hours Inquiry in the Bombay Cotton 


Mills) one learns at a glance the sweated wages of the 
cotton industry. 

This averages out at less than 25. a day of eleven 
hours -for men, is. per day for women, and from 4^. 
to 6d. for children working half-time. Fines for being 
late, for absence, or for inferior work still further 
reduce these low wages, and the common practice of 
deferring payment for a month lands the poor worker 
in the ditch of debt, out of which many never climb, 
having to scale heights of interest varying from 75 to 
300 per cent. 

Well may the people suffer from lack of food, and 
the country from under-production because of under- 
consumption ! Well may the people die like flies from 
disease because of sub-normal vitality ! Well may the 
Government find favour in the eyes of capitalists when 
it makes it easy for them to bleed the workers white, 
and to keep them in a chronic state ol moral and 
physical lassitude, so that both the will to strike and 
the capacity to strike successfully for better conditions 
are reduced to vanishing point ! 

The monetary and materialistic interests the basest 
interests of mankind of the British bureaucracy and 
of capitalism unite them in a common policy of political 
and economic subjection of the people of India. 

The number of people employed in the cotton 
industry approximated in 1923 to 347,380, of whom 
66,226 were women and 15,766 children, working 
nearly 8 million spindles and 145,000 looms. 

In 1921 the relative position between Great Britain 
and India was 

India. United Kingdom. 

Looms . . 123,783 .. 79>399 

Spindles . . 6,870,804 .. 60,053,246 


All told, there are 280 cotton mills in India, producing 
annually about 700,000,000 Ib. of yarn and 400,000,000 
Ib, of woven goods. Exports of cotton manufactures, 
chiefly to China, Egypt, Persia, Asiatic Turkey, 
Arabia, East Africa, and the Straits Settlements, 
averaged annually in rupees 

1909 to 1914. 1914 to 1919. 1920. 1921. 

20,895,000 .. 43,043,000 .. 87,362,000 .. 75,063,000 

The paid-up capital in the mills in 1920 was estimated 
at 258,888, or 271,000,000 rupees, the debenture 
capital amounting to 99,000, or $4,229,472 rupees. 
According to the estimate of the Chairman of the Mill- 
owners' Association, the gross profits of the Bombay 
mills in 1920-21 amounted to 16 crores of rupees, or 
16,000,000 sterling, the dividends of thirty-five leading 
mills averaging 59 per cent. 

As representative men have said in the House of 
Commons that England holds India for Lancashire, 
reference may briefly be made to the competition in 
cotton. In his reply to the Lancashire cotton trade 
deputation in 1917, Mr. Austen Chamberlain said that 
" the proportion of your Lancashire trade with which 
Indian mills are in effective competition does not 
amount to more than 2 per cent, of your whole trade " ; 
and His Majesty's Senior Trade Commissioner in India 
computed the competition in Bleached goods at below 
5 per cent, in 1919. 

Mr. Filial observes that " the imposition of the 
excise duty of 3-5 per cent, to countervail the import 
duty has all along been felt as a grievous national 
insult and a standing monujnent to Lancashire's 
domination over India's industrial life." Thanks to 
the strike in 1925 of the sweated mill operatives of 


Bombay against a reduction in wag 
of India came to the rescue of the 3 
ing the excise duty, which no fij 
ever likely to reimpose. 

On the question of competitio| 
note that imports of Japanese cott? 
from 2*6 million yards in 1913 to 
in 1918, and that the Indian export of 
is less than half what it was ten years ago, due to 
displacement by Japanese yarn. The chief factor in 
explanation of these changes seems to be the cheapness 
of Japanese labotir, because in Japan three women- 
workers are employed to every male worker, while in 
India women number less than one-fifth of the workers, 
and the wages of women in Japan are about three- 
fourths of men's. 

This is one more illustration of Capital all the 
world over exploiting Labour, and emphasises the 
need for the workers of the world to unite. 

The Jute Industry 

The jute industry exhibits the best example of the 
two extremes of riches and poverty and of the merciless 
exploitation of Labour by Capital. The figures in the 
table on p. 98 indicate the profits of Indian jute mills j 
Adding the reserve accumulations to the profits, 
this works out at 90 per cent, per annum. Not bad 
for capital provided half by Britons and half by 
Indians ! Labour's share in this plunder may be 
estimated from the weekly wages peftd to the workers, 
amounting to 35, for carders, 35. 6d. for rowers, 
45. gd. for spinners,' 75. for hemmers and sewers, 
95. for weavers, and I2s. for tenters. Out of these 
princely earnings weavers have to pay to the foreman 


about 135. for " footing " and from id. to 2d. a week as 
" backsheesh." 


Profits before paying 
Debenture Interest. 

























Under this system of blackmail and meagre wages 
the lot of the labourer is not a happy one, for he is 
driven into the hands of the money-lender, who hesitates 
at nothing in the way of interest. As the management 
of the mills is almost entirely English, this state of 
affairs reflects badly on our industrial morality. 

This industry, which flourishes chiefly in Bengal, 
has had a rapid rise in production from 8 tons a day 
in 1855 to 4,000 tons a day in 1924, and now does two- 
thirds of the trade which Dundee used to do in its 
pristine days, when it supplied half the world's output. 
Scotsmen transfelred their affections from the Tay 
to the Hooghly, where labour was cheap, and the raw 
material near, and the prospetts of profit big. The 
accuracy of their prehensile instincts has been proved 
by the bloated dividends and reserve funds in excess 


of the capital of the Indian mills, which to-day consume 
five times as much jute as the Dundee mills. 

India, as Mr. Brailsford prettily put it, is the jewel 
in the British crown for capitalists, but for the dumb- 
driven Indian labourers it is still a treadmill. 


Wages on the tea, rubber, coffee, cotton, oil, pepper, 
etc., plantations average 35. to 45. a man, is. 6d. to 
35. for a woman. On the tea plantations of Assam 
a man gets 8d. for eight hours a day, a woman 6rf., 
and a child 3^. ; ^n the tea factories the worker earns 
gd. for an eight-hour working day. 

The coolie suffers not only from this low level of 
wages, but frequently from indebtedness to his em- 
ployers in outlandish districts, where he is dependent 
upon the shops provided by the employers for his 
foodstuffs, fuel, etc. This indebtedness, together with 
the isolation of the plantation, renders it difficult for 
him to seek employment elsewhere, and thus practically 
reduces him to a life of economic slavery. His treat- 
ment often borders on the inhuman, and his chances 
of justice and redress of grievances are chimerical. 

The author of " Uncle Tom's Cabin " would find 
in too many plantations facts upon which to write 
another story to stir the indignation of the world. 

As a great deal of British capital is sunk in these 
undertakings, with the tainted profits coming directly 
into British pockets, and as the British people are the 
boastful trustees of India, it is tim that the British 
Parliament ended this state of slave labour or put up 
its shutters. It is no.' good leaving these disgraceful 
and disreputable labour conditions in the factories, 
mines and plantations of India in the hands of the 



Government of India, under whose aegis they have 
grown and flourished. 

Of course the right remedy is government by 
Indians for Indians. 

The Coal Industry 

I had the pleasure of inspecting some of the coal 
mines and mining villages at Jharia (Bihar) in the 
company of Sir Bupendranath Mitra, the Minister of 
Labour, one of the few Indians whom the British 
bureaucracy has allowed to rise to a high position in the 
Civil Service of his country, and of Mr. Joshi, M.L.A., 
and Mr. Chaman Lai, M.L.A., the redoubtable leaders 
of Labour. 

My impressions of the economic, scientific, sanitary, 
housing in spite of the boards of health which have 
recently been established and moral conditions which 
I saw were* anything but favourable. The capitalist 
who ran the mines, whether Englishman or Indian 
most of the mines are in the hands of British capitalists, 
which means that the profits go to England evidently 
did not belong to the same school as the American 
capitalist, who believes in high wages as concomitant 
with high efficiency, as the following figures taken from 
the report of the Chief Inspector of Mines will show : 


Weekly Wages. 

Miners .... 


R's. 4-12 = 7$. 

Underground males (other 

than miners) . 


3-12 = 55. 

Underground females . 


2-8 = 35. gd. 

Surface males 


3-i5 = 5 s - "<* 

Surface females . 


27 = 35. Sd. 


In 1922 disputes often recurred over demands for 
higher wages. The number of persons working in the 
mines regulated by the Indian Mines Act was 229,511, 
of whom 142,103 were men, 78,806 women, and 8,602 
children under twelve. Prohibition of employment of 
children underground under thirteen years of age came 
into force in 1924, but 60,000 women still go down into 
the bowels of the earth to struggle in dust and dirt and 
damp for a bare existence. 

In one of the mines we inspected, where the coal was 
near the surface, strings of coolie women were employed 
in carrying the c<Jal in baskets on their heads up steep 
inclines, a sight which made us pause when we thought 
of the much-advertised blessings which Western 
civilisation had brought to India. 

From the human and economic point of view the 
most distressing feature of the mines was this large 
amount of female labour employed underground, in 
conditions inimical to the health and morals of the 
w r omen, involving unnecessary risks to their progeny, 
and dangerous to the standard of wages of the men. 
When challenged, the representatives of the mine- 
owners defended this evil system on the flimsy and 
questionable ground that the miners liked to have 
their womenfolk working with them in order to 
'augment their earnings. To soothe our offended 
susceptibilities, we were assured by the English 
management that from 60 to 80 per cent, of the women 
were actually wives of the miners. 

A candid capitalist would confess that Great Britain 
holds India for cheap labour and big profits. 

The lessons which 6ne learnt from this inspection 
of one of the most important coalfields of India were 
(i) the utter unworthiness of British rulers to act as 


trustees for the working classes of India ; (2) the need 
of trade boards to regulate wages ; and (3) the impera- 
tive need of powerful trade unions, which at present 
are in their infancy, in order to protect Labour from 
the gargantuan greed of Capitalism. Some whole- 
hoggers would go much further and urge the elimina- 
tion of Capitalism by Nationalisation of the mines, 
but personally I should prefer complete self-govern- 
ment for India as a natural and proper precedent in 
the evolution of India's economic freedom. 

The Labour party in Great Britain may think that 
it has got a difficult enough task tcf hoe its own row 
at home without travelling far East ; nevertheless I 
urge upon its serious consideration, firstly, that in 
the fight against Capitalism the economic conditions 
of the East may determine the economic conditions of 
the West, and, secondly, that the British Labour party 
is morally involved in responsibility for the disgraceful 
exploitation of labour in India as long as Great Britain 
rules over that country. In short, the British Labour 
party cannot shirk, either in its own selfish interests 
or in the interests of its downtrodden fellow-workers, 
its share of responsibility for the grinding poverty of 

Economics of Agricultural Villages 

Mr. Jack, Settlement Officer, estimated the agricul- 
tural incomes in Faridpur, Bengal, at an average of 
50 rupees per head, 49-5 per cent, of the agricultural 
families living in comfort on an annual joint income of 
365 rupees, 28-5 v per cent, living below comfort on 
233 rupees, 18 per cent, above want on 166 rupees, 
and 4 per cent, in indigence on $15 rupees. 

Dr. Lucas's researches into village life in the Punjab 
led him to the conclusion that " from 20 to 30 per cent. 



of all the villages were equally poverty-stricken," as the 
village of Kabirpur, where the gross income of an agri- 
cultural family, consisting of 4-5 members, worked out 
at 85 rupees 10 annas 8 pies plus 22*58 maunds of 
wheat and maize. 

As an index to the economic conditions of a people 
the expenditure on the necessaries and luxuries of life i 
an alternative to the average income per head. Accord 
ing to Dr. Engel, the lower the percentage expenditure 
on physical necessities the higher is the economic pros- 
perity. The following analyses speak for themselves : 







Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 













Medicine . 



, 5'9 



* i-o 


Religious and social 

ceremonies . 






Luxuries . 






Total . 







(From Professor Radhakamal Mukerji's " Foundations of 
Indian Economics.") 










I 9. d. 

* d. 

i . d. 

i i. 

t . d. 

5. d. 

i. Petty clerk 

36 O 



4 xo o 

40 o o 

38 xo o 

a. Domestic 

servant . 

7 15 o 

? * 


4 xo o 

17 o o 

12 IJ 


3. Agricultural 


labourer . 

4 15 o 

o xs o 






(From Professor Home's examination of a Patna village.) 


My own observations of the economic conditions in 
the villages I give with diffidence for what they are 
worth. One village within twenty miles of Madras, 
chosen at random, consisted of about seventy houses, 
with a population approaching 500. Two brothers, 
with their wives and four children each, owned and 
cultivated about 4 acres of land, from which they raised 
two crops of " paddy " and one crop of " ragi " every 
year, the average annual income amounting to 180 
rupees 2705. From this they paid 30 rupees per 
annum to the Government for land revenue, and 2 
rupees for road tax. They had two*pairs of oxen for 
ploughing, which cost about 60 rupees a year to keep 
fit, and which were used for other operations during 
eight months of the year, bringing in about 60 rupees. 
Off and on both brothers and their families went out to 
work on other lands for hire during five or six months 
a year, the ftien earning 4 to 6 annas (6d. to gd.) a day 
for ten hours, and the women and boys 2 annas ($d.) 
per day, with one meal per day thrown in. This was 
the average scale of wages in the district. Sometimes 
they found precarious labour in Madras city, driving 
carts, etc. They lived on the joint family system, 
occupying one house, made half of clay and half of 
brick, with a courtyard and two or three tiny rooms off. 
Furniture was conspicuous by its absence. The men 
and boys wore a cloth round the loins, and the women a 
sari, which folded over the body. They partook of one 
meal a day at home, which consisted of rice, and 
another meal of gtuel provided by the employer when 
working on hire. They were in debt to the money- 
lender, paying 15 per cent, compound interest, because 
he was more lenient in regard to repayments than the 
co-operative society, which only charged 9 per cent. 


interest, but demanded punctual payments. They 
found it hard to keep body and soul together, and in 
case of sickness it became impossible to make ends 
meet, when they were compelled to have recourse to 
the money-lender again, and fell deeper into debt and 

I cite the case of these brothers because it is typical 
of the cultivators. The landless labourers, who 
number eighty in the village, suffer from chronic starva- 
tion because of irregularity of employment and low 

Some peasant proprietors had been reduced to land- 
less labourers, having been compelled to sell their 
holdings in order to liquidate their debts to the money- 

There is no poor law system to relieve their chilling 
poverty and to assuage their dire distress, the poor 
depending upon the charity of the poor. *I might add 
that there was no Government school in this village, 
although the villagers desired free and compulsory 
education. The Christian missionary school did not 
command the confidence of the parents. The village 
was without any provision for medical aid, the nearest 
dispensary being seven miles distant. A " toddy " 
shop, licensed by the Government, did not add to the 
material or moral welfare of the poor villagers. 

When I asked the villagers with their headman if 
they had any grievances against the Government, they 
complained that wild boars from the neighbouring 
forest damaged their crops, and* the Government 
refused to pay them any compensation. They desired 
Government permission to clear the forest and cultivate 
the soil, but, I presume, the forest was reserved for 
Englishmen to indulge in the refined sport of " pig- 


sticking " at the expense of the village. They evinced 
political consciousness, for they wanted Swaraj 
both locally and nationally. Locally a panchyate 
(village council) would act as a check upon the 
village officer of the Government, who, in his capacity 
}f collector of revenue and judge, had a monopoly of 
power, and often acted tyrannically, even to the extent 
}f exacting labour without payment. Mahatma 
Gandhi was their national hero, to whom they looked 
for deliverance from their British persecutors. 

In other villages which I visited in Bihar, Punjab, 
etc., I found the economic conditions very similar to 
those in the Madras Presidency. Everywhere the 
struggle for existence was terrible, unemployment 
during many months of the year constant, starvation 
common, especially amongst the expropriated, dis- 
possessed, and landless classes, wages low, hours of 
labour long, taxation of land high, preventable disease 
prevalent, housing bad and overcrowded, sanitation, 
education, and medical aid most defective or absent 

In a village near Delhi my heart was gladdened to 
meet with one student, the only claimant to education 
in the village, for there was no school, who, like my 
countrymen in Scotland, had a rare yearning for learn- 
ing, and who by superhuman efforts overcame his 
surroundings of poverty and attended the University 
of Delhi. 

To what depths of poverty and semi-starvation the 
people had sunk in ^another village may be gleaned from 
the fact that petty thieving by night had become a 
recognised institution. 

In every village I asked if there were any cases of 
starvation, when the replies varied from " Half the 


village goes to sleep hungry every night " to " Many 
never eat one square meal a day." 

Lean faces and ill-nourished bodies of men, women 
and children formed circumstantial evidence of under- 
feeding which no doctor could neglect. 

Humiliated and distressed beyond measure by what 
I had seen in the villages and coalfields of India, 
betokening poverty and misery beyond the dreams of 
poverty, my greatest humiliation and distress was 
experienced in Orissa, a district afflicted by chronic 
famine and starvation, where a deputation of men, 
naked except as* to their loins, waited upon me to 
invoke my aid on behalf of its starving people. 
Accustomed to horrid shapes and sights unholy 
which I saw as a doctor before the war in mangled 
men from accidents while the Forth Bridge was 
being built, during the Great War in the frightfully 
wounded, fresh from the field of battle, 'and in the 
general carnage and death on a torpedoed ship, and 
since the war in a railway smash close to Lyons, when 
I rendered first aid to my fellow-passengers, including 
fair women, young and old, as well as men with faces 
mutilated, throats cut, and feet hanging by sinews to 
lacerated stumps, my feelings of horror and anguish 
were more deeply moved by the sight of these victims 
of famine and starvation, these walking skeletons, these 
bags of bones, in suspended animation, these emaciated 
human wrecks, with sunken eyes, from which all fire 
and hope had departed, than by the sight of the victims 
of man's inhumanity to man, or t>f the victims of 
engineering enterprise. Perhaps my greatest horror 
and anguish arose frdhi the facts, firstly, that I, as a 
British citizen, was responsible for their physical 
condition, leading to a slow and painful death, inasmuch 


as I was responsible for the Government which failed 
to prevent famine by greater schemes of irrigation and 
by reducing the assessment of land, and failed to pro- 
vide sufficient food for the starving populations, and, 
secondly, because of my inability to render them any 
direct succour. 

I shall conclude this chapter on the poverty of India 
by three quotations. First, from the Indian Constitu- 
tional Reforms Report of 1918 : " The Indian Govern- 
ment compiles no statistics showing the distribution of 
wealth, but such incomplete figures as we have obtained 
show that the number of persons enjoying a substantial 
income is very small. In one province the total 
number of persons who enjoyed an income of 66 a year 
derived from other sources than land was 30,000 ; in 
another province, 20,000. The revenue and rent 
returns also show how small the average agricultural 
holding is. ^According to one estimate, the number of 
landlords whose income derived from their proprietary 
holdings exceeds 20 a year in the United Provinces is 
about 126,000 out of a population of 48 millions. It 
is evident that the curve of wealth descends very 
steeply, and that enormous masses of the population 
have little to spare for more than the necessaries of 
life." Secondly, in 1918-19 the number paying 
income tax, which was assessed only on non-agricul- 
tural incomes of 1,000 rupees and upwards per annum, 
in British India aggregated only 366,431 ; and thirdly, 
the Material and Moral Progress Report for 1922 tells 
us that the masse^of the Indian population " are beset 
with poverty of a kind which finds no parallel in the 
more exigent, because less tropical, countries of Europe." 



HAVING indicated generally the nature and extent of 
poverty in India, we wish now to summarise the reme- 
dies. In India, one-fifth of the human race lies crushed 
between the upp%r and lower millstones of Capitalism 
and Imperialism, suffering tortures of body, mind and 
spirit that only the pen of Milton could adequately 
portray. The sport and playground of these two evil 
and inhuman forces for centuries, India is peculiarly 
fitted for the great solvents of Socialism and Self- 
government. As the history of the world teaches that 
political emancipation precedes economic emancipation, 
self-government should come first. 

The working classes of Great Britain, Germany and 
France emerged out of the darkness and despair of 
economic slavery more by means of the vote than by 
barricades and industrial strife, and it is reasonable to 
infer that their comrades in India will have to travel 
along the same road in their fight for freedom. In this 
respect one is glad to note that the Swaraj party favours 
adult suffrage, which British Imperialists fear. 

Self-government, therefore, holds the first place in 
my judgment as a remedy for Indian poverty, for it is 
idle and vain to expect British rulers to act otherwise 
than they have done ince the battle of Plassey, to act 
otherwise than in the interests of British Capitalism. 
Sir John Strachey confessed the truth when he said : 



" We are often told that it is the duty of the Govern- 
ment of India to think of Indian interests alone, and 
that if the interests of Manchester suffer it is no affair 
of ours. For my part, I utterly repudiate such doc- 
trines. I have not ceased to be an Englishman because 
I have passed the greater part of my life in India, and 
have become a member of the Indian Government. 
The interests of Manchester, at which foolish people 
sneer, are the interests not only of the great and 
intelligent population engaged directly in the trade of 
cotton, but of millions of Englishmen. I am not 
ashamed to say that . . . there is no higher duty in 
my estimation than that which I owe to my own 
country. 11 Hence the policy of the Government of 
India has been to consider the interests of England 
before those of India, to encourage the export of raw 
material frqpi India for the benefit of Lancashire, and 
to discourage manufactures which would compete with 
English manufactures, first by tariffs penalising the 
import of Indian manufactured goods into England 
and secondly, after the adoption of Free Trade by 
England, by handicapping Indian enterprise by the 
levy of the countervailing excise duty on cotton goods. 

Referring to the cotton duties, Mr. Lovat Fraser 
reported that they have done more to impair the moral 
basis upon which British rule is supposed to rest than 
any other act of the British in India. 

By way of contrast in ideals and ethics to those of 
Sir John Strachey compare the attitude of Sir Alexander 
Gait, Minister of Finance for Canada, when the Colonial 
Office and the British Chambers of Commerce protested 
against the right of Canada td erect her own tariff 
system. " Self-government," he wrote in a memorable 
despatch, " would be utterlv annihilated if the views of 


the Imperial Government were to be preferred to those 
of the people of Canada. It is, therefore, the duty of 
the present Government distinctly to affirm the right 
of the Canadian Legislature to adjust the taxation of 
the people in the way they deem best, even if it should 
happen to meet with the disapproval of the Imperia? 

The Imperial spirit boasted by Sir John Strachey 
the spirit of exploitation of the conquered by the 
conqueror, of the weak by the strong, of Labour by 
Capitalism, of the Indian by the Englishman is the 
spirit in which Inflia has been governed both under the 
East India Company and under the British crown. 

The Directors of the East India Company made no 
secret about their aims and objects in India ; they 
made no hypocritical professions of philanthropy, of 
ruling India for the good of Indians, or of teaching 
Indians to rule themselves ; the measure ol the success 
of their agents and administrators was not the content- 
ment and happiness, the moral and material progress, 
of the people ; the Ten Commandments found no place 
in the rules and regulations issued for the guidance of 
their servants in dealing with Indians ; their first and 
last object in India was business, big business, profits, 
more profits, to get rich quickly, honestly if possible, 
but if not, to get rich quickly. Inspired by these 
motives of pelf and plunder, Indian industries waned 
while British industries waxed ; Indians became 
poorer while Englishmen grew richer ; India im- 
poverished, England enriched. * 

In the early days of the East India Company " the 
business of a servant pf the Company was simply to 
wring out of the natives a hundred or two hundred 
thousand pounds as speedily as possible, that he might 


return home before his constitution had suffered from 
the heat to marry a peer's daughter, to buy rotten 
boroughs in Cornwall, to give balls in St. James's 
Square." So wrote Lord Macaulay in his essay on 
Warren Hastings, adding, " At first English power 
came among Indians unaccompanied by English 
morality." The Directors exhorted Hastings, whom 
they appointed Governor of Bengal, " to govern 
leniently and send more money, practise strict 
justice and moderation . . . and send more money." 

To placate his London masters, Hastings sold 
Allahabad and Corah to the Prince of Oudh for half a 
million sterling. In these modern days, with political 
leaders preaching self-determination and denouncing 
the transference of peoples like goods and chattels from 
one State to another, this lapse in conduct on the part 
of Hastings seems most reprehensible, but it was child's 
play in the calendar of crime to the loan of British 
imperial troops to the same rapacious prince for the 
sum of 400,000 in order that he might engage in 
war without provocation for the purpose of slaughter- 
ing the Rohillas and appropriating their lands. After 
the British defeated the Rohillas in battle Macaulay 
relates that " the horrors of Indian war were let loose 
in the fair villages and cities of Rohilcund. The whole 
country was in a blaze. More than 100,000 people fled 
their homes to pestilential jungles, preferring famine 
and fever and the haunts of tigers to the tyranny of 
him to whom an English and a Christian Government 
had, for shameful lucre, sold their substance and their 
blood and the honour of their wives and daughters." 

Macaulay, in his essay on Lbrd Clive, wrote : " He 
descended without scruple to falsehood, to hypo- 
critical caresses, to the substitution of documents, 


and to the counterfeiting of hands. ... He forged 
Admiral Watson's name ; " and regarding dive's 
breach of faith with Omichand, "As we think that 
breach of faith not only unnecessary, but most 
inexpedient, we need hardly say that we altogether 
condemn it." 

In the same essay Macaulay relates how the East 
India Company received 800,000 out of the coffers 
of Bengal, after the battle of Plassey, from the puppet 
Meer Jaffier whom Clive placed on the throne of 
Bengal after the defeat and murder of Surajah Dowlah. 
" The Treasury dl Bengal was thrown open to Clive/' 
and " he accepted between two and three hundred 
thousand pounds." " The whole of this splendid 
estate (lands to the south of Calcutta bringing in 
nearly 30,000 sterling a year), sufficient to support 
with dignity the highest rank of the British peerage, 
was now conferred on Clive for life " by his puppet 
Meer Jaffier. " The pecuniary transactions between 
Meer Jaffier and Clive were sixteen years later con- 
demned by the public voice and severely criticised in 
Parliament," when Clive in his own defence exclaimed, 
" By God, Mr. Chairman, at this moment I stand 
astonished at my own moderation ! " 

Clive and Warren Hastings, with thousands of 
minor British satellites, did for modern India what 
Attila and the Huns did for ancient Rome, and the 
British Parliament put up a statue to Clive in 
proximity to the India Office to mark for all time their 
appreciation of this exemplar of British vandalism. 

This illegitimate and indiscriminate " bleeding " of 
India to use Lord Salisbury's famous expression 
went on for more than a hundred years under the 
domination of the East India Company, with the moral 


and national suppbrt of the British Parliament, until 
at length the dignity of Parliament and the British 
conscience could stand it no longer, when India was 
transferred to the tender mercy of the British crown. 

Under the Crown the " bleeding " continued, only 
less copiously, less openly, and less indiscriminately, 
regularised and systematised and camouflaged by 
" services rendered " in return. Lord Salisbury, as 
Secretary of State for India, recognised it when he 
said : "As India must be bled, the lancet should 
be directed to the parts where the blood is congested, 
or at least is sufficient, not to thos (the agricultural 
people) which are already feeble for the want of it." 

In the good old days of the Company good for 
England and bad for India when the Company had 
a monopoly of trade, the rulers of India were merchants 
first and foremost and rulers second and hindmost, 
doing a little profiteering on their own account and 
bigger profiteering for the Company. Viceroys like 
Warren Hastings bought wheat, jute, tea, etc., at low 
rates, sometimes enforced rates, with a pre-emption of 
produce which the Company had imposed on the ryot, 
signed bills of lading, and despatched the goods to the 
India Office in London to pay dividends to the share- 
holders, and interest and capital to the British Govern- 
ment for the hire of troops which the Company 
employed to kill Indians and to appropriate their 
territories. This barbaric and crude method of bleed- 
ing India was changed by the Crown for a more civi- 
lised and scientific method, called Capitalism, in which 
the civil and military rulers were debarred from 
being glorified merchants, but received honourable 
and handsome pay from Indians for keeping law and 
order, while the capitalists made hay by exploiting 


Indians at starvation wages and by exploiting the 
resources of India for the benefit of England. 

India is far and away the best " investment " 
England has ever made, and little do the English people 
know how many of their countrymen are rolling in 
wealth at India's expense. 

I have dwelt at some length upon Swaraj as the 
first and essential remedy for Indian poverty and 
for the low standard of Indian life because of the 
national bias of British rulers to govern India in the 
interests of themselves and their country, a bias 
common to all conquerors in their treatment of subject 
races, and a bias so honestly acknowledged by Sir John 
Strachey. I must now dwell upon the necessity of the 
government of India by Indians in order to effect all 
the other remedies for poverty, unemployment and an 
impoverished level of living. t 

Let me enumerate the leading remedies and pallia- 
tives : improvement and development and nationalisa- 
tion, if need be, of education, agriculture and industry, 
including electrification, irrigation, railways, etc. ; 
Indianisation of the administration and army ; econo- 
misation on the army and administration ; Swadeshi ; 
extension of trade unions and linking up with inter- 
national trade unions ; inauguration of a poor law 
system, old age pensions, pensions for widows, national 
health insurance, etc., a minimum wage and trade 
boards ; raising the age of marriage ; restriction of 
the population by birth control ; prohibition of the 
manufacture and sale of alcoholic leverages, and of 
opium except for medicinal and scientific purposes ; 
regulation of the hours of labour and of child labour ; 
emigration, etc. 

I have given the first place to education because 


improvement and development of man, mind and body, 
must precede the improvement and development of 
agriculture, of industry, and of the defensive forces 
against both external and internal enemies, against 
natural enemies like ignorance, drought and disease, 
and unnatural enemies like Capitalists and Imperialists. 
As I shall show in the chapter on education, Great 
Britain has ignored and neglected her first duty to 
India, namely, the education of the masses. 

A firm believer in the principle of direct taxation, and 
definitely opposed to all taxation of the poor (except 
for luxuries like intoxicants and tcJbacco) on moral, 
economic and health grounds, believing also that 
tariffs make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and 
that tariff wars between nations are disastrous to 
international trade and international fellowship, I am 
of the opinion that India's economic salvation lies in 
the nationalisation of her agriculture and industries 
under a national Government. I must emphasise the 
government of India by Indians because " the trail of 
finance " is over the whole history of India since the 
first day of the British occupation until the present 
time. Human nature being what it is, as Lord Balfour 
would say, it is not to be expected otherwise. But, 
lest I am charged with exaggeration, let me cite two 
modern instances. 

First, the Government of India (Civil Servants) Act, 
which was passed by both Houses of the British 
Parliament in 1925, adopted the chief recommendations 
of the Lee Commission popularly or unpopularly 
known in India as the " Loot Commission " namely, 
removing from the votes the salaries and pensions of 
superior persons, almost all British, in the hierarchy of 
the Indian Civil Service, the granting.of pay, first-class 


passages to and from India, and other concessions, 
amounting to over 1,000,000 per annum, forming a 
considerable drain on India's slender resources. 

The Lee benefits have been extended by the Govern- 
ment of India, with the sanction of the Government of 
England, to the higher officials, mostly British, in the 
railway service in spite of an adverse vote of the 

This financial interference of the British Parliament 
in the affairs of India is open to grave criticism, if not 
severe censure, because the All India Legislative 
Assembly turned* down the Lee Report by sixty-eight 
votes to forty-six in the preceding year. 

By way of comment upon this Act to bleed India 
without India's consent, would the Canadian, or 
Australian, or South African, or Irish Parliament 
brook such interference by the Imperial ^Parliament 
without cutting the painter ? Why do British Impe- 
rialists rage, and their press spit fire at Indian patriots 
who " walk out " of these whited sepulchres, painted 
to look like parliaments, and who decline to co-operate 
with their captors and exploiters, and to be fooled 
by the paramount Power ? 

The second citation belongs to a different category, 
but one involving the honour and reputation of England 
and of the Church of England by law established. 
The " demand for grant " for the Church of England 
in the Indian Budget for 1925-26 amounted to 
33,88,000 rupees (almost 34 lakhs,^ equal to nearly 
226,000). Instead of being a decrease, this marks an 
increase of 10 lakhs on the Budget for 1924-25. 
This " demand " is non-votable by the Legislative 
Assembly. Reduced to plain English, the Church of 
England in India, with the consent of the Government 


of India and the Government of England, but without 
the consent of Indians, takes nearly a quarter of a 
million annually out of the depleted coffers of poor 
India, and in violation of Queen Victoria's pledge. 
The impropriety or immorality of this proceeding 
lever seems to have occurred to the consciences, warped 
.nd scarred by Imperialism, of the bishops and arch- 
bishops responsible for the morals of the Church of 
England, or to the British Parliament, responsible for 
the international morals of England. When the 
Church of England, an alien Church in India, backed by 
an alien Government, exacts tributS to the tune of 
226,000 per annum from the poorest people in the 
world without their permission, legal phraseology fails 
to fit the offence, and when the poor Indian villager 
asks the Indian Government for a free school for his 
children costing a few rupees per month, he is tartly 
told that there is money to increase the salaries of 
British officials and to subsidise the Church of England, 
one of the richest Churches in Christendom, but now 
there is none left in the national exchequer to educate 
the poor children. Truly the moral burden of the white 
man in India is heavy, and his sense of trusteeship past 
finding out. Truly is financial justice impossible in 
India under British rule. I leave the reader the dis- 
agreeable task of assessing the moral damage done to 
Christianity and British justice by this. 

When will British Imperialists have the honesty 
and courage to recognise the great truth in Sir John 
Strachey's confession that no man can serve two 
masters, that no Englishman in the higher Civil Service 
in the bureaucracy, when it comes to a question of 
policy affecting the interests of England and India, can 
serve both England and India at the same time ? 


Needless to say that, when the choice has to be made, 
the vast majority of Englishmen serve England and 
betray India, although India pays the piper. 

Morally how do such men stand ? 

When will Lord Birkenhead or any future Secretary 
of State for India have the honesty and courage to 
explain to every young aspirant for the Indian Civil 
Service that one day he will have to face the awful 
dilemma of choosing which master he will serve, the 
Indian one, who pays him, or the English one, who 
appoints, promotes, or dismisses him ? 

When will England have the honesty and courage to 
recognise that she cannot serve God and Mammon, 
that she is in a pharisaical position, an immoral 
position, as ruler of India, that Mammon has had a 
free band in India under British rule to exploit and 
degrade and impoverish her vast population, and that 
Mammon and Mars together have done 'the things 
which they ought not to have done, and left undone 
those things which they ought to have done ? When- 
ever England has had to choose between God and 
Mammon in her governance of India, she almost 
invariably has preferred Mammon. 

When will the better England, the nobler England, 
the liberty-loving England, the England of Durham 
and Campbell-Bannerman, arise and give to India her 
precious and legitimate rights, self-government and 
freedom ? 

The extent of the blood-letting may be gathered 
from the study of the exports arM imports in the 
Statistical Abstract for India, which shows a tre- 
mendous balance of* exports over imports. For 
appreciation of this dismal science the reader will 
consult John Stuart Mill, who points out that exports 


and imports should equal each other, and that " tribute 
or remittances of rent to absentee landlords or of 
interest to foreign creditors " disturb this equality, and 
" the result is that a country which makes regular 
payments to foreign countries, besides losing what it 
pays, loses also something more by the less advantageous 
terms on which it is forced to exchange its productions 
for foreign commodities." 

When Financial Member of the Government of India, 
Sir John Strachey declared : " India is a country of 
unbounded resources, but her people are a poor people. 
Its characteristics are great powers of production, but 
almost total absence of accumulated capital. On this 
account alone the prosperity of the country essentially 
depends on its being able to secure a large and favour- 
able outlet for its surplus produce. But there is a 
special feature in the economic conditions of India 
which renders this a matter of yet more pressing and 
even of vital importance. This is the fact that her con- 
nection with England and the financial results of that 
connection compel her to send to Europe every year 
about 20,000,000 sterling worth of her products with- 
out receiving in return any direct commercial equiva- 
lent. This excess of exports over imports is really the 
return for the foreign capital, in its broadest sense, 
invested in India, including under capital, not only 
money, but all advantages which have to be paid for, 
such as the intelligence, strength and energy on which 
good administration and commercial prosperity depend. 
From these causes'the trade of India is in an abnormal 
position, preventing her from receiving, in the shape of 
imported merchandise and treasure, the full commer- 
cial benefit which otherwise would spring from her vast 
material resources. . . . Here, then, is a country which 


both from its poverty, the primitive and monotonous 
condition of its industrial life, and the peculiar character 
of its political condition, requires from its Government, 
before all things, the most economical treatment of its 
resources, and, therefore, the greatest possible freedom 
in its foreign exchanges." 

This frank and honest avowal of Sir John Strachey 
fixes the loss to India from the British connection at 
20,000,000 a year, which during the course of British 
rule, extending over a hundred years, must mount up 
to thousands of millions. His compensation for this 
financial drain irf" good administration, etc.," will not 
reduce the pangs of hunger of the poor peasants and 
artisans, and will sound like mockery to the unemployed 
middle classes who ought to fill the higher posts in the 
administration of their country, occupied by " angels " 
from England at salaries and pensions which appear to 
Indians extraordinarily extravagant. The Marquis of 
Salisbury suggested no compensation when he drew 
attention to the fact that " much of the revenue of India 
is exported without a direct equivalent." 

In speaking of the " almost total absence of accumu- 
lated capital " in India, Sir John did not say how far 
this was due to the poverty of the people, or to the habit 
of hoarding (inculcated partly by insecurity of private 
property under Mohammedan and British conquest, 
and partly by the joint family social institution), or 
to the dislocation of the exchanges and drain from 
British domination. So far as " hoarding " is con- 
cerned, Mr. Pillai writes : " There "is reason to think 
that the hoarded wealth of India has generally been 
exaggerated " ; and jthe information supplied to the 
Bengal National Chamber of Commerce proved that 
" the ryots in Bengal at least have no hoard," and 


" whatever silver and gold ornaments they have are not 
worth taking notice of," and " if there had been a 
hoard the Government would not have provided money 
to the ryots on the first sign of famine in order to keep 
them alive/' 

Whatever the explanation may be, the fact remains 
9 that foreign capital dominates Indian industries, aggre- 
gating approximately 570,000,000 in 1917-18, of 
which 470,000,000 was calculated by the Economist in 
1909 to be British. The distribution of the invest- 
ments, according to Sir George Paish in 1910 and 
Mr. H. F. Howard in 1911, may be fudged from the 
estimates given on p. 123. 

The advantages and disadvantages of capital open 
up a wide sea of tempestuous propositions, both econo- 
mic and political, which can only be summarily dealt 
with here. 

To take ^he political, as the more vital, first. The 
history of the world in general and of India in parti- 
cular teaches the danger of " economic penetration " 
of one country by another, leading too often to " poli- 
tical penetration " and loss of political and economic 

This is the history of Africa, with the exception of 
Abyssinia, which retains a precarious independence. 

It is the history of Asia, where the European vul- 
tures, fortunately for Asia and the world, met with 
more than a pin-prick from Japan, which has become 
the rallying ground for Asia to turn the European beasts 
of prey out of thftir continent. This does not mean 
that trade between Asia and Europe would cease, 
but simply that Asia would resfime the political and 
economic freedom which has been wrenched from her 
by the sword of European capitalism. 




Sir George Paish (India and Cey- 
lon together in thousands). 

Mr. H. F. Howard (India alone 
in millions). 


Government . 

I. Government 

loans : 



India sterling 

stock . . 170 



Enforced rupee 

paper held in 

Banks . 


London . . 9 

Rupee paper 

Commercial and in- 


held in India by 
Europeans . 31 
II. Railway annui- 

Electric light and 

ties . . 73 
III. Loans of local 



bodies, taking 

Financial, land and 

the foreign share 
at less than 



three-tenths^ of 
the whole . to 

Gas and water 


IV. Companies re- 

gistered in In- 

Iron, steel and coal. 


dia, taking the 

foreign share at 

Mines . 


less than half of 

the whole . 20 

Motor tractioa and 

V. Companies with 



sterling capital 

carrying on bu- 

Oil ... 


siness more or 

less exclusively 

Rubber . 


in India : 

Railway com- 

Tea and coffee 


panies . . 77 

Tea companies 13*5 

Telegraphs and tele- 

Otfcer compa- 



nies . . 20-5 

VI. Banking, loan, 



insurance, etc.. 26 

Total . 365,399,000 



It is the history of China, which as we write is assert- 
ing her independence against foreign intervention. 

It is the history of India, where the locusts of Europe 
from Portugal, Holland, Britain and France began 
nibbling bits of green, and then developed steel mandi- 
bles and bellies of belching fire, devouring and destroy- 
ing all who opposed them, until finally the British 
species came out on top, binding India in a vice of 
political and economic slavery without parallel in the 
history of the world. 

This tragedy, perhaps the greatest tragedy in history, 
the complete conquest of India and*the political and 
economic subjection of 300 millions of human beings to 
the vampire of British capitalism, should make the 
British people observe one minute's silence every year 
in which to repent of the evil done in their name, and to 
undo it as^ar as it is possible by restoring India's free- 
doih of action by responsible government. 

For the Government of India to sanction more British 
investments directly in Indian industries would be to 
increase the hold of British capitalism, and probably to 
postpone the day of India's freedom, for capitalists' 
ideals of self-government are strictly limited to them- 

Secondly, on the purely economic side, we must make 
a distinction between capital borrowed by Indians and 
capital directly employed in India by the foreigner. 
Money borrowed at low rates of interest from abroad for 
the development of railways other than strategic, and 
for irrigation and other useful works, is like " the gentle 
rain from heaven : it blesseth him that lends and him 
that takes." But when the British capitalist invests 
money in gold and coal mines, in jute mills and tea 
plantations, in India, the whole situation is changed, 


India's resources being reduced and England's wealth 

The fundamental principle for every country, and for 
India, is that the profits of industry should remain in 
the country with the exception of a small charge for 
interest on any money borrowed from abroad. 

The only advantage that India derives from British- 
owned industries is sweated wages and a low standard 
of life for Indian labour, a very dubious advantage 
which Indians might be better without, higher salaries 
being paid to the British management, and the divi- 
dends going to England. 

Sir Thomas Holland warned India of the loss she 
suffers from the foreign exploitation of her minerals, 
taking the manganese industry as an illustration. 
" The whole output of 1892-1911, about four and a 
half million tons of high-grade ore, was expqrted, thus 
contributing to the economic development of other 
countries, while India received as compensation only 
a small fraction of the market value of the mineral. 
In this case the ore must have brought about eight 
millions sterling in the European market, but the 
Indian Government and the Indian States obtained 
only their royalty of about 56,000, while another 
portion of the estimated value was spent on labour 
and transport in India/' 

This brings us to the all-important question of 
State intervention and nationalisation or Socialism 
as the remedy for India's poverty and economic ills. 
Capitalism has failed in India, as it*has failed in Eng- 
land, to give the working classes (whom Mill called the 
nation), whether they labour in the fields or in the 
towns, a fair wage, regularity of employment, and a 
decent standard of life. How egregiously capitalism 


has failed in India is writ large in the starvation wages, 
the general poverty, the chronicity of famine, the 
widespread unemployment, the bad housing, the 
prevalence of disease, the high death-rate, and the low 
average of life. 

In modern times Governments as far afield as London 
and Tokyo have practised State Socialism and 
nationalisation of industry when necessity demanded. 
In other words, private initiative, private enterprise, 
private competition and exploitation of the public 
by capitalists, either in their individual or collective 
capacity, have been eliminated when the need became 
imperative ; in short, State Socialism was their 
salvation when capitalism either failed or could no 
longer be trusted. During the Great War this was 
particularly true, and since the war Governments all 
the worliover have been slowly, and too often 
reluctantly, compelled by economic experience to 
take a leading hand in the control and development 
of agriculture and industry, which are the first steps 
to nationalisation. 

The attitude of the most Conservative Government 
of modern times towards the coal industry in Great 
Britain points the finger-post to nationalisation as the 
inevitable means of salvation of her key industry ; 
and once coal goes, other industries are sure to follow. 
The Labour party, backed by an intelligent and 
awakened electorate, will see to that. 

The needs of India cry aloud for nationalisation as 
the best means fof development of her agricultural and 
other industries, without which she cannot find 
economic salvation. The grea^ master of economic 
principles, John Stuart Mill, was evidently thinking of 
India when he wrote : " In the particular circumstances 


of a given age or nation there is scarcely anything 
really important to the general interest which it may 
not be desirable, or even necessary, that the Govern- 
ment should take upon itself, not because private 
individuals cannot effectively perform it, but because 
they will not. At some times and places there will be 
no roads, docks, harbours, canals, works of irrigation, 
hospitals, schools, colleges, printing presses, unless the 
Government establishes them, the public being either 
too poor to command the necessary resources, or too 
little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the end, 
or not sufficient!^ practised in conjoint action to be 
capable of the means. This is true, more or less, of all 
countries inured to despotism, and particularly of 
those in which there is a very wide distance in civilisa- 
tion between the people and the Government, as of 
those which have been conquered and are jptained in 
subjection by a more energetic and more cultivated 

Briefly and chronologically let us trace the policy of 
the Government of India towards industry. 

From 1757 to 1833 Government actively engaged in 
organising and financing industry, as we have already 
seen, for the benefit of its members and the share- 
holders in the East India Company; Professor C. J. 
Hamilton summarised this period : 

" In various parts of the country the East India 
Company maintained subordinate factories, and each 
of these had its local branches supervising production 
in the area around it. In each such area the Company 
employed a Gomasthah (agent) through whom con- 
tracts for the supply tof cloths, etc., were made with 
the weavers, and advances of money for the purchase 
of raw materials arranged in order to see that the 


weavers did not sell their work to outsiders who offered 
higher prices ; peons were appointed to supervise 
them ; and the Company also had its own inspectors 
to certify to the quality of the cloth produced. The 
weavers complained that these agents abused their 
authority and forced them to accept non-remunerative 
wages. It will be seen that there was in this system 
room for the Company and its agents to force the 
weavers to accept advances and then compel them to 
surrender their cloths at unduly low prices, or to suffer 
at the hands of the peons, while there was equally the 
real danger that in the absence of (Strict supervision 
the Company might suffer heavy losses by making 
advances for which it got nothing in return, or by 
having to accept goods of very inferior quality." 

In 1833 the monopoly of the East India Company 
was abolished by Parliament at the instigation of 
Bfftish manufacturers, jealous of its privileges and 
anxious to have a share in the Indian spoils ; and from 
1833 to 1857 the Indian cow became subject to milking 
conjointly by the Government of India through the 
Company and by the general body of British manu- 

With the transference of India to the Crown in 1857 
the iniquitous system of Company rule ended, and the 
Government of India assumed a double role, that of- 
trying to serve two masters at the same time, England 
and India, an improvement upon Company rule, which 
served only one master, itself. In fairness to the 
Directors of the *ast India Company, whose shades 
are to be seen flitting restlessly in Inferno, it ought to 
be stated that they made a deathbed repentance under 
Lord Dalhousie's stimulus by creating in 1854 the 
Department of Public Works, and by commencing the 


construction of roads, railways and irrigation canals. 
From a greedy, consuming and cankerous despotism 
the government of India passed under the Crown to a 
bureaucratic despotism relieved by lucid intervals of 
benevolence and intelligence and consideration for 
Indian interests. 

Without sufficient courage to build the railways 
itself, the Government guaranteed a minimum return 
of 5 per cent, on the capital expended by private 
companies. Now all the railways are national property 
and almost all of them worked by the Government. 

The laissez-fair* attitude of the Government towards 
indigenous industries was spurred by famine and by 
the recommendations of the Famine Commission of 
1880 that " the inception of new industries was the 
best palliative for famine, and that the Government 
ought to pioneer the manufacture and refining of sugar, 
the tanning of hides, the manufacture of fabrics of 
cotton, wool, silk, the preparation of fibres of other 
sorts and of tobacco, and the manufacture of paper, 
pottery, glass, soap and candles." The Commissioners 
drew attention to the " success of Government estab- 
lishments, such as the tannery at Cawnpore, which 
largely supplies harness for the army, and the carpet 
and other manufactures carried on in some of the larger 
gaols/' to the value of these as " schools for training the 
people of the country in improved methods," and " to 
their power to attract labour which would otherwise 
be employed to comparatively little purpose on the 
land, and thus set up a new bulwark against the 
total prostration of the labour market, which, in the 
present condition of tfce population, follows on every 
severe drought." 

The Government trifled with these comprehensive 


recommendations until 1898, when Sir Alfred Chatter- 
ton, Superintendent of the Madras School of Arts, 
obtained a small grant from the Government for 
experiments in the manufacture of aluminium vessels, 
which rapidly developed into a successful business, 
with the creation of more factories in other parts of 
India. This conspicuous success in State Socialism, 
which Sir Alfred pushed in other industries besides 
aluminium, like chromo-tanning, hand-loom weaving, 
etc., alarmed the English exploiters in India, who 
evidently brought sufficient pressure to bear upon the 
Government to constrain it to sell ife factories to the 
Indian Aluminium Company in 1903. Impressed by 
the need and possibility of direct action on the part of 
the Government in the industrialisation of India, Lord 
Curzon in 1905 initiated the Imperial Department of 
CoyjTierctvmd Industry under a Director of Industries, 
assisted by a committee of officials and business men, 
whose chief duties were "to be the dissemination of 
industrial information, the introduction of new, and 
the stimulation of existing, industries." In 1910 Lord 
Morley, the Secretary of State for India, put on the 
cold douche : " The policy which I am prepared to 
sanction is that State funds may be expended upon 
familiarising the people with such improvements in 
the methods of production as modern science and the 
practice of European countries can suggest ; further 
than this the State should not go, and it must be left 
to private enterprise to demonstrate that these im- 
provements can be adopted with commercial advan- 
tage." Two years later Lord Morley 's successor at the 
Ifidia Office, Lord Crewe, favoured " the purchase and 
maintenance of experimental plant for the purpose of 
demonstrating the advantages of improved machinery 


or new processes and for asce 

The war forced the pace, 
Indian Munitions Board was for 
to work successfully. Its experimerr 
on a large scale, as well as in 
the Industrial Commission to arrive 
same conclusions as those formulated 
Commission of 1880 : (i) " that in future Government 
must play an active part in the industrial development 
of the country, and (2) that it is impossible for Govern- 
ment to undertake that part unless provided with 
adequate administrative equipment and forearmed with 
reliable scientific and technical advice/' 

In 1919 the Joint Select Committee on the Govern- 
ment of India Bill reported : " Whatever may be the 
right fiscal policy for India, for the need <^Ther**qp- 
sumers as well as for her manufacturers, it is quite 
clear that she should have the same liberty to consider 
her interests as Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, 
Canada and South Africa. In the opinion of the Com- 
mittee, therefore, the Secretary of State should, as 
far as possible, avoid interference on this subject when 
the Government of India and its legislature are in 
agreement." This principle of full fiscal autonomy for 
'India was accepted by the Secretary of State on June 
30th, 1921. 

Into the pros and cons of Free Trade and Protection 
for India the writer dares not presume to travel, as 
being too vast and too involved, and demanding a 
special treatise. Besides, he is a convinced Free 
Trader and a convinced Home Ruler, but as a 
Home Ruler feels precluded from discussing fiscal 
policy, which ought to be decided by Indians in the 


complete enjoyment of Swaraj. Political expediency, 
however, did drive the Government during the war 
into a policy of practical Protection, when the increased 
expenditure was met by increasing the customs 
revenue, the Government dreading the unpopularity 
attached to direct taxation. Instead of placing the 
burden of the war upon the backs of the direct tax- 
payers, the Government of India shovelled it on to 
those of the rich and poor without any discrimination 
in favour of the poor. In 1916 import duties were 
raised from 5 to 7-5 per cent., in 1921 to u per cent. 
to balance the deficit of 6 crores, an& in 1922 to 15 per 
cent, to meet the deficit of 90 crores in the national 

To those readers who are interested in Fiscal Policy, 
I commend a study of works on the subject in general, 
ajj^of "&ie Indian Steel Industries (Protection) Act, 
1924," and of " The History of the Tata Iron and 
Steel Company " in particular. 



" FOR generations to come the progress of India in 
wealth and civilisation must be directly dependent on her 
progress in agriculture. There is, perhaps, no country 
in the world ini which the State has so immediate 
and direct an interest in agriculture. The Government 
of India is not only a Government, but the chief land- 
lord. The land revenue is derived from that portion of 
the rent which belongs to the State, and not to indivi- 
dual proprietors, Throughout the greater p%ft o:U.ndia 
every measure for the improvement of the lanofcn- 
hances the value of the property of the State. The 
duties which in England are performed by a good land- 
lord fall in India in a great measure upon the Govern- 
ment. Speaking generally, the only Indian landlord 
who can command the requisite capital and knowledge 
is the State." When Lord Mayo penned these lines in 
1869 he exhibited not only the knowledge of a practical 
agriculturist, but the mind of a great statesman and the 
heart of a humanitarian, who saw in the nationalisation 
of the land the salvation of India's poverty-stricken 
millions, nine-tenths of whom find their livelihood in 
agriculture. Under his inspiration a " Department of 
Agriculture, Revenue and Commerce " was initiated in 
the following year, with Mr. Hume, whose friendship I 
cherished, as secretary. Short and sad was its exis- 
tence, for the Secretary of State in London, probably 



fearing the taint of nationalisation, and caring nothing 
for India's myriads, immediately transformed it into a 
Revenue Department, and in 1879 it was actually re- 
absorbed in the Home Department. 

Here endeth the first chapter of British official indif- 
ference to India's chief source of " progress." The 
second chapter begins with the resuscitation in 1881 of 
the recommendation of the Famine Commission of Cen- 
tral and Provincial Departments of Land Records and 
Agriculture, but during the next twenty years the 
departments did little or nothing, and that very un- 
wisely, for agriculture, and a lot for dry-as-dust records. 

The third chapter opens in the early years of this 
century with the reorganisation of the Agricultural 
Department, its separation from land records, and 
the appointment of an Inspector-General of Agriculture 
to secure^xo-ordination and co-operation throughout 
IniTd. Mr. J. McKenna summed up the situation as 
follows : " Such were the beginnings of agricultural 
policy if it can be called a policy. Early endeavours 
were too ambitious, and the machinery a centralised 
secretariat was imperfect. The object aimed at was 
to increase the revenues of India by the improvement 
of agriculture, but nothing was done for that improve- 
ment, and the expansion of the land records staff and 
the compilation of statistics almost entirely occupied 
the attention of the provincial departments. But the 
foundations had been laid, and the next few years were 
to witness a rapid development." 

Agricultural colleges sprang up at Pusa, Poona, 
Cawnpore, Salem, Lyallpur and Coimbatore, and veteri- 
nary colleges at Bombay, Lahore, Calcutta and Madras, 
and a bacteriological laboratory at Muktesar. The 
Government carried on seed farms, demonstration 


farms and implement depots. Ocular demonstrations 
of new methods, combining scientific with practical 
knowledge, were given in many places for the benefit of 
the ryots. 

Tillage, which forms such a vital part of farming, has 
been improved, although the primitive plough a 
wooden stick with a small iron point which merely 
scratches the ground, is still in general use, largely be- 
cause the cattle are not strong enough, owing to insuffi- 
cient fodder, to draw a heavier plough. Irrigation, as 
we noted when discussing famine, has been greatly 
increased. The otal area under irrigation in 1920 was 
nearly 49,000,000 acres, of which 20,550,000 were irri- 
gated from Government canals, 2,647,000 from private 
canals, 7,337,000 from tanks, 12,692,000 from wells, and 
5*737*ooo from other sources. The 51,447,375 spent 
by the Government on irrigation yielded aprofit of 
nearly 2,275,000 to the State after payment: mflTL^gst 
charges, besides increasing the fertility of the soil and 
the number and richness of the crops, and thus helping 
the cultivators. 

Manure, as an aid to tillage, is difficult to obtain, 
because of the poverty of the peasants, who cannot 
afford to buy artificial manures, and use cattle manure, 
dried in the sun in the form of cakes, called " varalties/' 
for household fires, instead of for the land, which custom 
could be avoided by supplying the peasants with cheap 
firewood. The utilisation of night-soil as manure, which 
has been such a success in other countries like Holland, 
Germany and Japan, has hardly been adopted at all in 
India, this natural fertiliser being allowed to fester on 
village sites as a nuisance. The same applies to bones 
of dead animals, most valuable fertilisers, which accu- 
mulate as Golgothas outside the villages. 


The provision of village schools by the Government, 
with the teaching of elementary agricultural science, 
would change this backwardness in farming, which is 
so much due to ignorance, and the schoolmaster would 
be the intellectual and material benefactor of the poor 

' In the fearful struggle for existence cattle are the 
needful friends of the peasants, ploughing, raising water 
from the wells, threshing, carrying produce, working oil 
mills, supplying manure, and last, but not least, pro- 
viding milk, the best food for man, woman and child, 
which is all the more valuable in In^ia owing to the 
vegetarian habits of the people. Like their masters, 
cattle suffer from poverty, underfeeding, famine and 
disease, all avoidable to a large extent, if the great land- 
lord, the Government, put its back and intelligence into 
the matt^ by providing sufficient grazing land and 
mas3T veterinary surgeons and dispensaries for the 
146 millions of cattle in the country. 

In order to enable the reader to better grasp the 
urgency of the need to improve cultivation of the soil 
in India, I submit the following statement made by 
Mr. Martin, Census Commissioner for India, at the Royal 
Society of Arts, in 1923 : " The problem of the pres- 
sure of population on food and wealth production is 
one which is receiving more and more serious considera- 
tion at the hands of Indian economists. There are 
many obstacles in the way of improvement in condi- 
tions of cultivation : the ignorance, immobility and 
conservatism of thrf agricultural population, the system 
of land tenure with its progressive fragmentation of 
holdings, and the difficulties connected with the intro- 
duction of agricultural machinery. Yet industrial 
development, even if it be possible on a large scale in 


India, cannot take the place of agriculture. The 
country must produce food for an increasing population 
or become dependent on the world's food supplies, with 
disastrous consequences. We have had in the last few 
years the new phenomenon of an import of wheat in 
India from Australia. India requires much more from 
outside for her development, and she must depend for 
many years on what she produces from the ground to 
pay for what she must get from other countries." 

Further, to make sure of our ground in combating 
poverty and procuring food for the people, the inter- 
dependence of agiculture and industry must be clearly 
understood. Improvement and increased production in 
agriculture is essential to improvement and increased 
production in industry. How can industry prosper 
when large masses of the agricultural population are too 
poor to buy its products, not to mention afteifr. low 
standard of life and few wants ? And how can agricul- 
ture prosper unless industry prospers and provides 
alternative employment to the agriculturist, who, with 
his average of two to three acres, is unemployed 215 
days in the year ? An improvement in the quality and 
quantity of agricultural products, like cotton, and jute, 
and sugar-cane, and oil seeds, etc., means prosperity in 
the industries of which these form the raw materials. 
"These are fundamentals which British rulers paid too 
little heed to durkig a hundred and fifty years. 

Now for the obstacle of " land tenure with its pro- 
gressive fragmentation of holdings, " t which may well 
be introduced by reproducing Mr. Pillai's classification 
of rural society in 1911 in British India as follows : 

Landlords, eight millions (principals and dependents). 

Persons cultivating their own or rented land, 167 
millions (principals and dependents). 


Farm servants and field labourers, 41 millions (prin- 
cipals and dependents). 
Estate agents, managers and their employees, one 

million (principals and dependents). 
Total population supported by ordinary cultivation, 
217 millions. 

As we said before, the Government the British 
Government in India is the great landlord, having 
the first claim on the land, the revenue for which in 
1923 amounted to 36 crores, and formed 18 per cent, 
of India's total revenue, in comparison with the I per 
cent, from land taxes in Great Britain. By too many 
Indians the land revenue is considered excessive, and a 
serious, if not the main, cause of agricultural depres- 
sion and hindrance to agricultural improvement, the 
Government thereby failing in its duty as a landlord. 
- -secisequences of high assessments for land 
by the Government are, in the words of the 
Hon. G. K. Parekh, M.L.C. 

" (a) that the agriculturist is obliged to borrow ; 
" (b) that he is unable to manure the land properly ; 
" (c) that he is prevented from keeping his lands 
fallow or from having a proper rotation of 
crops, and is obliged to utilise all his lands 
for the crop that pays him best, quite irrespec- 
tive of its effect in impoverishing the land." 
As the Government claims the uncultivated land as 
well as the cultivated, the responsibility resting upon 
its shoulders for bringing waste lands under cultivation, 
and thus developing the economic resources of the 
country and increasing the fofcd supply, must not be 
overlooked in considering the remedies for poverty and 
unemployment. Quoting Sir John Strachey, " exclu- 
sive of Bengal, for which there are no statistics, there 



are said to be in India some 80,000,000 acres of unoccu- 
pied land fit for cultivation an area exceeding the 
whole area of the United Kingdom." 

Agricultural figures for British India, excluding 
Indian States, for 1919-20 are 



centage of 






Not available for estivation 
Culturable waste other than 



fallow .... 



Current fallows 



Net sown area 



Total . 



100 ' 

Anent these figures the following questions arise : 

1. Does not the cultivation of this vast area of 
113,000,000 acres of unoccupied land fit for cultivation 
provide one of the most natural and effective remedies 
for poverty and unemployment ? 

2. Why has the British bureaucracy neglected or 
made so little use of this remedy ? 

3. Would it not be in accordance with every prin- 
ciple of righteousness and justice to allow a Government 
of Indians to grapple with this gigantic problem, India's 
most gigantic problem ? 

The bureaucrat's replj/to the second question would 
probably be, " It is n<ft profitable to do so," therein 
betraying his proverbial short-sightedness and lack of 


To reclaim waste lands or lands reserved for the 
pleasure of the rich hunting, shooting, wild game, 
etc. whether in Australia, Canada, England or India, 
is seldom a paying proposition at first, but after many 
days of toil and struggle the fruit of man's fortitude 
glows in golden grain, bringing health and strength and 
happiness to millions. How much better for India's 
future, for the raising of India's distressed and im- 
poverished people, if the Government sank millions of 
money in cultivating the present inhospitable tracts of 
land instead of in building Imperial Delhi and in main- 
taining colossal armaments ! f 

The progressive fragmentation of land is due to the 
ancient Hindu law of inheritance by which each child 
receives a part of every plot owned by the deceased. 
The evil effects of excessive subdivision of land involve 
intejfc"^fcce with cultivation, prevention of permanent 
improvement and orderly organisation of labour and 
capital, and waste of time. Mr. Keatinge mentions one 
village in the Kanara district where 52 acres of land 
were held by 50 landholders in as many as 139 dif- 
ferent plots, and Dr. Mann tells of a village in the 
Bombay Presidency in which 16 out of 156 landholders 
had their land divided into ten or more separate plots, 
some of them only a thirtieth of an acre. 

The chief varieties of tenure are Zemindari and Ryot- 
wari and, to a much smaller extent, Communal. 

In the Zemindari system, which prevails in Northern 
India and which r covers 53 per cent, of the land in 
British India, large landowners, called Zemindars or 
Talukdars, act as intermediaries between the Govern- 
ment and the cultivator, from ^Vhom they receive rent 
in cash or in a share of the produce, and they pay a 
share of this rent as land revenue to the Government. 


The share paid to the Government is known as a 
" settlement/' which is either " permanent " or " tem- 
porary." According to the permanent settlement, 
made in 1793, the Zemindars were at first assessed at 
90 per cent, of what they collected from the cultivator, 
which amounted in 1854 to 50 per cent, and now to about 
27 per cent., owing to improved conditions of assess- 
ment and in some cases to increased productivity. In 
the temporary settlement lands are assessed periodic- 
ally, and the Zemindars pay half of what they receive 
from the tenants to the Government. Under the 
Zemindari syster^ 27-1 per cent, of the land is settled 
permanently and 72-9 per cent, temporarily. 

In the Ryotwari system, which prevails in the Pro- 
vinces of Bombay, Madras and Punjab, the ryots, or 
peasant proprietors, hold their land direct from the 
Government under assessments made for thiafe^ears. 
The Survey Department makes an estimate of tJle 
average annual value of the produce of every field, 
and after deducting the cost of cultivation and making 
allowances for vicissitudes of seasons, distance of 
markets, etc., fixes one-half of the net profit as the 
share of the Government, which works out at between 
6 and 7 per cent, of the gross produce. 

In the Communal system, which is a rara avis nowa- 
days, the village is jointly responsible for payment of 
land revenue to the Government. The Famine Com- 
missioners of 1880 reported that " these village com- 
munities are represented by an elected or hereditary 
headman and are jointly .responsible for the payment 
of the Government revenue due from the entire village. 
Sometimes all the laad is held in common, and the 
proceeds are thrown together and divided among the 
sjjarers by village custom. Sometimes the proprietors 


all have their separate holdings in the estate, each 
paying the quota of revenue due from his plot, and 
enjoying the surplus profits from it." 

As it is impossible in the compass of this book to 
examine in detail these systems and the economic deve- 
lopment of the country, we must confine ourselves to 
one or two general criticisms : 

Firstly, that the cultivator is taxed too heavily by 
both the superior landlord, the Government, and the 
inferior landlord, the Zemindar ; and secondly, that 
in consequence the cultivator is driven into debt to 
money-lenders, and improvement iix agriculture ren- 
dered extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

Having already dealt with the Government as land- 
lord, it only remains to relate that the Zemindars, who 
own large estates, take advantage of the ignorant and 
resotp^fl&s peasantry by exacting high rents and more 
tlfan their share of the produce of the land, in spite of 
the Bengal Rent Act of 1859, the Bengal Tenancy Act 
of 1885, and similar Acts in other Provinces for the 
regulation of relations between landlord and tenant, 
aiming at giving the tenant the desiderata of tenants 
throughout the world, namely, the three F's : fixity of 
tenure, fair rent, and full compensation for improve- 
ments. India, like Ireland, is cursed with too many 
landlords, who are mere rent-receivers and economic 
parasites, spending no money on land improvements 
and too often practising absenteeism. 

These non-cultivating landlords, who are supported 
by agriculture, are a burden on the community, and, 
unfortunately, are on the in&ease. In Madras, for 
instance, they have increased f&m twenty in 1901 to 
seventy-seven in 1921 for every thousand workers (i.e., 
excluding dependents)* 


The disease of debt, which is so deep and widespread 
among the small Ryotwari peasant proprietors and the 
small tenant farmers under the Zemindari system, 
deserves more attention than we can give it. Mr. 
Darling, in " The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and 
Debt/' supplies these salient facts : 

1. Only 17 per cent, are free from debt ; 

2. Net mortgage debt is not more than 40 per cent, 
of the whole ; 

3. The average debt per indebted proprietor is 463 
rupees ; and 

4. Total debt ^represents twelve times the land 
revenue paid by all concerned, whether indebted or 

The Punjab Famine Report of 1878-79 estimated 
that over 80 per cent, of the proprietors of the Punjab 
are in debt, thus supporting Mr. Darling's findir^g, and 
Mr Calvert, in his work " The Wealth and Welfare M 
the Punjab," discovered 40,000 money-lenders in the 
Punjab out of a population of 25 millions. 

Sir Frederick Nicholson estimated the total debt of 
the rural population in the Madras Presidency in 
1895 at 45 crores, which worked out at an average 
of 13 rupees per head of the population. The Famine 
Commission of 1901 found that at least one-fourth 
of the cultivators of the Bombay Presidency have lost 
possession of their lands, that less than a fifth are free 
from debt, and that the remainder are indebted to a 
greater or less extent. The Material and Moral Progress 
Report for 1919 aggregated the indebtedness of the 
Punjab at about 30 milljJhs sterling. 

The speed at which? the money-lenders have ex- 
propriated the peasantry may be judged by the 
following figures from the Punjab : From 1866 to 1874 


sales averaged about 88,000 acres a year, and in the 
subsequent quinquennial periods 93,000, 160,000, 
310,000, and 338,000 acres a year. 

The rate of interest charged by these leeches varies 
from 15 to 50 per cent, compound interest. But yet 
the tale of expropriation is not all told, for the sowcar 
(money-lender) has taken advantage of the indebted- 
ness, unbusinesslikeness, commercial helplessness, and 
ignorance of the cultivator by combining the business 
of grain merchant with that of money-lender, buying 
the ryot's harvest at low prices when there is a glut in 
the market and selling to the big exporter, who^ 
prefers to buy in bulk from him rather than from 
the individual cultivator, who can only sell in small 
quantities. The money-lender thus becomes the 
economic dictator of the village, monopolising the 
positigjyrf buyer and lender, exacting his own terms, 
acid leaving only an infinitesimal part of the profits to 
the producers. 

Regarding this unholy and uneconomic state of 
affairs, Mr. Darling sums it up in the following words : 
" The money-lender is everywhere the evil genius of 
the cultivator, exploiting him when he is prosperous 
and enslaving him when he is poor. . . . Economic 
freedom is a condition precedent to progress, and to 
the Indian cultivator no freedom is possible till the 
power of the money-lender is broken." 

Before proceeding to a discussion of the remedies 
for these evils we must say one more word about the 41 
millions of landless farm servants and field labourers, 
the flotsam and jetsam of agriculture, to whose terrible 
plight in life references have Ijbeen made previously. 
The one more word here had better be in a summary 
of their sorrows, of "the slings and arrows of out- 



rageous fortune," viz.: low wages; the failure of 
wages to overtake prices ; long hours ; low produc- 
tivity, the result of underfeeding and consequent 
weakness ; unemployment during five or six months 
in the year ; famine ; disease and epidemics ; economic 
slavery ; insanitary housing, etc., if " housing " can 
be justly applied to the hovels in which they are 

Given the vote, what a beneficial change would come 
over the wretched lot of these unfortunate outcasts 
and helots of society ! Their " untouchability " would 
j jtmmediately vanish ; they would become citizens with 
equal rights, and, being citizens with a vote, they 
would command the attention of the Government and 
the Legislatures, their hard conditions would be re- 
lieved, and, best of all, their self-respect, self-reliance, 
and self-expression would be restored, to their <^p and 
their country's good. 

Comparing the Punjab with the rest of India, 
Mr. Darling gives the following : 



Percentage free from 

I8 74 



Central Provinces . 
The tenantry in the Agra 


Nagpur (18,000 tenants) . 
Baroda State . 

Faridpur (Bengal)" . 


Mysore State '{24,350 co- 
operators) . 



(bi all landowners) 

(of all cultivators) 



The same careful investigator estimated the total 
rural debt of British India, with its population of 
247 millions, at more than 400,000,000. 

The Government and Redemption of Agriculture 

Many of the remedies for agricultural backwardness 
and depression have been discussed already as they 
arose. For the sake of comprehensiveness, it might 
be as well to enumerate these, and then deal with those 
which have not yet been considered : 

(i.) Political : (a) self-govermpent ; (6) adult 

(ii.) Education: primary, scientific, agricultural, 
industrial, technical, etc. 

(iii.) Industrial: initiation of new industries and 
devejpiwnent of old industries. 
** (iv.) Agriculture. 

(a) More Scientific Research Departments and more 

Agricultural Colleges for the improvement of 
the soil and crops and the prevention of pests 
and diseases, etc. ; more Veterinary Colleges 
and veterinary surgeons ; breeding of cattle 
and sheep demonstration farms ; a school in 
every village with teaching of agriculture, etc. 

(b) Cultivation of waste lands fit for cultivation. 

(c) Irrigation and still more irrigation. 

(d) Co-operative societies. 

(e) Agricultural banks and a national bank. 
(/) Development of village industries. 

(g) Restrictive legislation regarding money-lenders 

and alienation of the land, etc. 
(h) Building and improvement of village roads for 

the purpose of transport, etc. 


(t) Nationalisation of the land and its mineral 
resources, with reductions of assessments till 
nationalisation is attained. 

(v.) Drastic reduction of military expenditure and 
armaments and wise and bold expenditure on agri- 

Almost all these subjects have been treated more or 
less, except co-operation, banking, village industries, 
and restrictive legislation. 


Co-operation is both an alleviative and curative 
remedy for the cardinal defects of Indian husbandry 
by providing the credit necessary for agriculture on 
reasonable terms and by organising the marketing of 
agricultural produce ; in other words, by delivering 
the cultivator out of the clutches of the sowcar, both 
as money-lender and middle-man. Under Act X. of 1904 
co-operation credit societies started their useful career, 
reaching 8,177 in number in 1911, with a membership 
of 403,318 and a capital of 33,500,000 rupees. In 
1912 the Co-operative Societies Act II. widened their 
scope ; and in 1921-22 their number rose to 52,182, 
with a membership of nearly two millions and a capital 
of 311,250,000 rupees. In 1925 the societies numbered 

The saving reaped by the peasantry on every crore 
of rupees lent by these societies vsjas estimated by 
Sir E. Maclagan at 10 lakjis of rupees at least. After 
ten years' working in the Punjab 38 per cent, of the 
members were entirely free from debt, and the total 
indebtedness of the members had been reduced by 
With loans from co-operative banks at 


9 to 12^ per cent, instead of anything up to 75 per cent, 
from money-lenders, these figures can be appreciated. 

In 1919 the total number of co-operative purchase, 
sale and productive societies, which are offshoots of 
the co-operative credit societies, was only 597, with 
34,674 members and a working capital of 2,000,000 

Other national advantages derived from co-opera- 
tion besides reduction of debt and credit at low rates 
include " better business, better farming and better 
living," better agricultural implements, planting of 
trees for timber in the future, repaying of the village 
wells, grants for sanitary improvements, building of 
meeting places, and consolidation of small holdings 
" a real revolution, of incalculable benefit to the 

The^noral progress arising out of co-operation may 
rfbt be so easily measured as the material progress, 
but close observers like Mr. Calvert and Mr. Darling 
see an increase in industriousness, thrift, self-reliance, 
and probity on the part of the members, a substitution 
of arbitration for litigation, and a more definite 
avoidanc^ of drinking and gambling than amongst 

Direct advances to the ryot out of national funds, 
in accordance with Acts passed in 1871, 1883 and 1884, 
were made by the Government for seed, cattle, land 
improvements, etc., but attained only trifiing dimen- 

Restrictive legislation relying to debt, notably the 
Deccan Agriculturists 1 Relief Act of 1879 anc * Land 
Alienation Acts, applied to the Punjab, the United 
Provinces, and Bombay, did little to curtail the 
depredations of the money-lender upon the peasantry 


and to prevent the transfer of their lands to this species 
of ghoul. The money-lender, with his wit, always seems 
to be able to drive a bullock waggon through every 
Act of Parliament. 

Less rigidity in the enforcement of the revenue 
demand and remittances of the Government's share 
in periods of bad crops reduced one of the causes 
driving the ryot into the deadly embrace of the sowcar. 

These minor operations of the Government have set 
going tiny currents of the Gulf Stream which is needed 
to save the cultivators from the ocean of piratical 
money-lenders. ^ 

What India needs, and what India must have, for 
her economic salvation, is a major operation in the 
shape of effective nationalisation of the land, with the 
eradication of Zemindars, sowcars, and other exploiters 
of the cultivators. All other operations only '>oad up 
to this, and a wise surgeon performs the major operatioli 
before the patient's strength and recuperative powers 
are diminished or exhausted. 

Land Nationalisation 

Nationalisation of the land includes working its 
minerals for the benefit of the community and the 
nation instead of the foreign or Indian capitalist. 
Accompanying and complementing this land reform, 
the Government should provide agricultural banks and 
nationalise the Imperial Bank of India. 

In comparison with these radical ^remedies for the 
redemption of India's agriculture, how futile, farcical 
and wasteful of time and money is the appointment of 
a Royal Commission on Agriculture without power 
to investigate the systems of land revenue and of land 
teniye* which form the root of the problem. This 


trifling on a grand scale with India's greatest problem 
is another manifestation, the latest manifestation, of 
incompetency on the part of Great Britain to rule India 
in her highest interests. The problem of Indian agricul- 
ture has been with us since the first day Britain entered 
India as a conqueror and ruler ; the floor of the India 
Office in Whitehall is littered with recommendation? 
of Famine and other Commissions for the improvement 
and development of agriculture, and its shelves are 
packed with volumes written by English and Indian 
experts on agricultural resuscitation, and its innumer- 
able vaults piled chock-a-block wij^i reports, memo- 
randa and monographs from the Department of 
Agriculture in India, with information and advice on 
this perennial problem ; but the great mind of the 
" steel frame " possesses neither the elasticity, nor the 
enterprise, nor the will, to undertake the real remedies 
ftr India's key industry. 

India awaits with impatience the happy day when 
her affairs shall pass from the obstinate, self-satisfied 
and exploiting bureaucracy to a truly national Govern- 
ment, sympathetic and responsive to Indian public 
opinion, and bent on developing India's vast 
potentialities in field and mine and industry, and on 
making India the treasure-house of Indians, and no 
longer the exploiting ground of Britons. 

Nationalisation of the land is not such a tall order 
as it may appear to some, for in theory the Govern- 
ment is the great owner of the land and minerals, and 
in practice to a large extent All that is required is to 
make its ownership complete and perfect by eliminating 
the wasteful and harmful middle-man. Most of the 
irrigation canals are national property, likewise the 
railways, the Mint, the post and telegraph services. 


printing presses, forests, etc. India is ripe for 
nationalisation, for a Commonwealth of the people, 
but British rule, in league with British capitalism, 
blocks the way. Once more behold responsible self- 
government as the sine qua non of India's regeneration. 


The shortage of banking facilities in India handicaps 
both agriculture and industry. With a population of 
319 millions, India had only 598 banking offices in 
1921, while Canada, with a population of 8J millions, 
had about 4,000 banks, and the United Kingdom, with 
a population of ^48 millions, had 9,138 in 1917. In 
India 10*2 per cent, of the people live in towns of 
5,000 or over inhabitants, and only 207 of these towns 
in 1921 possessed banks. 

The organised banking systems of India comprise 
the Imperial Bank of India (an amalgamation of tlje 
Presidency banks of Bombay, Madras and Bengal), 
the exchange banks, which are chiefly concerned with 
financing trade at the seaports and towns, the Indian 
joint stock banks, the Post Office savings banks, and 
the co-operative banks. 

Industrial and Fiscal Commissions and the External 
Capital Committee recommended the development of 
banking facilities for the employment of dormant 
Indian capital in Indian industries in place of British 
capital, but the Government of India took no active 
steps to carry out their recommendations, and in 
consequence British capitalism has had a roaring time 
in India. If the Imperial Bank of India had been 
nationalised by the Government, India would have 
been saved a serious financial drain in the past. For 
the oresent and future economic welfare of India 


nationalisation of her banking system is imperative, 
with full control over her currency and gold reserves, 
which have hitherto been subservient to London. 

To be or not to be ? is the question. Has India to 
be sacrificed for ever on the altar of British high 
finance ? History answers, " Yes ! it is always so under 
foreign rule." Sir John Strachey answered, " Yes/' 
British Imperialists say, " Yes," in the immoral 
jingle " My country, right or wrong." And the writer, 
who is only a student of psychology, replies, with 
Scottish caution, " Yes and no " : " Yes ! " as long 
as Liberals and Tories, tied to the chariot wheels of 
Capitalism, rule England and India ; " No ! " when the 
British people realise that Imperialism and Capitalism 
are cursed things, and send a Labour Government 
to power with a mandate to give India political and 
financial self-government. 

Indian financiers complain that the Government 
places all its revenues and reserves at the disposition 
of the Imperial Bank, which, in its turn, lends these 
Indian moneys to British traders and manufacturers, 
and thereby gives them an undue advantage in compe- 
tition with Indian traders and manufacturers. Carried 
to its logical sequence, this means that a British 
Government uses Indian money to back Britons against 
Indians, hitting the Indian banks as well, because the 
Imperial Bank can lend money much more cheaply 
than the Indian banks owing to the fact that the 
Imperial Bank pays no interest to Government on its 
cash deposits and reserves. Another grievance against 
the Imperial Bank is that the bulk of the well-paid 
posts on its staffs are filled by Englishmen. 

In respect to agricultural credit, it is of little avail 
for the Government to pass restrictive legislation ocu 


money-lenders unless they provide agricultural banks 
in the villages, for which Indian Nationalists have been 
clamouring for forty years. 

Reverse Councils 

The currency policy of the Government of India, 
especially between March, 1919, and September, 1920, 
has produced a crop of criticism on the part of Indian 
financiers. According to Mr. Moreton Frewen, England's 
indebtedness to India at that time amounted to 90 
millions sterling, which, if paid in the normal way, 
would have meant a heavy drain on England's gold. 
The Secretary of State for India, therefore, resorted to 
the sale of Reverse Council bills, thus liquidating a large 
amount of the debt to the detriment of India. 

The losses to India due to this policy were 

1. The low rate at which her sterling securities were 
sold and her sterling assets in London dissipated. * 

2. The liquidation of English debts owed to India 
with tremendous loss to India. 

3. The heavy exodus of capital from India and a 
tight money market in India with a high rate for 
internal loans. 

4. The decrease in India's national wealth owing to a 
fall in the price of securities of all kinds. 

5. Foreign loans raised by the Government of India 
with a proportionate increase in home charges. 

6. Indian companies being driven into bankruptcy 
owing to the high rate of interest. 

7. The direct exchange, loss of the Government of 
India, involving higher taxation. 

8. The waste of national wealth by the artificial 
stimulus given to an unhealthy excess of imports over 


9. The effective prevention of the import of gold into 
India on the one hand and the encouragement of its 
export on the other. 

It would not be easy to compute these losses to India, 
but Sir Montagu Webb estimated those due to the 
Reverse Councils sales in 1920 at 200,000,000 while 
Mr. Krishnamurti Iyer puts them at 300,000,000. On 
a moderate estimate the position can be summed up 
by saying that India's credit account of 90,000,000 
sterling was converted into a debit of 110,000,000 by 
this Reverse Councils transaction. 

Cottage Industries 

Cottage industries have always played a useful and 
necessary part in the economic life of the people of 
India, and as far as one can foresee they will continue 
to do so both in the towns and villages. According to 
the last census 32 millions of the population are 
distributed in 2,316 towns of 5,000 or more inhabitants, 
and 286 1 millions in 685,655 villages. 

The Census Report of 1911 reminds us : " Until 
the recent introduction of Western commodities, such 
as machine-made cloth, kerosene oil, umbrellas, and 
the like, each village was provided with a complete 
equipment of artisans and menials, and was thus almost 
wholly self-supporting and independent. . . . Where 
this system was fully developed, the duties and 
remuneration of each group of artisans were fixed by 
custom, and the caste rules strictly prohibited a man 
from entering into competition with another of the 
same caste. . . . They received a regular yearly pay- 
ment for their services, which often took the form of a 
presumptive share of the harvest. . . . The village 
is no longer the self-contained industrial unit which jt 



formerly was, and many disintegrating influences are 
at work to break down the solidarity of village life." 

In spite of the competition of machine-made goods, 
whether manufactured in Europe or India, village 
industries are not dead yet, and must be fostered and 
increased as a second string to the agriculturist's bow, 
as a supplement and complement to the cultivation of 
the soil, which does not occupy his time for more than 
half the year, and which frequently fails from various 
causes, already discussed, to give him enough food to 
keep body and soul together. 

The most important cottage industries are weaving 
and spinning, followed by tusser silk cultivation, bee- 
keeping, and the keeping of poultry, etc., towards the 
success of which co-operation is a vital factor. As we 
shall see in another chapter, Mahatma Gandhi pins 
his faith to the " charkha," the spinning-wheel, in 
every home as the sheet anchor of India's economic 

The treatment of agriculture by the Government of 
India may be gleaned by the following comparative 
figures, supplied by Sir Henry Row in the Edinburgh 
Review, April, 1922 : 

State Expenditure on Agriculture 


Per i,oooof 

Per 1,000 
Total Area. 

Acres of 




United States of 

America (1919) 




Germany (1910) 



United Kingdom (1921) 






In 1920-21 the total expenditure of the Government 
of India on agriculture amounted to 659,000 (65,000 
by the Imperial Department of Agriculture at Pusa 
and 594,000 by the Provincial Departments), which, 
according to Moral and Material Progress of India for 
1922, works out at about \d. per acre per annum. 

Mr. Darling, in " The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity 
and Debt," converts Sir Henry Row's sterling figures 
at 15 rupees to the pound : 

Per 1,000 of the 

Per 1,000 Acres 





Germany (1910) . 



United States (1919-20) . 



United Kingdom (1921) 



IJjinjab (1921-22) . 



With regard to these figures Mr. Darling remarks : 
" No disparity in resources can entirely justify the 
contrast between the Punjab and the other three 
countries, especially when it is remembered that in 
1921 England had a national debt of 8,000,000,000. 
No progress is possible without pecuniary sacrifice, 
and if the Punjab desires more rapid development it 
must be prepared to pay for it." And, I should like 
to add, if India desires more rapid development it 
must be preparecj to pay for it by investing more 
money in agriculture. 

When the military expenditure of upwards of 
50,000,000 a year is compared with the 659,000 on 
agriculture one receives another picture of the men- 
tality of British rulers in India. Against, ^tur 


comparison the capital outlay on irrigation works of 
54 crores (roughly 40,000,000) up till 1924 has to 
be reckoned, but this expenditure brings in 7 to 8 per 
cent, interest to the Government, whose charges for 
water are deemed by the cultivators as too high and 
a serious impediment to agricultural improvement. 



INDIANISATION of the Civil and Military Services, 
with its moral, financial and political bearings, is 
indispensable to India's freedom and progress ; it is 
also one of the remedies for India's poverty and 
unemployment . 

This great principle was acknowledged and pro- 
claimed by Act of Parliament in 1833 : " And be it 
enacted that no native of the said territories (British 
India) nor any natural-born subject of His Majesty 
r2sident therein shall by reason only of his religion, 
place of birth, descent, colour, or any of them, be 
disabled from holding any place, office, or employment 
under the said Company/ 1 and again by Queen 
Victoria in 1858 : " We hold ourselves bound to the 
natives of our Indian territories by the same obligations 
of duty which bind us to all our other subjects, and 
these obligations, by the blessing of Almighty God, 
we shall faithfully and conscientiously fulfil. It is our 
further will that, so far as may be, our subjects, of 
whatever race or creed, be freely and impartially 
admitted to offices in our service the duties of which 
they may be qualified by their education, ability, and 
integrity, duly to discharge." 

With regard to these solemn pledges and promises, 
both the Duke of Argyll and Sir Stafford Northcote, in 
the capacity of Secretary of State for India, 



same words, namely, " We have not fulfilled our duty 
or the promises and engagements which we have made." 

John Morley, as Secretary of State for India during 
1906-10, may reasonably claim to be the first British 
statesman to have made the slightest success in over- 
coming the opposition of the British bureaucracy in 
India to redeeming these dishonoured and time-worn 
pledges when he appointed an Indian here and an 
Indian there into the official hierarchy. 

Mr. Montagu's declaration of August 20th, 1917, in 
favour of responsible government, followed up by 
" The Government of India " Act, 1919, constituting 
a central and a provincial legislature, might be 
described by the innocent British spectator, jealous of 
his country's honour, as more than breaking a lance 
with the British bureaucracy, as, in fact, signing its 
death warrant, and at last fulfilling " our duty " to 
Indians. After seven years 1 trial the innocence of thfe 
spectator in 1926 has passed away with the knowledge 
that Mr. Montagu's lance lies broken in the Archaeo- 
logical Museum at Calcutta, and that the supposed 
death warrant has been replaced by reprieves satis- 
factory to the bureaucracy. 

There is no possible doubt whatever that the reform 
schemes shook the " steel frame " at first, frightening 
Young England, who thought of adopting an Indian 
career, because it combined great power with unusual 
freedom, high pay, splendid pensions, and glittering 
prizes, and affecting adversely recruitment for the 
Indian services. But whea Mr. Lloyd George in 1922 
delivered his "steel frame" speech, in which he 
declared that he could see no period when India could 
dispense with British civil servants ; and when 
in 1925 passed " The Government of India 


(Civil Services) " Act to not only increase the emolu- 
ments of civil servants, but to remove their salaries 
from the control and vote of the Indian National 
Assembly ; and last, but not least, when it became 
clear that the Indian Civil Service not only administered, 
but governed, India, in spite of the new reforms, just 
as it administered and governed India before the 
reforms, then Young England's confidence was restored, 
and recruitment went on merrily again. 

What Indian Nationalists wanted and asked for 
was an Indian Executive responsible to an Indian 
parliament, with authority not only to appoint and 
dismiss its own servants, but, most of all, to initiate 
its own policy. None of these things have they got ; 
instead, Indianisation of the Government and the 
Administration seems further off, because British rule 
is camouflaged by the forms of constitutional govern- 
ment. In consequence the winter of India's dis- 
content deepens, and her distrust in British honour and 
British pledges mounts Himalaya-high. 

Apologists for Great Britain dishonouring her 
promises and agreements point to the recent recom- 
mendations of the Lee Commission (1925) that in 
future the proportion of Indian recruitment to the 
Indian Civil Service and the Indian Service of Engineers 
will be 60 per cent., to the Indian Police 50 per cent., 
and to the Indian Forest Service 75 per cent. But the 
apologists neglect to state that, with rare exceptions, 
the superior posts, the best-paid appointments, are 
still reserved for feritons, aiyl that Indians are excluded 
from administering their own country for no other 
reason than that they do not belong to the ruling race. 

For this gross inequality of treatment and for this 
lamentable denial of justice, of partnership and 


co-operation, the same apologists trump up the excuse 
of " efficiency/ 1 pretending that Britons are more 
efficient than Indians. After the neglect of education 
of the masses ; after the neglect of sanitation and 
medical services of the villages ; after the neglect to 
keep law and order between Hindus and Muslims ; 
after the neglect of housing of the poor ; after the 
neglect to protect the peasants from the money-lenders 
by providing agricultural banks ; after the com- 
parative neglect to improve and develop agriculture; 
after the neglect to foster Indian industries ; after 
the Back Bay scandal of Bombay, " with its wicked 
waste of money " ; after the New Delhi scandal ; 
after the exploitation of the great cities of Bombay, 
Calcutta, Madras, etc., by British profiteers, who have 
captured the tramways, electric lighting, and other 
public services ; after the manipulation of Indian 
currency in the interests of London, the less said aboutt 
British efficiency the better. 

The efficiency in exploitation, in which Britons 
pre-eminently excel, is one of the chief causes of Indian 
poverty, and the sooner India is rid of British efficiency 
the sooner she will recover financially and morally. 

Another feature of British government of India 
overlooked or carefully concealed by its apologists, 
.who wish to continue it in defiance of a parliamentary 
promise to end it, is that it is the costliest government 
in the world of the poorest country in the world, and 
constitutes in this respect a permanent cause of im- 
poverishment and unemplojonent. THough all Britons 
are not Shylocks, they have taken their pound of flesh 
out of Indians, for they have not forced their services 
* on India for nothing, or for next to nothing, or on a 
modest scale, like the Burnham scale, or at a rate 


which Indians would fix for themselves and be thankful. 
The British did not consult Indians, did not appoint 
an Indian National Board of Wages, when they 
determined what salaries and what pensions and what 
perquisites Indians must pay them for their unsolicited 
attentions. Indians were not even asked for their 
advice as to the hours of labour, the length of service 
to qualify for pension, the annual holidays, or anything 
pertaining to the hiring of the gentlemen of England 
to do the work which Indians had formerly done, and 
which they very naturally desired to continue to do. 
Workmen who work for masters whose men are on 
strike are called " blacklegs." British Imperialists 
not only took the " jobs " from Indians in India, but 
fixed their own terms to their own satisfaction. 

British bureaucrats, or their spokesmen, added 
insult to injury, for they told Indians whom they had 
odisplaced, with that deference and politeness which is 
so characteristic of Westerners, " It may be a historical 
fact that you have ruled your country for countless 
ages, that even after the Moghul conquest you con- 
tinued to administer your country, that you were 
pioneers in civilisation when we were barbarians, 
but you have fallen behind in the race, especially in 
organisation, industrial and military, and you must 
pay the penalty of your backwardness in these all-* 
important departments of life, and allow us to take 
the money out of your pockets and the bread out of 
your mouths, and to govern you not as you please, 
for, being your" superiors* we know better than you 
what is good for you." 

Here I make an appeal in all earnestness to Young 
England, and Scotland, and Wales. As Ireland has* 
been under the heel of Great Britain, it should be 


unnecessary to appeal to Young Ireland. Be no party 
to the further exploitation of India and the deprivation 
of Indians of their natural right to govern and ad- 
minister their own country. Remember that thousands 
of Indians are out of employment because of Britons 
occupying administrative and other posts which by 
divine right belong to Indians. Do unto others as you 
would that others should do unto you. Remember 
that these same Indians are well educated, many of 
them with University degrees, some of them claiming 
Cambridge and Oxford as their alma mater. Do 
not forget that Indians, in the fitness of things, are 
fitter to govern and administer their country than you 
are. If the contrary proposition was put to you that 
Indians or Germans could govern and administer 
Great Britain better than you, you would treat it with 
the derision it deserves. You would go a step further, 
and declare that, even if they could, that is no reason 
why they should, repeating Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman's noble truth, " Good government is no 
substitute for self-government." 

On that basis, because one race thought itself 
superior in the art of government to another, and by 
force of arms wrenched government from its hands, 
liberty would disappear from the earth, and slavery 
would become the established order. Banish, therefore, 
from your minds any idea of a career in India as 
unclean and unrighteous and unworthy. Refuse to 
be " blacklegs " of empire, and enrol yourselves under 
the flag of freedom, and fight for Indian self-government. 

" In the world's broad field of battle, 

In the bivouac of life, 
Be nyt like dumb driven cattle, 
Be a hero in the strife. 


R. N. Cust, a retired Indian civil servant, said in 
his " Linguistic and Oriental Essays " : " There is a 
constant drawing away of the wealth of India to 
England as Englishmen grow fat on accumulations 
made in India, while the Indian remains as lean as 
ever. . . . Every post of dignity and high emolument, 
civil and military, is held by a stranger and a foreigner. 
Akbar made fuller use of the subject races ; we make 
none ; it is the jealousy of the middle-class Briton, 
the hungry Scot, that wants his salary, that shuts out 
all native aspiration. . . . The consequences will be 
terrible." Mr. Cust knew what he was writing about, 
for his annual pension, which he drew from India, was 
equivalent to the income of several hundred poor 
Indians. Since Mr. Cust penned those words " we 
make none " a few posts of dignity and high emolu- 
ment have been given to Indians, but for every post 
held by Englishmen it would be quite safe to say that 
five or ten Indians are well qualified to discharge 
the duties, and at less than half the cost. 

As we have said before, the time has arrived for the 
Secretary of State for India to make it known through- 
out the United Kingdom that, in pursuance of the 
declaration made by Parliament in August, 1917, all 
public appointments in India in the future will be filled 
by an Indian executive, responsible to the Indian 
Legislature, and that Indians will be preferred to 

Ivdianisation of the Army 

Indianisation of the Army is urgently called for on 
two grounds : firstly, for the purpose of national 
defence, and secondly, for the purpose of nationaf 
economy. The constant accusation of Indian National- 


ists against the British Government of disarming and 
emasculating the people " with the deliberate intention 
of preventing their attainment of freedom and self- 
government " has never been refuted by British 
statesmen, and never can be. It is a historical fact 
that we have disarmed and emasculated the people, 
and that we have closed the Army as a career to Indiajj 
gentlemen up till the Great War ; and everybody 
knows that that policy was pursued out of craven fear 
lest India fought her war of independence and turned 
the British, bag and baggage, out of India. 

In the opinion of friends of freedom, and in the eyes 
of the world, this constitutes the greatest crime Great 
Britain has committed in India. How unpardonable 
this crime was, the world argues, appears when it is 
realised that Great Britain might have been defeated 
in the Great War, her army withdrawn from InHia 
and India left without defence ! 

At last the truth has dawned dimly on the blurred 
imperial vision of England that India's imperative 
need is a national army, officered by Indians and 
controlled by the Indian Legislature. But how 
reluctantly and how ineffectually since the war was 
over, and the immediate danger past, has England 
gone to work to satisfy India's need. Justice does not 
seem to enter into the question, so low has England 
sunk in imperial obsession. 

Towards a national army " ten vacancies have been 
reserved annually at Sandhurst for Ipdian cadets " ; 
and in order to secure a suitable supply of recruits for 
these vacancies there has been established in India 
the Prince of Wales's Royal Indian Military College, 
at Dehra Dun, for a maximum of seventy boys to be 
iifc. re^jdgnce together. "The Government of India 


have recently made provision for the eventual complete 
Indianisation of eight units of the Indian Army." 
" Men have been promoted from the ranks to hold the 
Viceroy's commission/' "It is only since the war 
that King's commissions have been granted to 
Indians/' These are unvarnished excerpts from the 
official record " India in 1924-25." Able mathe- 
maticians have calculated from these data that the 
Indian Army may be " nationalised " in 800 years' 

This procrastination, this fooling and trifling with 
India's needs and praiseworthy aspirations, is highly 
pleasing to the British bureaucracy in India, fighting 
for power and self-preservation, and to the Imperial 
party at home, but highly dishonourable and dangerous 
to England, lowering her in the scales of world- justice 
and intensifying the "demon of distrust and hatred" 
in India, which may lead to anarchy and chaos in that 

The good faith of Britain has not been improved by 
the Skeen Committee, recently appointed by the 
Government of India to inquire into the demand of the 
Indian Legislative Assembly for " an Indian Sand- 
hurst." The Government of India actually accepted a 
resolution of the Assembly asking for the establishment 
of an Indian college for the training of commissioned 
officers in 1922, and then, after three years' delay, 
takes two steps to the rear by wasting more Indian 
time and more Indian money in a committee of inquiry. 

Behold still another example of the " inefficiency " 
and " incompetency " of British officials to govern 
India in the interests of India, and, I must add, tq^ 
govern India constitutionally, for when the paid 
officials shirk or shunt the policy laict* dowi^Jjy the 


Legislature the spirit of the Constitute 
India is hurled back into unadulte? 
government, which Lord BaHour ar 
Tories denounce as anathema, an af 

In the press I have followed the| 
and philandering of the Skeen 
attended one of its sittings in De 
comique I can commend it to my 
what may be comic opera to us is disgrac 
to India, and ought to be ended at once by Lore 
head issuing instructions to the British officials in 
Delhi for whose folly he is responsible to get on with 
a Sandhurst for India without further delay. 

On the financial side Indianisation of the Army will 
reduce the expenditure on the military octopus by 
anything from one-third to one-half, for Indian officers 
and Indian soldiers would consider themselves passing 
rich on half the pay required by British officers an$ 
British soldiers. Indianisation would further reduce 
the vast army of unemployed both in the middle and 
working classes. 

Is it idle to ask British Imperialists to cease sneering 
at and taunting Indians on their non-fighting pro- 
pensities or qualities after we have treated them like 
slaves for a hundred and fifty years, after we have 
thanked them for their bravery in the field and for 
helping us to win the Great War ? 

India is now united in her demand for a national 
army and self-government, however disunited she 
may be in religion, and th question* I have to put to 
British Imperialists is, Are you not the greatest 
moral cowards in the world in obstructing the Indianisa- 
tion of the Civil and Military Services and of the 
India ? 



TRADE unionism has a tremendous field of useful 
ajjd glorious work before it in India in the emancipa- 
tion of the masses from conditions which verge on 
economic slavery when they do not actually come 
within its borders. In no other country in the world is 
trade unionism more needful to fight the battle of 
the poor and submerged, who have not only been 
exposed, and are still exposed, to the merciless exploita- 
tion of capitalists, alien and indigenous, but have been 
taxed outrageously on their fields, their scanty produce, 
and the bare necessities of life, like salt, by a Govern- 
ment professing to be guided by the principles 
enunciated in the Sermon on the Mount. 

Die-hards still exist in England and in India, men 
without a strain of humanity or mercy in their make- 
up, men who believe that God made the poor and not 
man, who denounce trade unions, would smash them, 
if they could, unmindful of the fact that these unions 
have been, and are, beneficial factors in the raising of 
the standard of life, in the increased contentment and 
well-being of the people, in the safety and security of 
the State, and in the prevention of revolution. But 
let the Die-hards read, mark, learn and inwardly 
digest what Lord. Birkenhead, the high-priest of law 
and order, said when addressing the members of the 
Oxford University Conservative Association on May 
22nd, 1926 : " What were the legitimate claims of 
trade unions ? They were entitled to be 4 the trustees 
and guardians of the interests of those who ha&com-' 



mitted their affairs to their protection. It would 
indeed be an absurdity to suppose that in any trade 
dispute employers were always right and the men 
always wrong. The working classes of this country 
would not, in his judgment, have found themselves 
in the position which they rightly enjoyed to-day 
unless there had been great and powerful bodies <sile 
to assert, defend, and to make intelligible their claims." 
The history of trade unionism in India practically 
dates from the termination of the Great War in 1918, 
when the rise in the cost of living, combined with 
capitalistic effort to reduce the miserably low wages 
still lower, drove the operatives into temporary or 
permanent unions in self-defence. The destitution of 
the people and their inability to pay contributions, 
the lack of education, the low standard of existence, 
the fact that a large proportion of the operatives are 
workers on the land by choice, and only temporary 
mill and mine workers by necessity when their labour 
is not required in the fields, the irregularity of time- 
keeping from aversion to the conditions, and the 
practice of bribery make the organisation of the 
trade unions exceedingly difficult. In spite of these 
difficulties, about 250,000 out of nearly two million 
workers under the Factories and Mines Act have 
enrolled themselves in trade unions ; and the All India 
Trade Union Congress in 1926 contained fifty-two affili- 
ated unions, with a total membership of over 125,000, 
During disputes with employers t the membership 
shoots up like spots in th& sun, with a fine display of 
solidarity, sinking again immediately the storm is over, 

, with little but a skeleton of an organisation left. The 
trade unions have gained some notable victories, 

especially wfien the mill hands of Bombay won the 


day in December, 1925, against the mill-owners, who 
tried to reduce their wages, when the Government of 
India were constrained to suspend practically in 
perpetuity the infamous excise duty on cotton goods. 

The aims of the All India Trade Union Congress 
embrace (i) eight hours a day in factories and mines ; 
(2.Ufree an ^ compulsory primary and technical educa- 
tion ; (3) equality in Civil Service regulations, which at 
present favour " whites " ; (4) abolition by law of the 
system of fines prevailing in industrial and commercial 
firms, railways, etc, ; (5) establishment of labour 
bureaus ; (6) national insurance against sickness, 
unemployment, and old age ; (7) prohibition of em- 
ployment of women underground in mines ; (8) more 
women factory inspectors ; (9) provision of creches and 
day-nurseries in the vicinity of factories ; (10) mater- 
nity benefits ; (n) minimum wage ; (12) improvement 
of the Workmen's Compensation Act ; (13) a Trade 
Union Act on the lines of the British Act ; (14) arbitra- 
tion and conciliation legislation ; (15) Labour repre- 
sentation in the central and provincial legislatures and 
in the Council of State ; (16) a Labour party for India ; 
(17) the removal of untouchability ; (18) adult 
suffrage ; (19) self-government for India and Indianisa- 
tion of the public services ; (20) affiliation and co- 
operation with the International Labour Movement, etc. 

In the arena of social and moral improvement the 
trade union leaders support prohibition of drink, 
gambling, and other vices. 

So far as representation in the legislatures is con- 
cerned, the Government of India and the Government 
of Great Britain have been most unequal and unfair 
in the treatment of Capital and Labour, as the following 
tables show : 


Employers' Representation in the Assembly 


Number of Seats provided. 




of Seats. 

i. Bengal 




2. Bombay . 




3. Madras 





4. Bihar and Orissa 



5. United Provinces 




6. The Punjab 



7. Central Provinces 



8. Assam 



9. Burma 








Employers' Representation by Rotation in the Assembly 



Number of 
Seats by 

Bombay . 
Bombay . 


(1) Landholders in Sind 

(2) Landholders in the Bombay 

Presidency except Sind 

(1) The Bombay Mill-owners' 


(2) The Ahmedabad Mill-owners' 

Association . 

(1) The Bengal NationaJ Cham- \ 

ber of Commerce . 

(2) The Marwari Association 

(3) The Bengal Mahajan Sabha. 

Total . 



Employers' Representation in the Provincial 

Number of Seats provi4ed. 






and In- 



ber of 

1 *-. 



i. Bengal 





2. Bombay 





3. Madras . 






4. Bihar and 







5. United Pro- 






6. The Punjab . 




7 Central Pro- 






8 Assam . 

" ~ 




1 Total . 







Labour Representation in the Legislatures 

Legislative Body. 

Number of 
Seats provided 
by Nomina- 


Central : 

I. Legislative As- 


It is not obligatory upon 
the Government of 
India to make this 

Provincial : 


i. Assam . 
2. Bengal . 
3. Bihar and 
4. Bombay 
5. Burma . 




' Nomination provided 
for by rules made 
. under section 72A of 
the Government of 
India Act. 


It is a sad reflection on British ideals 01 lair play to 
think that Labour is represented by only one member 
in the Legislative Assembly, which is principally 
responsible for labour legislation in India, that he is a 
" nominee ' of the Government, and that the Govern- 
ment can dispense with his nomination, as there is 
no statutory obligation to compel it to continue to t 
nominate him in the future. Bravely as Mr. Josffi, \he 
Labour member, has fought the good fight for the 
neglected and ignored workers, and bravely as he has 
been supported in the Assembly by such stalwarts as 
Lala Lajpat Rai, Dr. Datta, Mr. Goswami, Mr. Chaman 
Lall, Mr. Deoki Prasad Sinha, Mr. Acharya, and others, 
many of his measures for the amelioration of the 
miserable lot of the toilers of India have been squashed 
by the Government, hopelessly biassed and backed by a 
host of British officials and capitalists in India's mock 

The Trade Union Act (1926) legalises trade unions 
in India under certain circumstances which hitherto 
have existed on sufferance. With British Capitalism, 
supported by the Tory party, seeking to restrict the 
rights of British trade unionists, the need for co-opera- 
tion between British and Indian Labour parties 
becomes more pronounced. 

The All India Trade Union Congress protests against 
" special " constituencies and " nominations/' and 
demands direct election, with adult suffrage. Pending 
the introduction of these democratic reforms, it asks 
for twelve seats for Labour against the twenty seats 
already given to Capital in the Central Legislature, 
and eighty seats for Labour against the eighty-five 
already granted to Capital in the Provincial Legisla- 


With regard to the need of linking up the All India 
Trade Union Congress with the British Labour Move- 
ment, as well as the International Labour Movement, 
in the interests of the workers of the world, to prevent 
the degradation of the standards of labour and of 
life by capitalists setting " sweated " against 
, " un-sweated " labour, " coolie " conditions against 
more " civilised " conditions, I need add nothing to 
what I have already said in dealing with economic 
conditions. It remains for the British Trade Union 
Congress and the British Labour party to play the 
part of the good Samaritan and help its Indian 
brother out of the ditch in which the British bureau- 
cracy has left it struggling for a hundred years or 

The Independent Labour party has made the 
following suggestions : " Monetary assistance is im- 
pprtant, but still more important is consultation and 
advice and training in methods of organisation. 
Special, steps should be taken to enable the All India 
Trade Union Congress to affiliate to the International 
Federation of Trade Unions, to participate in its work, 
and to benefit by its knowledge and experience. 
Contact should be maintained between the head- 
quarters of the Labour and Socialist International 
and those who are seeking to form a political Labour 
Movement, with a view to offering all possible assist- 
ance. The Internationals might consider the possi- 
bility of establishing a training college for the East, 
with its centre in c India, with a view to equipping 
Indian and other Eastern workers for the duties of 
trade union and political development. Common 
action should be taken with the object of steadily 
raising the standards applied to Indian' conditions 


under the regulations of the International Labour 

India is represented on the governing body of the 
International Labour Office. 

Home Rule Swaraj which the writer maintains is 
the first and all-important and all-embracing step, 
the keystone to the arch of India's economic, industrial 
and political freedom, has also the active and vCftole- 
hearted support of the Independent Labour party, as 
we relate elsewhere, but which it is well to state here. 

The General Strike in England in May, 1926, has 
many lessons for statesmen and working men in India 
as well as in other countries. For India the chief 
lesson seems to be the wisdom of nationalising 
its minerals, not only as an economic step against 
exploitation by private individuals, but also for the 
prevention of industrial warfare. 

The mine-owners started the strike by locking oijt 
the miners because they refused to work longer hours 
and to accept a reduction in wages which meant 
starvation for them and their wives and children. 
On behalf of the miners the Transport and some other 
trade unions declared a sympathetic strike in order 
to present a solid phalanx against this assault of 
Capital upon the standard of life of their fellow- 
workmen. It is, therefore, fairly safe to say, " No 
private ownership of coal, no strike," for the nation 
would work the coal-mines for the benefit of the 
whole community, and not for the profit of a few. 
Of course strikes might possibly arise*under nationalisa- 
tion, but they would not be so likely, as the private and 
selfish interest would be removed. 

Another lesson is that industrial warfare, like war, 
punishes th^f guilty and the innocent, the victims and 


the vanquished, the whole community, and that the 
vote, the political weapon, and parliamentary means 
(to which I have referred in another chapter), are the 
sanest and soundest for the attainment of industrial 
justice as well as political justice. 



As a panacea for poverty and unemployment and 
over-population emigration has always stood high in 
the councils of Imperialists all over the world. British 
Imperialists have not lagged behind in this respect, 
preaching in season and out of season the necessity to 
" peg out claims for posterity/' " to find places in the 
sun/' to which the supposed surplus of population in 
Great Britain might emigrate, and there find full 
employment, and at remunerative rates. We need not 
stop to discuss here the fallacy of their gospel furthq? 
than to state (i) that the small flow of emigration from 
Great Britain gives the lie to their argument, and 
(2) that statesmen in England have proclaimed and 
pressed the alternative of developing the home lands 
instead of appropriating other people's lands as the 
cure for British unemployment. 

When it comes to a question of Indian unemploy- 
ment, the British Imperialist finds himself on the horns 
of one or more dilemmas. His first dilemma, already 
stated, is that British Imperialists are a cause of 
unemployment in India, especially amongst the middle 
and professional classes, ^yhose posts and means of 
livelihood they usurp, and that to propose emigra- 
tion to members of these classes in order to administer 
British colonieswould be unthinkable,impracticable,and 
.insulting^Ris second dilemma bulges out in the awful 

M.I. 177 * 


fact that Indian labourers and traders are not welcomed 
in British colonies, except as serfs, as hewers of wood 
and drawers of water for Britons. In brief, British 
Imperialists demand a monopoly of power t and position 
not only in India, but in the British Empire. Unable, 
therefore, to advocate their pet panacea for un- 
eigployment in India, they fall back on restric- 
tion 4 of the population, and shovel out, without 
restriction, criticisms and censures on the Indian 
people for their prolificacy. In this they are again 
illogical, for in England they advocate prolificacy, the 
manufacture of innumerable " little Englanders," 
generated on imperial beer, to uphold the flag of 
Imperialism in India for ever. 

Until British Imperialists resign their posts in India 
in favour of Indians out of employment, until Indians 
are allowed to exercise their own judgment in the 
government of their own country, until Indians have 
the opportunity of solving their unemployment prob- 
lem by cultivating their own uncultivated lands, until 
Indians enjoy equal rights in all parts of the British 
Empire, all talk on the part of British Imperialists of 
either emigration or birth-control as remedies for 
unemployment is idle. 

Against the assertion of British Imperialists that 
over-population is the root cause of India's poverty has 
to be set the complaint of Indian economists and Indian 
patriots that British rule, the most expensive in the 
world, and British exploitation of their country's 
resources, and feritish extravagance and waste on 
militarism, form the most formidable causes of India's 
impoverishment. But if the contention of British 
Imperialists with regard to over-population had any* 
further foundation in truth, who so capable jtf. inter- K 


fering successfully, by education and legislation, with 
the customs of the people, in retarding the age and 
consummation of marriage as the natural check to 
growth in population, as Indians ? For the sake of 
argument, let it be granted that over-population is a 
factor in the production of Indian poverty and unem- 
ployment ; then it follows that a Government ^of 
foreigners, which fears to deal with the marriage^laws 
and customs, ought to give place to a Government of 
Indians, which would have no fear in that respect. As 
a medical man, I am bound to point out the dangers of 
a social system which brings boys and girls together at 
early, if not immature, ages, and which encourages not 
only excessive breeding, but the breeding of defective 
children. Eugenics, the science of the production of 
healthy children, should command the attention of 
legislators more and more all over the world. 

The conclusion that the disinterested and unpreji^T 
diced observer and investigator arrives at is, that 
British rule has not only failed to solve the awful 
problem of Indian poverty and unemployment, but has 
actually aggravated it. 

Indians in the Empire 

The grievances from which Indians suffer in the 
British Empire would fill a book, and my difficulty is to 
compress them into a chapter. At present there are 
about one and a half million Indians settled in different 
parts of the Empire, who .may be divided into three 
classes : (i) unskilled labourers, either under inden- 
ture, as in the case of Fiji, Mauritius, Natal and the 
West Indies, or under some special system of recruit- 
ment, j inf Ceylon and Malay States; (2) traders 


skilled artisans, clerks and professional men, who spon- 
taneously have followed their countrymen (mentioned 
in the previous category) to serve their requirements ; 
and (3) free immigrants, traders, labourer, under no 
indenture, etc., who have settled in thfe Dominions with 
the exception of South Africa, and in the East African 

xe chief grievances of India, as a member of the 
British Empire, are, firstly, that her nationals are 
definitely excluded by immigration laws from entering 
anfl permanently residing in some of the self -governing 
Dominions ; secondly, that in those self-governing 
Dominions where her nationals have been admitted, in 
some cases actually invited, and allowed to reside for 
generations, they have been treated as " inferiors " and 
" serfs," denied the elementary rights of citizenship, 
the exercise of the vote, the holding of land, trading 
certificates, etc., and subjected to legislation of a dis- 
criminating, harsh and cruel character, having for its 
object their expulsion ; and, thirdly, that in the Crown 
colonies and mandated territories, still under the con- 
trol of the Colonial Office, her nationals have been 
refused equal rights with whites, and also political, 
economic and social justice. 

At the Imperial Conference of 1921 the representa- 
tives from the Dominions, with the exception of the 
South African delegates, agreed " that in the interests 
of the solidarity of the British Commonwealth it was 
desirable that the rights of British Indians (lawfully 
domiciled in the* Empire) , to citizenship should be 
recognised/' Subsequently a deputation from India 
visited Canada, New Zealand and Australia in order to 
directly negotiate with the respective Governments of" 
these countries with a view to the removal of^he dis- 

-',* ^H 


abilities from which resident Indians were suffering, but 
met with little or no success. 

At the Imperial Conference of 1923 the 1921 resolu- 
tion was irwiorsed by all the Dominions save South 
Africa, and a suggestion accepted that a Colonies Com- 
mittee be appointed by the Government of India to 
confer with the Colonial Office regarding the stasis *d 
British Indians domiciled in British colonies, protec- 
torates and mandated territories, and with Committees 
of the Dominions, as to their status in the Dominions. 

Kenya. Mr. J. H. Thomas announced in the House 
of Commons on August 7th, 1924, the result of the con- 
ferences which he had had with the Colonies Committee 
in regard to Kenya, Fiji and Tanganyika. In spite of 
the fact that Kenya owes much to Indian labour and 
Indian capital for its development, and that Indians 
outnumber Europeans, Indians are debarred from hold- 
ing agricultural lands in the highlands of the colony, 
and from adequate representation upon the Legislative 
Council, which is dominated by Britons, who form a 
minority of the community. These notable disabilities, 
with threats of compulsory segregation and of total 
prohibition of immigration from India, produced strong 
racial feeling and strained relations between the Indian 
and British settlers in the colony, which had their 
reverberations throughout India in vehement protests 
in the press, in public demonstrations, and in the 
Indian Legislature, so that the Government of India 
was constrained to make serious representations to the 
Colonial Office. When the British Colonial Office 
came down on the side of the British settlers in the 
\Vhite Paper of 1923, resentment in India reached such 
a pitch that a Bill to regulate the entry into, and resi- 
dence y^JjAtish India of persons domiciled in other 


British possessions, was introduced, considered and 
passed in one day by the Legislative Assembly as a 

Mr. Thomas, as Colonial Secretary, decided (i) that 
an Ordinance which had been frame*d on the lines of 
restricting Indian immigration should not be enacted ; 
/a) Jthat Indians should select five members to be 
nominated by the Governor to the Legislative Council ; 
(3) that there should be no change in policy regarding 
the franchise and the highlands, as it was proposed to 
set apart an area in the lowlands for agricultural immi- 
grants from India. 

In other colonies, like British Guiana, Trinidad, 
Jamaica, Ceylon and Mauritius, British Indians enjoy 
the same rights as other British citizens, without any 
discrimination on the ground of race. 

Fiji. In Fiji, however, Indians have serious griev- 
ances, and demand more adequate representation upon 
the Legislative Council, a municipal franchise based 
upon a common electoral roll, a minimum wage fixed in 
proportion to the cost of living, and the abolition of the 
poll-tax, which is not levied on the rest of the inhabi- 

Tanganyika. In Tanganyika the grievances of 
Indians were so substantial that the Government of 
India protested to the Colonial Office, especially against 
three Ordinances introduced in 1923 imposing certain 
taxes and rates, requiring the yearly renewal of trade 
licences and the peeping of accounts in English, Swahili, 
or French, which were deemed discriminatory against 
Indian residents, and which led to strikes. 

Indians in Rhodesia find themselves in the year q 
grace 1927 under the harrow, and this in spite of the 
fact that the British South Africa Comtar^of evil* 


reputation, which usurped the territories belonging to 
the Matabeles, has been replaced by Crown Colony 
administration after the grant of responsible govern- 
ment. Indians are still required to hold " residential 
certificates " to permit them to continue to live in the 
colony, and these certificates, which Indians thought 
were available for all time, will now lapse in case of 
those who are absent from the colony for three yd&rsTS 
more. Admitted on sufferance, Indians regard this, 
new administrative regulation as a device to hound them 
out oj Rhodesia, although they obtained a " concession " 
that ' individual cases " would be considered by the 
principal immigration officer up till October 5th, 1926. 

The burden of the white man's government in 
Rhodesia, as well as its bent, can be estimated by the 
reservation figures. A total of 76,230 square miles is 
reserved for Europeans, while the natives, who out- 
number the Europeans by more than twenty to one, 
will have 45,280 square miles reserved to them. 

Indians in South Africa 

The history of British Indians in South Africa, 
extending over sixty-six years, is full of trouble for 
Indians, and reflects sadly upon the morality and sense 
of justice of both British and Dutch, who have ex- 
ploited that portion of the world in their own selfish 
interests, unmindful of their duties to natives or to 
Indians. The worship of Mammon by white men has 
been the curse of South Africa, as it has been the curse 
of Morocco, Egypt, India, $ China, etc?." The infidelity of 
the white man to the ideals and religion which he 
preaches, but rarely practises, is nowhere more pro- 
nounced than in South Africa. 

In the garlv days of colonisation the white man 


encouraged and welcomed the Indian immigrant, 
especially in Natal, whose agricultural success was won 
largely by his patience and industry in the sugar plan- 
tations. Recruitment in India prospered through pro- 
mises contained in a Royal Proclamation, decreeing 
that no disability or limitation of legal rights would be 
imposed upon any one by reason of colour, race, or 
reiigitn, and also through grants of land. At the same 
time Indian traders were encouraged to enter South 
Africa in order to cater for the needs of their feflow- 

When the gold mines were discovered many of these 
Indians, or their descendants, flocked into the South 
African Republic, in spite of the persecution to which 
they were compelled to submit, and which was used by 
British Imperialists as one of the arguments for waging 
war against Mr. Kruger's Government. 

After the Boer War the British gradually hardened 
their hearts against the Indian settlers, and finally 
united with the Dutch in adopting an anti-Indian 
policy, on the plea that Indians were competing with 
whites in trade and agriculture. One has to acknow- 
ledge with surprise and regret that even the White 
South African Labour party has been drawn into the 
vortex of imperial grab, initiated by its quondam 
enemies the plutocrats, and, instead of incorporating 
Indians into its trade unions, has sanctioned and 
supported anti-Indian legislation with a view to estab- 
lishing " a white South Africa on the basis of a de- 
pressed black South Africa/' 

Of the 155,000 Indians in South Africa about 135,000 
dwell in Natal, 12,000 in the Transvaal, 8,000 in the 
Cape, an4 600 in the Orange River Colony. 

Disfranchised for parliamentary purposet bv a oro 


vision in the Constitution of the Union of South Africa 
" excluding from the franchise natives of any country 
not at the time possessing elective institutions," this 
disability has not been removed from Indians since 
the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. In the Cape and 
Orange River Provinces Indians still enjoy the muni- 
cipal franchise, but in 1925 the municipal franchise in 
Natal was taken from them. In 1919 a Commission 
appointed by the Union Government recommended the 
retention of a law prohibiting the ownership of land by 
Asiatics in the Transvaal, and the withdrawal of the 
right, which Indians had previously exercised, to pur- 
chase and own land in the uplands of Natal, but, as a 
result of the protest of the Government of India, this 
latter proposal of the Commission was not accepted by 
the Union Government. Anti-Indian legislation cul- 
minated in " the Areas Reservation and Immigration 
and Registration (Further Provision) Bill," introduced 
by General Hertzog's Government in the South African 
Union Parliament in 1926, the main provisions of which 

1. The withdrawal of the right of Indians to buy or 
lease land anywhere in the Union, except within thirty 
miles of the Natal coast and within this area only 
from other Indians already in possession. 

2. In townships the right of Indians to buy or lease 
property, or to be licensed for trade, shall be restricted 
to areas to be defined by the local municipality, upon 
which Indians have no representation. 

3. Indians' licences to trade at present held outside 
the permitted areas may be withdrawn, the declared 
intention being to withdraw them. 

*This measure was described by the Minister who 
jntrodurad itnas " nressure," but Indians regard it as 


" oppression," to make their lives intolerable and to 
clear them out of South Africa. The indignation and 
resentment which it has caused in India is as intense as 
it is universal, and can best be estimated by the fact 
that it has united the Government* of India with the 
legislatures of India and the people of India as they 
u ave never been united before in the demand for its 
ritbdrawal, or, if passed by the Government of South 
Africa, for its veto by the Imperial Parliament. 

The Government of India considers it a question of 
international importance, and has despatched a depu- 
tation to South Africa to confer with General Hertzog's 
Government upon it. If this oppressive measure were 
enacted and enforced it might be the rock upon which 
the British Empire would split, for a self-governing and 
self-respecting India would refuse to form a part of a 
White Empire, and other " coloured nations " at pre- 
r sent within the Empire would probably follow suit. It 
would be a deadly blow at the great ideal of converting 
the British Empire into a true Commonwealth of free 
nations, in which state, in the opinion of the writer, it 
alone can live and move and have its being. 

In India this anti-Indian legislation is regarded as a 
breach of treaty solemnly entered into between the 
Governments of India and Natal, which was made 
before the South African Union was established, but 
which is binding upon the Union by section 148 of the 
South Africa Act, which declares that all rights and 
obligations which are binding on any of the colonies 
devolve upon tRe Uniort. Further, it appears to be a 
flagrant breach of the Smuts-Gandhi Agreement of 
1914, by which India agreed to waive the right of entry 
of Indians as British citizens into South Africa on tlie 
condition that the rights of those alretdv ^domiciled 


there should be respected. The Indians' Relief Act of 
1914 embodied the terms of the Smuts-Gandhi settle- 
ment, and was enacted with the sanction of all South 
African political parties. 

The citation of* a speech by General Smuts at the 
Imperial Conference in 1917 may be helpful to an 
understanding of the problem : 

" In South Africa there has been this fundamental 
trouble, that the white community have been afraid to 
open the door too wide to Indian immigration. We are 
not a homogeneous population. We are a white popu- 
lation on a black continent, and the settlers in South 
Africa have for many years been actuated by the fear 

"that to open the door to another non-white race would 
make the position of a few whites in South Africa very 
dangerous indeed. It is because of that fear that they 
have adopted an attitude which sometimes, I am bound 
to admit, has assumed the outward form, although not 
the reality, of intolerance. Luckily we have got over 
these difficulties. The visit of the late Mr. Gokhale to 
South Africa did an enormous amount of good. His visit 
was followed later by that of Sir Benjamin Robertson, 
a distinguished public servant of India, who also 
assisted the Government to overcome great difficulties 
on this point some years ago. The result has been the 
legislation to which both the white and the Indian com- 
munity in South Africa agreed. There is still difference 
of opinion on administrative matters of detail, some of 
which are referred to in the memorandum which is 
before us, but I feel sure, ancl I have always felt sure, 
that once the white community in South Africa were 
r\d of the fear that they were going to be flooded by 
unlimited immigration from India, other questions 

, would bft considered subsidiary and would become easily 


and perfectly soluble. This is the position in which we 
are now ; the fear which formerly obsessed the settlers 
there has been removed ; the great principle of restrict- 
ing immigration, for which they have contended, is on 
our statute book with the consent off the Indian popu- 
lation in South Africa and the Indian authorities in 
Jndia, and, that being so, I think that the door is open 
for file statesmanlike solution of all the minor adminis- 
trative trouble which occurred, and will occur, from 
time to time. Of course the main improvement has 
been the calling of India to the Council Chamber of the 
Empire. Here, if any question proves difficult of treat- 
ment, we can discuss it in a friendly way and try to find 
in consultation a solution, and I am sure we shall ever 
find it. I, for one, do not consider that amongst the 
multitudinous problems which confront us in our 
country the question of India will trouble us much in 
/he future/' 

The Government of India, in a despatch, also wrote 
as follows : 

" Fresh restrictions would be regarded, not only by 
the Indian community in South Africa, but also by the 
Government and people of India, as a breach of the 
settlement of 1914, which is universally accepted as a 
guarantee that the status which the Indian community 
has acquired in 1914 would at least be maintained. As 
has already been said, any understanding to administer 
laws in a just manner is meaningless if the rights which 
Indians are entitled to exercise under these laws could 
be restricted at will by fresh legislation." 

As both India and South Africa are members on an 
equal footing of the British Imperial Conference, ai^fl 
also the League of Nations, submission of their differ- 
ences to one or other of these bodies woutLbff to their , 


mutual interest and to the advantage of the comity of 

Personally I feel (i) that India sacrificed too much 
in the Smut^-Gandhi Agreement, and (2) that India 
will never pull her full weight for the benefit of her 
nationals in international or intercolonial agreements 
until she enjoys complete Dominion status. 

Indians in Irak 

The history of Indians in Irak (Mesopotamia) is one 
of the latest chapters in imperial dishonesty. To the 
cynic it is laughable, to the serious it is lamentable, and 
to the poor Indian, who was optimistic and hopeful to 
find in it a fair field and no favour for his future occu- 
pation and means of livelihood, it is lachrymatory. 

The history of the Great War records, or will record, 
that Indians tumbled over each other to serve Great 
Britain ; that among other exploits the Indian Expe- 
ditionary Force captured Irak from the Turks ; that 
Indians lost more lives and money in Mesopotamia than 
in any other part of the world ; that Indians, being 
simple and unsophisticated, and guided by the history 
of their own country, believed that the spoils of war 
went to the victors, and that in consequence Irak 
would fall to their lot. But they counted without their 
hosts, the conquerors of their own country. Honour ! 
There may be among thieves, but none among Im- 
perialists ; at least, that was the experience of Indian 

At first they were deceived* and pleased, for imme- 
diately after the occupation of Irak a " steel-frame " 
administration, after the Anglo-Indian pattern, was 
fixed up in place of the Turkish regime, and manned 
Almost entirely by Indians with a few British at the 


top. This glory did not last long, for the men of Irak 
protested that the war was for seJf-deiermination, that 
they were determined to govern themselves, and 
pushed their determination with stout,, hearts and 
strong arms, when the British and Indian Imperialists 
fell upon those patriots, fighting for their own country, 
and slaughtered them as the Germans did the Belgians. 

His warlike patriotism on the part of the Irakians 
acted like magic on British Imperialists, who conceded 
to Irakian force, displayed in a few months' fighting, 
more self-government than they conceded to Indian 
reason, extending over a hundred years. Irak won a 
Parliament, a Cabinet, a King, Arabic as the official 
language, and the Indianised administration was con- 
verted in the twinkling of an eye into an Arabian 
administration. Thousands of Indians were packed out 
of Mesopotamia like herrings, and the hundreds, who 
were retained to teach Arabs, were axed as soon as the 
Arabs learnt their work. 

The Anglo-Irak Treaty contains provisions for the 
employment of British officials on ten years' contracts 
at remunerative rates, but contains no satisfactory con- 
ditions for the few Indian officials still remaining in the 
service ; and by it Irak was transferred from the control 
of the India Office to that of the Colonial Office. 

Among other lessons, the Mesopotamian adventure 
has taught Indians that they are good enough to pick 
chestnuts out of the fire for Britons, but not good 
enough to participate in eating them on terms of 
equality, and That physical force appeals more to 
British Imperialists than moral or intellectual force. 

" It will be plain from this summary that the treat- 
ment accorded to Indian nationals in other parts of tte 
British Empire is at present a very living issue in the c 


eyes of educated Indian opinion. It is a matter upon 
which Indian intellectuals, without regard to political 
divisions or party aims, stand united. Anything which 
is regarded $s an aspersion upon India's dignity is 
bitterly resented, *and exercises a marked influence 
upon the course of domestic politics. The future as well 
as the immediate implications of the whole questioq 
are formidable. The course of relations not merely 
between India and the rest of the Empire, but between 
Asia and Europe, may well depend upon the ability of 
British statesmanship to convince the educated classes 
of India that there is room for them within the com- 
monwealth to rise to the full height of their aspirations, 
and to attain the privileges and the responsibilities 
which the self-governing Dominions enjoy." 

This is from the Official Record of the Government of 
India for 1924-25, to which the writer has only to 
add, as Indians suffer from political and other dis- 
abilities in India under direct British rule, can the 
Government of Great Britain expect them to escape 
from disabilities in the rest of the Empire ? Great 
Britain must clean her own slate first by granting India 
full responsible government, and then the Dominions 
and Colonies will clean theirs. 



NEXT to education of the masses and defence against 
foreign invasion, most people would maintain that the 
duty of Government is to defend the people against the 
ravages of disease and drink, which are greater than 
the ravages of war. Lord Curzon, when Viceroy, 
seemed to place defence against disease first in his 
favourite quotation, "Salus populi suprema lex" 
the health of the people is the supreme law. 

I include drink with disease because alcoholism and 
, drug-taking are such important factors in the produc- 
tion of disease, as well as of moral and material deterio- 
ration. Amongst racial poisons, producing physical, 
mental and moral degeneration in the stock, alcohol 
occupies the unenviable position of being second in the 
list, syphilis coming first. How far alcohol may lead to 
the contraction of syphilis may be a matter of conjec- 
ture, but the exciting and exacerbating action of 
alcohol on syphilis is well known to medical science. 
The relationship between alcoholism and tuberculosis, 
as cause and effect, has been demonstrated by inter- 
national congresses on tuberculosis, when resolutions 
have been passed recommending that the fight against 
disease should be combined with the fight against 
alcoholism. Apart from these hydra-headed diseases, 
alcohol contributes indirectly to other ills to which flesh 
is heir by reducing the natural powers of resistance, and 



directly by causing fatty and fibrous diseases of the 
heart, kidneys, liver, alcoholic neuritis and paralysis, 
delirium tremens, alcoholic mania, etc. Lieut. -Colonel 
Sir Leonard, Rogers, a distinguished physician, well 
known in India, paints out the more deleterious effects 
of drink in hot climates like India. The saving in 
human lives through the decreased death-rate in thg 
United States of America under Prohibition has T^een 
estimated at a million in the last five years. 

Whether drink-caused disease is included or ex- 
cluded, the function of Government consists in (i) pre- 
vention of disease and (2) provision for its proper 

Under the first head would come the organisation of 
self-government in towns, villages, districts, provinces, 
and for all India, with complete control of, and respon- 
sibility for, public health and public morality ; sanita- 
tion, water supply, housing and town planning, roads, 
irrigation, drainage, etc., and under the second head 
provision of hospitals, medical colleges, sanatoria for 
tuberculosis, leprosy, etc., research laboratories, clinics, 
health insurance, etc., all under public control. 

The charges and grievances of Indians against their 
British overlords regarding this question of public 
health are as grave as they are numerous. 

The gravest charge is that public health matters have 
not been entrusted to Indians through representative 
institutions, through district boards, municipalities, 
provincial and central legislative councils, not even 
under the recent reforms, wjiich nominally transferred 
these functions to Indians, but in reality reserved 
them to British officials, who, retaining control of the 
purse, have consistently and persistently starved this 
jvtital service^with fearful injury to the health and 


happiness of the people of India. Since the reform of 
the councils more money has been allotted to, and 
spent on, sanitation and on education, thanks to the 
pressure which Indians have been able to J^ring to bear 
on the bureaucracy. But until Indians control finance 
there is no hope for great schemes of sanitation, housing, 
gtc., being carried out, and for great improvement in 
the public health. 

Money can always be found by British officials for 
the Army, which is the basis of their power, or for 
increasing their own salaries and emoluments, but 
when it comes to finding money to benefit Indians 
by betterment in their homes and sanitary surround- 
ings, then the alien taskmasters cry, " Halt ! ", and 
the bureaucratic economy axe comes down with a 

Let the official year-book " India in 1924-25 " tell 
the tale : " Among the most pressing problems of 
India's public health is the infant mortality. It has 
been calculated that every year some two million 
Indian babies die. Birth registration is still too casual 
to afford precise data, but it may be stated with confi- 
dence that one in six, or perhaps even one in five, of 
the infants born in India perishes within the first year 
of life. In crowded and industrial cities the rate is even 
more lamentable, and it is believed that in certain 
localities the death-rate varies from over 200 to 600 
per 1,000. In England the corresponding rate averages 
about 80 per j,ooo. Of late much attention has been 
directed to remedial measures." 

The italics are mine because I want Lord Birken- 
head and the British people to realise how we have 
been <" unworthy trustees " of the babies of Inclia. 
Mr. Winston Churchill, in his terminologically graphiq 


way, might describe the Government of India as the 
" baby-killer of India," despatching them by millions, 
and too often painfully slowly. 

The Official Recorder, after pointing out the lateness 
of the day, passes on to mention whose attention is 
being directed to remedial measures : " Lady Chelms- 
f ord initiated an All India Maternity and Infant Welfare 
League. Lady Reading has taken up the work? ana 
has initiated the National Baby Week." The first 
observation that the reader or any disinterested person 
naturally makes is, " How kind of these ladies to take 
up the work of their husbands, the Viceroys of India, 
and of the Secretary of State for India ! " The second 
observation would follow in a totally different vein, 
namely, " the most pressing problem of India's public 
health " cannot be adequately dealt with by voluntary 
associations, even when patronised by the wives of the 
most eminent officials and by members who display th^ 
keenest enthusiasm. Thirdly, this most pressing pro- 
blem cannot honourably or in justice to India's dying 
millions be shirked by the Government of India and the 
Government of Britain by relegating it to eleemosynary 
aid and voluntary associations. Lastly, " remedial 
measures " mean an Indianised medical and nursing 
service, national health insurance, maternity benefit, 
regulations re female labour, minimum wages, slum 
clearage, housing and town planning schemes, with 
provision of open spaces and playing grounds for 
young and old, sanitation on modern lines, etc., with 
the necessary legislation, pfovincial, municipal and 

The sooner Lord Birkenhead gets on with these 
" remedial measures," involving revision of tke Con- 
stitution and the granting of responsible government 

I 9 6 


at once, and not in 1929, or gets out, the better for 
Indian babies and India's health. 

Another quotation from the Official Recorder ought 
to be helpful. It is the following : " O f f immediate 
bearing on the progress of sanitation in India is the 
advance of medical research in India. In this field 
financial stringency has of late hampered development, 
but ih the Budget for 1925-26 provision has been made 
once more for a subvention to the Indian Research 
Fund Association, whose activities have suffered tem- 
porarily from retrenchment." 

The full value of this statement as to the relationship 
between sanitation and research maybe gleaned when 
vital statistics are studied, and when the heavy toll 
every year of preventable diseases like cholera, plague, 
malaria, smallpox, and tuberculosis is set forth. 

The Statistical Abstract for British India gives the 
/ollowing death-roll : 


in Millions. 








2 4 lJ 






From the same abstract we learn the death-rate per 
thousand, viz. : 









In towns 





In rural districts 






The average length of life in India is 23-5 years, in 
Japan 44-5 and in England 53-5. 

A careful study of these figures should make Lord 
Birkenhead. pause before he again claims that his 
countrymen are ifot, and have not been, " unworthy 
trustees " of India's suffering millions. A personal in- 
spection by his lordship of some of the towns an$ 
villages of British India would reveal such an appalling 
condition of housing and absence of general sanitation 
that he would stand aghast and never breathe the word 
" trusteeship " again. In the one-room tenements of 
Bombay, " the glorious gate of the East/' he would 
understand why 28 out of every thousand babies born 
died within a year in 1922. In the mud and straw 
hovels of the villages, with low roofs and no windows, 
with no loophole for light and air to enter unless the door 
was open, or unless, fortunately, wear and tear had 
produced peepholes in the roof the better to see th^ 
stars by, with a ben for any cattle and a nook for the 
family, he would comprehend why, in spite of the sun 
and the salubrious climate, tuberculosis and epidemic 
diseases decimated the peasants, and ran their death- 
rate a close shave with that of dwellers in the towns. 
When his lordship's keen eye met the stagnant pool 
near by, and saw the mosquito flourishing on the sur- 
face of the waters undisturbed by kerosene, malaria, 
with all its terrors, would give him haunting fears by 
day as well as by night. When he learnt that the same 
pool or reservoir on occasion did duty for drinking 
water, as well as for ablution* of the body and clothes, 
cholera and dysentery would rise before his vision, with 
aU,their horrors. When, further, his lordship discovered 
in the vast majority of villages neither dispensary, 
. nor doctor, nor nurse, he would cry, " God help 


the people." When, finally, he found frantic poverty 
lurking at the door of the villagers, who rarely 
partake of one square meal per day, and conse- 
quently lack the stamina to resist disease, his lord- 
ship would give up the ghost. Then where would 
merrie England be, without its merrie lord and his 
yierrie speeches on " the glittering prizes won by the 
sword " ? 

In one of his many brilliant oratorical efforts Lord 
Curzon spoke of " the real people of India " in the fol- 
lowing terms : " It is the Indian poor, the Indian 
peasant, the patient, humble, silent millions, the 80 
per cent, who subsist by agriculture," who know very 
little of politics, but who profit or suffer by their results, 
and whom men's eyes, even the eyes of their own 
countrymen, too often forget, to whom I refer. He 
has been in the background of every policy for which I 
Aave been responsible, of every surplus of which I have 
assisted in the disposition. We see him not in the 
splendour and opulence, nor even in the squalor, of 
great cities ; he reads no newspapers, for, as a rule, he 
cannot read at all ; he has no politics. But he is the 
bone and sinew of the country ; by the sweat of his brow 
the soil is tilled ; from his labour comes one-fourth of 
the national income. He should be the first and the final 
object of every Viceroy's regard" 

With my own eyes I have seen the peasants in every 
village which I have inspected living in overcrowded 
hovels, which would be more accurately described as 
kennels, in surroundings, of dirt, discomfort, and 
squalor, indicative of the palaeolithic period, and for 
the most part without a schoolmaster, a doctor, % or 
nurse. "I have, therefore, been forced to the conclusion 
that so far as education, sanitation, and medical care , 



are concerned, the peasant has been the last and for- 
gotten object of every Viceroy's regard. 

In the same oration Lord Curzon boasted that " it 
is for the peasant in the main that we have twice 
reduced the salt^ax." Lord Curzon ought to have 
known that a Government which puts any tax on the 
salt of the poor is a cruel monster, sapping the vitality 
of the people and spreading foul diseases whicfr arise 
from deficiencies of salt in their daily food. 

In 1923-24 the revenue from salt amounted to 
10,01,50,870 rupees, which Lord Curzon's successors 
will try to defend by saying that, as the tax is spread 
over so many millions of people, it cannot be provocative 
of much harm, forgetting, firstly, that no Government 
in England which imposed a tax on salt could live for a 
single week, and, secondly, that Governments, especi- 
ally alien Governments, have no moral right to tax an 
essential food of the people. 

This chronic crime of the British authorities in India' 
becomes greater when the debasing and degenerating 
influences of opium and alcohol, which are also fostered 
by the Government, are taken into consideration. 

I should like to conduct Lord Birkenhead, or any 
future Secretary of State for India, not only to the 
villages, but to the imperial city of Delhi, where he 
would view imperial trusteeship in all its glory. For 
choice I should take him first to a bit of Old Delhi, not 
to the ancient gates ; not to the Fort, with its marble 
palaces and its chamber, with its scales of justice, loaded 
heavily by the imaginative 'Imperialist so that they 
always tip in favour of the West ; not to the Ridge, 
w^iere a monument towers to the memory of the 
British victims of British Imperialism, mentioning them 
by name, without any corresponding monument or 


tablet with the names of the Indian patriots who died 
in defence of their country against the British invader ; 
not to the marvellous Mosque, where he might pray for 
forgiveness not only for past sins, but for sjns which he 
was going to commit, for Imperialists; live in perpetual 
sin ; to these places of artistic and historic interest 
Cook's guide would go first ; but, being a doctor most 
ilter^sted in humanity, I should lead him straightway 
to the homes of the poor, who have long been the 
special subjects or slaves of British solicitude and 
British conceptions of sanitation. There the picture 
of dirt and disorder, of wretched hovels and indescrib- 
able horrors, without drainage, sanitation, or adequate 
scavengering, with human excrements in every narrow 
alley, filling the air with foul stenches worse than any 
Stygian pool, a beautiful breeding ground for pestilence 
and disease, of groups of men and women and children 
sitting on cleared ground away from their inhospitable 
liuts, rudely huddled together, which were used as 
crowded shelters at night, of children emaciated from 
malnutrition, and men and women looking old and 
haggard long before their time, demands a Dante to 

Then Lord Birkenhead, with perfumed handkerchief 
to nostril glued, would implore me to lead him away to 
Modern Delhi, where the grass grows and the perfume 
of flowers pervades the air, where the British reside 
beyond the city walls in detached villas, fitted with 
every modern sanitary convenience to make life com- 
fortable and disease rare; lighted by electricity, with 
pretty rose gardens and lawns neatly clipped, with the 
English Club close by, a large and handsome building, 
with spacious rooms, luxuriously furnished for billiards, 
bridge, smoking, eating, drinking and dancing, and 


situated in lovely grounds, amply provided for tennis 
and other outdoor games, with well-made and well-kept 
roads, and, best of all, with magnificent parks, where 
lofty trees /tnd many-coloured flowers lend enchant- 
ment to the view^and make life worth living. 

The Government buildings form a most pleasing 
picture to the eye, being well set back from the main 
road in spacious grounds, with beautiful beds of flbwers 
and green lawns and graceful gravel walks. The centre 
of the buildings, which are all white and arranged in 
a half-moon, is occupied by the Parliament House, 
with the Administrative Offices forming the wings. 
Pleased with the* outside, his lordship would express his 
pleasure with the internal aspect also of the National 
Assembly and with its acoustic properties, which he 
would test by eloquently reciting Scott's famous lines 

" Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 

Who never to himself hath said, 
' This is my own, my native, land/ 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned 
As home his footsteps he has turned 

From wandering on a foreign strand ? 

" If such there breathe, go, mark him well ; 

For him no minstrel raptures swell, 
High though his titles, proud his name, 

Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ; 
Despite these titles, power and pelf, 

The wretch concentred all in self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 

And, doubly dying, jshall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung." 

*My imagination figured Lord Birkenhead, ur&der the 
spell of poetic emotion and appreciation of patriotism 


in otheio, Baying : "By God ! standing in this 
Chamber, nominally consecrated to Indian liberty and 
Indian self-government, I understand the point of view 
of the Indian patriot. But tell me," he adcjed in cooler 
and more critical vein, " what's wrong with this charm- 
ing Chamber and excellent block of Administrative 
Offices, and magnificent Government House, which the 
^icerAy occupies for one or two months in the year, and 
which must have cost a lot of money to build, that they 
should all be scrapped after a few years' use and a new 
Delhi created ? " 

" An imperial bee in the bonnet of Lord Hardinge 
and his bureaucratic advisers, I suppose, for Indians 
opposed it tooth-and-nail on the score of extravagance 
and inconvenience." 

" Umph ! " was the single word which escaped his 
lordship's lips. 

% A Government Rolls-Royce then bore us swiftly to 
Raisina, as New Delhi is called, situated some five or 
six miles away. Carefully avoiding Old Delhi for his 
lordship was still suffering from nostalgia or some other 
nostril affection we soon came upon brand-new roads, 
with embryonic trees springing up on either side, pro- 
tected by casing from wind and weather and showing 
no signs of infantile mortality. " What glorious Hob- 
bema Avenues these will become in the course of a 
few years ! " ejaculated his lordship ; " and those long 
rows of pretty white villas, with gardens already 
bedecked with flowers, what are they ? " 

" More residences for BHtish officials/' I replied. 

" And these grand palaces dotted about ? " queried 
his lordship. 

" Thej 7 are the extravagances to which the princes 01 
India have been put by Government, and which they 


will occupy for a month or two in the year when the 
Chamber of Princes meets/' 

" And that pompous structure in the distance ? " 

" That's the Viceregal Lodge/' 

" ' Lodge/ do you call it ? " his lordship mockingly 
repeated. " ' Emperor's palace/ say I." And then he 
inquired, " How many of these ' Lodges ' in India mav^, 
there be ? " 

" Your lordship should ask the Viceroy," came my 
reply. " But of course, if Mahatma Gandhi were Vice- 
roy and to my mind he is the best man fitted to dis- 
charge the onerous duties of that exalted dignitary he 
would stop all Uhis imperial display and wild waste of 
India's restricted resources. In fact, he would prove 
the greatest benefactor India had ever had, for, living 
himself in simplicity, he would teach both British 
Imperialists and Indian princes how to live simply and 
honestly without bleeding the people of India white," J 

" Ah," quickly responded Lord Birkenhead, drop- 
ping his native cynicism, " you may be right, and it 
may come to that. But what are those tall, gaunt, grim 
and ugly blocks over there ? " 

When informed that they were " the new Imperial 
Administrative Offices," his lordship sadly remarked : 
" What a miserable contrast to those picturesque ones 
which we have just visited ! " 

Pointing to a vast pile of modern architecture 
approaching completion and having the mixed appear- 
ance of a Roman amphitheatre and a Greek temple, 
where gods and goddesses might worship together 
according to the rites of Venus, his lordship quizzingly 
questioned, " What is that White Elephant ? V 

On learning that it was the future battle-ground of 


Indian Amphictyons, fighting for the moral and 
material progress of India, the future home of the 
Indian imitations of the House of Lords and House of 
Commons, the noble lord heatedly observed : " This 
gives the answer to my statement! in the House of 
Lords, namely, ' To talk of India as an entity is as 
absurd as to talk of Europe as an entity, 1 for the British 
^icenSy and the British Executive Council and the 
British bureaucracy would never have erected these 
colossal structures and this new imperial city unless 
they believed that India is an * entity ' ; they have 
branded me as one of the biggest fools in the world, and 
vengeance demands that I should taketall power out of 
their hands by making these mock parliaments stern 
and stable realities." 

Overlooking his lordship's spirit of vengeance in the 
circumstances, I could not resist exclaiming, " Bravo ! 
^ravissimo ! Behold a Daniel come to judgment ! " 

On our return journey to Maiden's Hotel, where his 
lordship was staying incognito to avoid all pomp and 
revelry, which he loathes, and after allowing due time 
for cooling down, I made bold to ask his lordship, when 
passing under a sort of " Triumphal Arch," what im- 
pressions Old and New Delhi had left on his mind. 
Lord Birkenhead broke out in his happiest vein, so 
reminiscent of Oxonian fastidiousness and exhilaration, 
" Old Delhi's hell, modern Delhi's Paradise Lost, New 
Delhi's Paradise Regained, and I'm disappointed with 
my countrymen who are responsible for the lot." 

In order to pour a littld oil on the troubled waters I 
said, " Yes, I suppose our responsibility for all must 
be acknowledged, for the British Commissioner l\as 
bossed the municipality of Delhi since its inception, if 
he has not actually usurped all authority all along." 


" And what is the estimated cost of New Delhi ? " 
pursued his lordship. 

" More than ten millions sterling when finished." 

" Worse han Singapore/' mused his lordship aloud. 
" The price of Imperialism never ceases to increase the 
burdens of Indian and British taxpayers, burdens which 
prevent them making adequate expenditure on educa- 
tion and sanitation, as we observed before. *Wha! 
blind and bankrupt statesmanship ! " 

Refreshed by sleep, the Secretary of State returned 
next morning to the subject of public health by asking 
for an explanation of the shortage of hospitals, research 
laboratories, sanatoria for leprosy and tuberculosis, 
dispensaries, doctors, nurses, etc. 

In addition to the explanations already given, 
namely, (i) official fear to trust these things to Indians 
with complete financial and legislative and administra- 
tive control, (2) the laissez-faire policy of the Govern^ 
ment to leave their provision to private and charitable 
organisations, and (3) the starvation of these vifal 
services, there are (4) the practical monopolisation of 
the higher branches of the medical services by Britons 
and (5) the economic conditions of the villages, which 
cannot support doctors, nurses and dispensaries because 
they are too poor. 

The first three explanations account for the extra- 
ordinary fact that only two or three sanatoria for 
leprosy and tuberculosis exist in the whole of British 
India, where these afflictions flourish, and for which 
sanatoria! treatment and Segregation are needed, 
especially for the prevention of their dissemination 
amongst the people. Under this head the British 
authorities in India deserve to be indicted for criminal 



The Statistical Abstract for British India classifies 
hospitals as follows : 


Class I. 

Class III. 

Class IV. 

Class II. 

Class V. 

Class VI. 

State Public. 













Classes I., III., IV., open to the public . 43,635 
Classes IL, V., VI., private and special . 13,938 



Regarding this grand total of 57,573 hospital beds 
for British India, exclusive of Indian States, with a 
population of 241 millions, it is up to the Government 
of India to explain why it has fallen so short as 
custodian of the medical and surgical treatment of the 

The total number of registered medical practitioners 
in Bengal in 1925 was a' little over 4,600. The total 
population of the Province was about 46 millions. 
Therefore there is one practitioner to every 10,^00 
persons** If rural areas are taken only there is hardly 
one practitioner to 100,000 persons. This unsatisfac- 


tory supply of doctors in Bengal is 
less in the other Provinces. 

This brings us to the problem of meci 
aid in the villages, a problem which 
India never seeing to have tackled a 
calls for solution. I visited villages 
twenty miles of Madras, Delhi and Lahor^^tle tjfcfc 
poverty was so intense that when I asked the 
tants why they did not convey serious cases of disease 
especially requiring surgical interference to save life 
in bullock-carts to the hospitals in the neighbouring 
cities, they replied, " The hire of a bullock-cart would 
cost two or thr$e rupees (35. to 6s.), and we haven't 
got the money." " What happens then ? " I inquired, 
when my informants laconically replied, " Oh, they 
miserably and sometimes painfully die, hoping for 
better things in a life beyond the grave." In other 
words, thousands, nay, tens of thousands, of villagers 
are allowed to die in agony every year by a paternal (? ) 
Government, which talks about " trusteeship," without 
moving a finger or spending a penny to save them. 

" My sapient tutors in the Indian Office never 
divulged this deplorable state of affairs in the villages," 
groaned the Secretary of State for India, evidently 
deeply stirred. " Now^ unfold to me your plan of cam- 
paign to meet this difficulty, for I should like to do 
something for these poor people before I leave office," 
continued his lordship. 

" I have discussed this problem with many Indian 
doctors," I responded to his lordship's invitation, 
" and they all practically agree with me in principle 
that the solution lies with the Government in the crea- 
tion of a State medical service, embracing botfi towns 
and villages, by means of which doctors, nurses, dis- 


pensaries) hospitals, sanatoria, research laboratories, 
etc., would be brought within reasonable reach of 
every one." 

This service would differ from that provided under 
the Health Insurance Act in Great Britain in many 
important respects. For instance, everybody would be 
on the " panel/ 1 whether they availed themselves of 
The scnace or not ; doctors, nurses, dispensers, etc., 
would be full-time salaried servants of the State ; the 
scheme being non-contributory for the vast majority 
of Indians are too poor to indulge in such a luxury the 
whole cost would fall on the taxpayers ; and the manage- 
ment, administration and control wpuld be in the 
hands of the local authorities, village panchyats (to be 
re-created), district boards, municipalities, etc. Doctors 
and nurses would be appointed to groups of villages, 
and provided with the transport (motor ambulances, 
etc.) for getting from one to the other. 

" That sounds all right," observed Lord Birkenhead, 
""out, critically examined, I see several objections to 
the plan. Firstly, it is unadulterated Socialism." 

" Yes," I acknowledged, " but so is the postal and 
telegraph service, and also the Army and the railways, 
and many of the railways have been built and con- 
ducted at great cost for strategical purposes against 
possible foreign invaders. Surely your lordship won't 
raise the bogey of Socialism against a scheme to fight 
the invader within the gate, who is always active, 
namely, disease. Besides, the Indian medical service 
already in existence is unadulterated Socialism in the 
interests of the Europeans. Your lordship, therefore, 
cannot honestly object to Socialism in the interests of 

" Granted ! " smiled the Secretary of State; " but, 


secondly, on a non-contributory basis the cost of this 
beautiful piece of Socialism would be prohibitive," he 

" Not prohibitive," I answered, " because the same 
objection would apply to the army, which is non-pro- 
ductive, whereas a medical service would be productive, 
increasing the health as well as the wealth of the com, 
munity, and the increased wealth would go a long way, 
if not all the way, to meeting the increased payment. 
Also Indianisation of the army and Indianisation of 
the medical service would reduce the expenditure of 
these services so enormously that the taxpayer might 
not be called upan to pay an extra pie. Lastly, if your 
lordship is still alarmed at the financial difficulties, you 
could commence by applying the scheme to the rural 
areas," to which his lordship nodded assent. 

The noble lord then referred to the contention of 
Indians that the higher branches of the medical ser-, 
vices were monopolised by Englishmen, and that in 
consequence gross injustice was inflicted upon tKe 
Indian people in general and upon Indian doctors in 
particular, and asked for information. 

Put as briefly as possible, Provinces are divided into 
districts, each district covering fifty to 100 square miles, 
in each of which a civil surgeon is placed in charge, with 
responsibility for the sanitation, hospitals, dispen- 
saries, vaccination, infectious diseases, births, deaths, 
etc., and with assistant surgeons and sub-assistant 
surgeons under him. The civil surgeons and assistant 
surgeons hold qualifications, which are registrable in 
Great Britain and India, while the sub-assistant sur- 
geojis may be described as a cheap class of doctors, who 
have onl^been trained for four years and whosfc quali- 
fications are not recognised outside India. When a 



Province like the Punjab is divided into ten districts, 
eight of the civil surgeoncies go to members of the 
Indian medical service, who are almost all Britons, one 
to an Indian, who has probably served about twenty 
years as assistant surgeon, and one to a Eurasian 
(Anglo-Indian) or Christian from the Indian Medical 
^Pepartment. Civil surgeons (almost all Englishmen) 
receivt 1,250 to 2,500 rupees per month, with extras 
for travelling, lectureships, gaol appointments, etc., 
while assistant surgeons (all Indians) receive 225 to 450 
rupees per month, and when promoted to civil surgeons 
from 600 to 1,000, and sub-assistant surgeons (Indians 
or Eurasians) 60 to 225 rupees per month. 

Extraordinary anomalies arise from the rule that 
every district shall be provided with an English doctor, 
who is reserved from the Indian medical service of the 
army for the benefit of English families living in the 
^district, even when these families only number four or 
five. At the same time this rule raises the vicious 
"colour bar" against Indian doctors, who are as well 
qualified and as capable as their English colleagues. If 
English people opt to live in India either as officials or 
non-officials, they have no right to inflict injustice on 
Indians by demanding medical attention at the expense 
of India or by maintaining the pernicious " colour bar." 
So far as the public hospitals and medical colleges are 
concerned, there is not a vestige of popular government 
in administration, their government in most Provinces 
resting in the hands of the civil surgeon locally and of 
the inspector-general (or surgeon-general) of civil 
hospitals centrally, who are Englishmen with one 
exception. How disastrous to the patients and medical 
students and public health of India this concentration 
of autocratic powers in one or two officers is may be 


conceived when it is realised that they appoint all 
members of the staff to these important institutions. 

Autocracy and abuse of power go together : 
autocracy, favouritism and nepotism are bedfellows. 
Men are too often appointed as physicians, and surgeons, 
and specialists, and professors who are entirely unfitted 
for their duties, with incalculable injury to patients 
and students alike. For instance, men are posited to 
special departments, like the eye or ear, who have 
never specialised on those delicate organs before. 
Further, men are jockeyed from physician to surgeon, 
and then to ophthalmologist or gynaecologist, on the 
exigencies of tile occasion or on the whim of the 
Inspector-General. Sometimes they play at family 
post, and one man in his time fills many posts. The 
lowest degradation of a noble profession is reached 
when the doctor is converted into a jack-of-all-trades, 
filling several posts at the same time. , 

In Bengal this autocracy is checked to some degree 
by the fact that the Medical Faculty of the University 
of Calcutta contains a good proportion of Indian 
medical practitioners. 

This system, or want of system, spells inefficiency 
in almost the whole medical service of India. Indians 
justifiably complain (i) that the Indian medical 
service is not recruited by the best English doctors, 
but by second-class men ; (2) that these men practise 
in the Army for several years before being " lent " or 
" transferred " to Civil Service, and that Army practice 
frequently tends to rust aod* deterioration ; (3) that 
the Medical Research and Medical Teaching Depart- 
ments suffer from ansemia, with a surfeit of second- 
hand aiy^ second-rate Englishmen ; (4) that fnedical 
students are deprived of a good scientific training, 


which is 'so essential and fundamental to excellence, 
and that psychologically they are adversely affected 
by sitting at the feet of undistinguished and unworthy 
professors, for whom they can have no respect, and 
who chop and change from anatomy to physiology, 
from medicine to surgery, from pharmacy to midwifery, 
with every passing breeze ; and (5) that colour bar rides 
ramp&nt and triumphant throughout the medical 
service, Englishmen being appointed to the highest 
and best-paid posts, for which Indians, by their 
professional attainments and qualifications and experi- 
ence, are better fitted, the minor posts being given to 
Indians. * 

Since the passing of the reforms in 1919 the Medical 
and Sanitary services have been transferred to the 
Minister of Education, who has power to appoint the 
staffs of hospitals and medical colleges, but if he 
dared to override the decision or recommendation of 
the Surgeon-General, and appointed Indians instead 
of Englishmen, he would be thrown out by the British 
officials who chose him, and a pliable Indian puppet 
put in his place. Outwardly British bureaucrats may 
appear to be as harmless as doves, but inwardly they 
are as wise as serpents when it comes to a question of 
power or a fight between Englishmen and Indians for 
lucrative posts. 

In England independence and strength are esteemed 
as praiseworthy characteristics, but in India, when 
portrayed by Indians, they are counted as dangerous, 
and treated as dangerous, by British officials, who 
prefer and promote pliancy and subserviency. 

When I drew the attention of the Inspector-General 
of Hospitals in a personal interview to the, fact that 
only two or three Indians filled professional chairs in 


the University and Medical College at Lj&iore, he 
majestically remarked, " I consider that a good share." 

In recent years some of the more glaring incon- 
sistencies enumerated above with regard to chopping 
and changing a^d amalgamating of professorships 
have been modified, but not removed, in some medical 

Before the war the percentage of Indians permitted 
in the Indian medical service was limited to 6, which 
was raised after the war, with 33 J as a maximum. 

The whole Indian medical profession is up in arms 
against this intolerable state of affairs, which forms no 
negligible factoain Indian unrest. 

On this recital Lord Birkenhead shook his head in. 
dismay, and said, " This is not playing the game as 
we play it in England ; this is un-English. What is 
necessary to cleanse these Augean stables arid to 
remove these outstanding grievances of Indians ? " 

" Your question would be best answered by an 
Indian Medical Council composed of Indians, bftt, 
unfortunately, none is in existence, thanks to the 
policy of the British bureaucracy, which would deem 
such a body as undesirable, if not seditious. In the 
absence of such a council, I might suggest the following 
reforms, which have been formulated at one time or 
another by Indians, both privately and publicly : 

" (i.) The transference of public hospitals and 
medical colleges to democratically constituted govern- 
ing bodies. Some advocate municipalisation. 

" With regard to the cre.afion of an Indian Medical 
Council, and on what lines, public opinion would be 
bet consulted through the Legislative Assembly for 
All India. Indian doctors have given me to understand 
that sucITan institution is desirable, but that it should 


differ frim the General Medical Council for Great 
Britain in that its authority should not be absolute, 
and that it should be amenable to the Courts of Justice 
through the Privy Council, but free from the Executive 
Government of India. 

" (ii.) Indianisation of the Indian medical service, 
yhich is bound to come sooner or later. In view of this, 

our lordship would be well advised to put up notices 
*a every university and hospital in Great Britain to 
the effect that British doctors in the future would have 
to seek appointments in India through Indian governing 
bodies, which would probably only select a small 
number who had reached great eminence in the pro- 
fession as specialists or teachers. This would not 
preclude English doctors from practising privately in 

" (iii.) The abolition of sub-assistant surgeons in the 
future as inadequately qualified men. This, of course, 
would not apply to existing sub-assistant surgeons. 

*'* (iv.) Private hospitals, sanatoria, etc., must satisfy 
the Indian Medical Council or public authority of 
their fitness." 

" These suggestions deserve, and shall have, my 
earnest consideration," said the Secretary of State, 
who showed the imponderable symptoms which attack 
a climber unaccustomed to the high altitudes of 
Mount Everest. 



FROM the close relationship between alcoholism and 
disease, a relationship which may be accurately defined 
as cause and effect, as already pointed out in the begin- 
ning of the previous chapter, we approach prohibition 
and suppression of the liquor traffic as a great question 
of public health and national life. 

In other places it is rightly and reasonably con- 
sidered also as a great question of public morals and 
of law and order, for as a cause of immorality, disorder, 
and crime alcohol is unrivalled by any single agency. 
How many brothels, how many law-courts, how manjr 
prisons, might be closed if the manufacture and sate of 
intoxicating beverages were prohibited, I leave the Com- 
missioner of Police and the Judges to honestly relate. 

Here we confine ourselves to the health aspect of 
this enemy of the race, to this C3 population-producer, 
to the manufacturer of " little Indians " and " little 
Englanders " and " little Anglo-Indians," to this baby- 
killer, to this hospital and asylum filler, to this joy- 
killer, to this agent which steals away the brains, as 
Shakespeare said, and incapacitates man mentally as 
well as physically from rendering his best quota to the 
national service, the national health, and the national 

In considering the health aspect we cannot, Jiowever, 
neglecFTIhe economic, for the two are wrapped together 


in the satne winding sheet on the same funeral pyre. 
Low wages and poverty lead directly and indirectly 
to disease from underfeeding, insanitary housing, etc., 
to diseases, especially of malnutrition, like rickets, and 
to susceptibility to invading genps from reduced 
vitality. Expenditure on drink, especially in India, 
where wages are so scandalously low and poverty is so 
Stupei^ously great and widespread, by reducing the 
earning capacity of the wage-earners and by intensi- 
fying the poverty of the poor, dooms the people to 
innumerable and avoidable diseases as well as to under- 
consumption, under-production, with agricultural and 
industrial depression and national poverty. 

The manufacture and sale of intoxicants are, there- 
fore, a curse to India, and the statesmen or the Govern- 
ment that fail to suppress them are " unworthy 
trustees " of India. 

" I agree with you," intervened Lord Birkenhead 
in an imaginary conversation, " that ' gigantic evils ' 
are> associated with this traffic, but I wholly disagree 
with you in regard to Prohibition as a remedy. I 
frankly confess," continued his lordship, " that I have 
always championed the brewers and distillers and 
liquor-sellers at home, and consistency compels me to 
champion them in India. Besides, immediate intro- 
duction of Prohibition is ' unthinkable/ as Sir Basil 
Blackett, the Finance Member, said in the Indian 
Legislative Assembly in 1925, for it \srould cut off too 
big a slice of revenue, and lead to ' illicit distillation/ 
' difficulties of enforcement/ and ' disrespect for the 
law/ and, he might have aclded, umbrage on the part 
of British residents in India, whose addiction to dripk 
is so proverbial/' 

" Great statesmen/' I replied, " are not tJfie slaves, 


but the subduers and overcomers, of difficulties. Pro- 
hibition in America, the greatest social experiment of 
modern times, has met with the difficulties and draw- 
backs which your lordship mentions, but American 
statesmen and th American people, instead of bending 
the knee to Baal and to the lawless elements in their 
country, are steadily and successfully removing the 
difficulties by perfecting the machinery of ProbibitioriT 
The social and economic gains from the adoption of 
Prohibition, the lowering of the death-rate from alco- 
holic diseases, the great reduction in crime, drunken- 
ness and the consumption of liquor, the increased 
savings of the people, the improvement in industrial 
fitness and business conditions, stand out so coi^ 
spicuously that America is keeping her waggon hitched 
to the star of Prohibition, in spite of all the froth, fury 
and propaganda of a prejudiced press and those 
financially interested in this traffic, which is so sub- 
versive of national health and national well-being." 

The noble lord, parodying a bishop who went offthe 
lines, retorted, " I would sooner see India free than 

" Precisely/' came my response, " for when India is 
free she will take steps to ensure that she will be sober 
as well." India is ripe for Prohibition, and her great 
religions being so strongly opposed to drink should 
make the difficulties of successful enforcement much 
simpler and easier than in America. 

Besides, the liquor trade in India is neither so well 
organised nor so powerful Is in Europe or America, 
and already the Indian States of Bhopal, Bhavnagar, 
P^litana and Kathiawar have adopted prohibition of 
countiT-made liquors, while Travancore and Pudu- 
kottah have declared for Local Option. 


The financial difficulty has been increased in recent 
years by the policy of the Government of India arid of 
the Provincial Governments, whose total revenues from 
excise have jumped from 7^ crores of rupees in 1903-04 
to nearly 21 crores in 1923-24. TJiis Governmental 
" profiteering " at the expense of the vitality and morals 
of the people is another illustration of " unworthy 

Before the Joint Select Committee on the Govern- 
ment of India Bill Sir James (now Lord) Meston 
said: "After the reforms the natural and inevitable 
course of the policy of the Ministers in dealing with 
excise will be to press more and morq for Prohibition. 
They believe, rightly or wrongly, that our excise policy 
has encouraged intemperance among certain classes, 
and they are committed, deeply committed, to breaking 
down that policy, and to reducing the facilities for 
intoxicants." Lord Meston further predicted that any 
heroic excise policy initiated by the Ministers of 
Tmnsf erred Subjects would be vetoed by the Govern- 
ment official in control of finance, a reserved subject, 
and his prediction has been verified by the results. In 
plain parlance, British officials hold the reins, and 
block the path of temperance reform, as well as of 
sanitary and educational reform. 

The solution of the drink evil, as well as of the other 
problems of India, therefore, depends upon self- 
government. As Sir Basil Blackest, the Finance 
Minister, and the Government of India make such a 
formidable weapon of the difficulty of finding alter- 
native schemes of taxation to make good the loss of 
revenue which would ensue from Prohibition, surely 
the lea$t they can do is to resign and allow the 
Swarajists and Independents who constitute a 


majority in the Assembly to form a Government 
and find the ways and means to finance the country 
under Prohibition. 

" You almost persuade me to be a Swarajist," 
declared the Secretary of State, with the air of Pontius 
Pilate, " but what evidence can be adduced to back 
up the contention that Swaraj would inaugurate 
Prohibition ? " 

In September, 1925, after a full-dress debate in ttie 
All India Legislative Assembly, when Sir Basil Blackett, 
on behalf of the Government, made a very good devil's 
advocate of the liquor trade and the policy of the 
Government towards it, the following resolution was 
passed, sixty-nine voting for it and thirty-nine against^ 

" This Assembly recommends to the Governor- 
General in Council that he be pleased to accept as the 
ultimate policy of the Government the prohibition of 
production, manufacture, sale and import of intoxi- 
cating liquors, save for medicinal and scientific pur- 
poses. It further recommends that as the first stef> in 
carrying out this policy the Provincial Governments 
be directed immediately (i) to inaugurate a policy of 
vesting power of fixing, by a system of Local Option, 
the location and number of shops selling intoxicating 
liquors in either local self-governing bodies or licens- 
ing boards especially constituted for the purpose 
and elected on a popular franchise, and (2) to under- 
take the necessary legislation in furtherance of that 

The sixty-nine members consisted of the non- 
officials with the electors of India behind them, while 
twenty-five of the minority were British members 
of the Assembly and fourteen Indian members 
officially 'connected with the Government. Given a 


free handf many of the Indian officials would probably 
also have voted with the majority. 

The Bombay Legislative Council has approved of a 
policy of Prohibition to be reached in twenty years by 
the rationing of liquor. f 

The Punjab Legislative Council passed a Local 
Option law, which came into force in 1924, empowering 
Ihunicipalities and district boards to reduce the number 
of shops selling country liquors, but which does not apply 
to shops selling foreign liquors, clubs, hotels and rail- 
way refreshment rooms. The United Provinces have set 
up licensing boards in the large cities. In the Legis- 
lative Council of the Central Provinces a resolution in 
favour of Prohibition was successfully moved in 1921. 
In the Councils of Madras, Bombay, and Bihar and 
Orissa, Indian non-official members have been refused 
sanction by the respective Governors of these Provinces 
to introduce Local Option Bills, and when Colonel 
Wedgwood questioned the propriety of these actions 
in the House of Commons Earl Winterton, the Under- 
secretary of State for India, declared that the Governors 
had acted within their statutory powers, and that 
there was no obligation on their part to give even 
reasons for their refusals. 

As a stickler for constitutional practice, Lord 
Birkenhead rubbed his eyes and referred to section 
8oc of the Government of India Act, which states 
that a member cannot introduce any ^measure in any 
Provincial Legislative Council affecting the revenue 
without sanction of the Governor. " Ah/' exclaimed 
his lordship, " I understand their reasons for refusal, 
for if liquor shops were shut up under Local Optipn 
by the expressed will of the people, then the revenues 
from drink would go down. You say the total "annual 


revenue from drink for British India amoihits to 20 
to 21 crores of rupees. What are the figures for the 
Provinces ? " 

" In 1923-24 39-9 per cent, of the total revenue of 
Madras was derived from drink ; 34-7 for Bihar and 
Orissa ; 28-7 for Bombay, including Sind ,* 28-7 for 
Assam ; 25*3 for Central Provinces ; 20-6 for Bengal ^ 
13-9 for Burma ; 12-7 for United Provinces ; and 11-4 
for Punjab." 

" Serious percentages," mused his lordship, " but 
still more serious constitutional and political issues, 
for in the end it is Governor versus People. When the 
Governor exercises his right of veto, he robs the 
Legislature and the people of their rights. The whok 
thing is absurd as well as dangerous, for it must 
alienate public opinion and convince Indians that the 
reforms are not a step forward to responsible govern- 
ment, but a step backward, and consequently encouragp 
them in their policy of Non-Co-operation. All governors 
have not exercised this veto ? " queried the noble l&xl. 

" No, some do and some don't. For instance, 
Viscount Willingdon, when Governor of Madras, 
sanctioned the introduction of a Local Option Bill in 
1921 in the Madras Legislative Council, and four years 
later Lord Goschen, the new Governor of Madras, 
refused the same thing." 

" A Constitution which embodies such inconsistencies 
is crazy," cried*his lordship, really exasperated, " and 
should be instantly revised, but how can I revise it 
according to my ideals, wi^h* the bureaucracy to right 
of me, and the Tory party to left of me, and the House 
of .Lords behind me all the time to kick me ? " 

Toui ou rien as the French say all or nothing 
should be your lordship's motto. Toujours courage ! 


Always cdurage ! A plunge into the sea of liberty will 
refresh and strengthen your lordship to throw off the 
mephitic environment in which you live. Remember 
Disraeli, who stole the Whigs' clothes while bathing 
and made the Tory party pass franchise reforms 
greater than his opponents. Remember Gladstone, 
yyho engendered the animosity and hatred of your 
party ty championing Home Rule for Ireland, which 
your party finally participated in effecting. Remember 
Campbell-Bannerman's greatest feat, when he swam 
the ocean of imperial reaction and carried self-govern- 
ment safely to South Africa. On the bead-roll of fame 
four lordship may stand alongside theke giants in the 
;ght for freedom by revising the crazy Constitution of 
[ndia on Indianised and democratic lines. 

Parliament's Condemnations 

Extract from report of special House of Commons 
Committee, 1847, on commercial relations with China : 

" The demoralising influences of the opium trade 
are incontestable and inseparable from its existence." 

Resolutions in the House of Commons. 

April loth, 1891. Carried by a majority of 30. 

" That this House is of opinion that the system by 
which the Indian opium revenue is Raised is morally 
indefensible, and would urge upon the Indian 
Government that it should cease to grant licences for 
the cultivation of the poppy and the sale of opium 
in British India, except to -supply the legitimate 
demand for medicinal purposes, and $aj- they 
should at the same time take measures to arrest 


the transit of Malwa opium through British terri- 

May sothi 1906. Carried unanimously. 1 

" That this House reaffirms its conviction that 
the Indo-Chinese opium traffic is morally indefensible, 
and requests His Majesty's Government to take such* 
steps as may be necessary for bringing it to a Speedy 

May 6th, 1908. Carried unanimously. 

" That this House, having regard to its resolution 
unanimously Adopted on 30th May, 1906, that the 
Indo-Chinese opium trade is morally indefensible? 
welcomes the action of His Majesty's Government 
in their arrangement for the suppression of the 
consumption of the drug in that empire, and this 
House also urges His Majesty's Government to tak^ 
steps to bring to a speedy close the system * of 
licensing opium dens now prevailing in some of our 
Crown colonies, more particularly Hong Kong, the 
Straits Settlements and Ceylon." 

In defiance of the repeated condemnation of Parlia- 
ment and in defiance of Indian public opinion, the 
traffic in opium still flourishes in India, albeit to a 
somewhat slighter degree, under the auspices and 
approval of the <jovernment of India. 

While the Governments of America, Japan, Australia, 
New Zealand, Canada an$ South Africa, etc., have 
enacted prohibitive legislation of the most stringent 
character in order to suppress this evil, and while the 
League of Nations endeavours to solve this world 

1 The writer seconded the 1906 resolution. 


problem, the Government of India, along with the 
Governments of Persia, Turkey, Russian Turkestan, 
Macedonia, Afghanistan and China, cultivates the 
poppy and manufactures the drug on a scale far beyond 
the medicinal requirements of the warld. 

How far the Government of India flouts world 
^opinion, as well as British and Indian opinion, may be 
measuied by the "means of demoralisation," to use 
Lord Palmerston's phrase, which it supplies to the 
world on the one hand and to the people of India on 
the other. The total number of chests l of opium 
exported from India in 1923 was 8,544 : to Singapore, 
2,100 ; to Hong Kong, 240 ; to Colombo, 30 ; to 
Satavia, 900 ; to Bangkok, 1,600 ; to Saigon, 2,975 ; 
to other places, 699 ; a notable decrease on 1913, when 
15,760 chests were exported. In India the consumption 
of opium in 1923-24 was 7,406 maunds, as against 
^2,530 maunds in 1910-11, a decline from 27 grains 
per head per annum to about 18. 

The net revenue to the Indian national exchequer 
from the sale of opium fell from an average of 4,000,000 
sterling to 2,000,000 in 1919-20 and 2,24,00,00 rupees 
in 1925-26. 

The mentality of the Government of India with 
regard to this traffic, which the House of Commons 
condemned as " morally indefensible," may be gauged 
by the fact that these declines in the export and 
internal consumption of opium seemed to it to justify 
its policy of " diminution " instead of " prohibition." 

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly in March, 1925, 
the Finance Member, Sir Basil Blackett, illuminated 
this mentality non-moral or immoral, let the reader 
judge in the following words : " The Government do " 

1 A chest contains 140 Ib. of opium. 


not wish to secure revenue out of the degradation of 
otlftr countries, but they do not see that they are 
going to help forward any useful work if they them- 
selves suddenly or even over a period of years, without 
co-operation fro$i elsewhere, deprive India of her 
revenue and the cultivators of their employment by 
refusing to send exports of opium to countries whos^ 
Governments continue to license their import, in 
pursuance of the policy of gradual reduction, since 
the only result, so far as the Government of India can 
see, of such action on their part would be to mulct the 
Indian taxpayer in a considerable sum of money and 
have no effect whatsoever on the amount of opium 
imported to and consumed in these places. 

" It may be said that the Government of India them- 
selves say that opium smoking is an evil ; they ought, 
therefore, to prohibit the export of opium to any 
country where it is likely to be smoked, even though 
that country may get opium in equal quantities from 

" If that is the policy which it is desired the Govern- 
ment of India should adopt, it is one which, I think, 
ought to be carefully weighed and very carefully 
considered by this House and by the country generally 
before it is adopted. It is not, as far as I can see, 
likely to be a useful contribution to the world problem." 

On the financial point the writer had an interview 
with Sir E. N. JSaker, the Finance Secretary of the 
Indian Viceregal Council, in 1907, who used the same 
language which he had useji to the Chinese statesman 
Tong Shao-yi, that " the Indian Government could well 
dispense with the revenue they got from opium," and 
in speaking on the Budget he said : " Whto it is 
rememLered how uncertain the opium revenue is, and 


how liable to violent fluctuations from causes oyer 
which we have no control, the dwindling away 01 its 
relative importance in our fiscal system must be 
regarded as a matter for lively satisfaction.," 

The cultivator will not weep whe he is compelled 
by law to replace poppies by cereals or cotton. 
, On the great moral issue Archbishop Temple 
answers Sir Basil Blackett when he says : 

" As a Christian man I feel, and I have no doubt that 
a good many others feel, that we are bound to protest 
against the application of such principles to the national 
conduct, because the question has been treated very 
much on this footing : that, if a change* in our practice 
c&nnot be proved to be certain of producing the results 
of diminishing the evil habit of opium smoking in 
China (and elsewhere), we are therefore quite at 
liberty to go on encouraging the evil habit, and that 
ttie moral responsibility is taken from us because, even 
if we discontinue what we have been doing, the result 
would be just the same. 

" I cannot understand why any Christian man can 
say that he is at liberty to take any part whatever in 
doing a great evil on the ground that if he does not do 
it, it will, nevertheless, be done by other people. 
(Applause.) Our Lord has remarked in one place and 
what He says ought certainly to be constantly present 
to our minds that it is quite true that offences must 
come ; that is, there will be temptations, and there 
will be stumbling blocks, and they are sure to come ; 
but He forestalled this argument immediately by 
saying, ' Woe to that man by whom the offence 
cometh.' It will not do for you to say, ' If I do not 
tempt these people, the people, nevertheless, will 
be tempted/ If you argue in that way you are to 


understand, 'Woe to those who in this way bring 
temptation into the way of their fellow-creatures, and 
plead simply that they are doing what would be done 
by others/. 1 ' 

The Times leading article of December 3rd, 1842, 
stated : " We think it of the highest moment that the 
Government of Great Britain should wash its hands 
once and for all, not only of all diplomatic, bift of all 
moral and practical, responsibility for this (the opium) 
traffic ; that we should cease to be mixed up with it, 
to foster it, or to make it a source of Indian revenue. 

"... We owe some moral compensation to China 
for pillaging hr towns and slaughtering her citizens 
in a quarrel which never could have arisen if we hd 
not been guilty of this national crime." 

We have almost washed our hands of this national 
crime so far as China is concerned, for, with the excep- 
tion of Hong Kong, we no longer export opium t* 
China, but should we not also wash our hands of a 
crime against Ceylon, Singapore, Batavia, Bangkok, 
Saigon and India ? 

In India there are 17,000 licensed shops where opium 
can be purchased as easily as tobacco, and, unfortu- 
nately, the ravages of this powerful drug on the health 
and morals of its adult victims have descended upon 
the children through the employment of women on a 
larger scale in the factories. Miss Spaull, who has 
made careful investigations on this social evil, writes : 
" According to medical statistics, 98 per cent, of the 
mothers in the cotton factories regularly dope their 
babies (with opium) before going out to work." 

To remove this stain on British rule in India, " we 
should.cease to be mixed up with this traffic irf opium, 
to foster it* or to make it a source of Indian revenue " ; 



and, if need be, Great Britain should compensate India 
for the wrong done in the past by financial assistance 
for several years to come. 

Since the above was written a Memorandum of the 
League of Nations, dated November nth, 1926, 
indicates that a happy change has come over the policy 
pf the Government of India, which decided on March 
i6th, 1926, to reduce its export of opium by 10 per 
cent, annually till it was extinguished, except for 
strictly medical purposes. The reduction begins in 
1927. The sale of opium at public auction was dis- 
continued in April, 1926. A conference of excise 
officers met at Simla in September, 1926, to consider 
tmys of reducing the sale of opium in India for eating. 

The Memorandum states that " this action of the 
Government of India has been prompted in part by 
League criticism, in part by the anti-opium movement 
$mong Swarajists, in part by the dubious effect of 
Government opium shops, whose dealers strive too 
hard to enlarge their clientele." 

While welcoming this volteface on the part of the 
Government of India, the writer asks, in the words of 
The Times , Why take ten years to wash out a national 
crime, and why not let the Swarajists do the good 
work ? 


Betting has become so ingrained as a national vice 
in Great Britain that British people, even those who 
call themselves Christians,, only smile superiorly when 
Indians complain that British rule is a great corrupting 
influence in India, fostering the evils of betting as well 
as of ateoholism and narcotism. 

Horse-racing and betting are importations from the 


t, which have grown apace in India under the 
patronage of Viceroys, Governors, Prelates and Indian 
Princes. " The betting evil has spread'from the idle 
rich to the commercial communities, the middle classes, 
the labourers working in factories and the schoolboys. 
Over and above thousands of people regularly going 
to the races week after week, there are thousand^ 
more to whom temptation to gamble comes? in the 
shape of bucket-shops, openly plying their trade in the 
heart of the city." 

How many thousands a year are ruined by this 
fashionable vice, at which the British governors 
connive, God ofily knows ! Under British rule there is 
little or no hope for the moral and material progressT>f 
India, while under Indian rule these pests of betting, 
alcoholism and opium -eating and opium - smoking 
would be destroyed. 

If Gandhi were Viceroy, India would give England 
lessons in moral and material progress, and in nation - 



AFTER almost a century and a half of British rule 
India is still without a national system of education, 
is still without a national system of training colleges 
for teachers, is still without a national system of schools 
for children, is still without free agd compulsory 
education. In 1870 England by Act of Parliament 
recognised that education formed the foundation stone 
of national life and national greatness, that education 
was the birthright of every child, poor or rich, and that 
the first duty of the State was to provide a school place 
for every child, male or female. Scotland, of course, with 
its higher ideals and greater appreciation of knowledge, 
had a national system of education long before England, 
and yet England and Scotland in their governance of 
India have failed all these precious years to provide the 
facilities for the most elementary knowledge, for lack 
of which the silent masses of India perish. 

How great has been the failure may be measured in 
the amount of illiteracy amongst the people 91-8 per 
cent, were illiterate in 1921, comprising 86- 1 per cent, 
of the male population and 97-9 per cent, of the 
female and in the fact that education is the first need 
of agricultural and industrial development, of economic 
and political emancipation, and of the drawing out ..of 
the noblest and the best in the life of the individual 
and the nation. How egregiously we have faileil may 




be gathered from the conclusion of Sir Michael Sadler's 
Cdhimission in 1919, which Sir Valentine Chirol sums 
up as follows : " Efficiency was the watchword of the 
administrative era ushered in by the transfer of India 
to the Crown after the Mutiny. . . . But the one 
thing that era utterly failed to produce was any 
coherent educational system, even in respect of higher 
education, on which the energies of Government weifc 
almost wholly concentrated. 1 ' 

In spite of Sir Charles Wood's famous despatch of 
1854, in which he urged the Government to create a 
system of education leading up from the elementary 
schools to the^Indian universities, " the Sadler Com- 
mission still looked in vain three-quarters of a century 
later " for any system ; and in spite of the recom- 
mendations of Lord Ripon's Commission in 1882 to 
establish primary education, the Government of India 
continued to neglect the foundation of education the 
primary school and to concentrate on the secondafy 
schools and the universities. It looks as if fea* to 
educate the masses, its future masters, dictated this 
policy of the Government of India, as it dictated the 
same policy of the Tory party towards education of 
the masses in England prior to 1870. 

From neglect of popular education the Government 
descended to opposition to Indian private efforts to 
establish Indian schools and colleges. Lord Curzon, 
the most reactionary Governor-General of India of 
modern times and " a great autocrat with an over- 
whelming faith in the efficiency of Government 
machinery," in the words of Sir Valentine Chirol, 
became alarmed at this sign of independence on the 
part of Indians in providing their own educational 
facilities free from Government control, and he passed 


the Indian Universities Act of 1904, by which (i) 80 per 
cent, of the members of the Senate were to be Govern- 
ment nominees, and the Governor of the Province in 
which the University was situated was t to be the 
ex-officio Chancellor of the University, ; (2) the regula- 
tions regarding public schools were tightened up, 
minimum fees insisted upon, and free studentships 

" Indian opinion, which Lord Curzon made no 
serious attempt to consult, protested against such a 
comprehensive scheme of officialisation, and in Calcutta 
especially, where the large majority of the Senate 
consisted of Indians, the Act was attacked as a political 
blow deliberately aimed at its independence. The 
Viceroy was accused of wishing to strangle Western 
education, because the new generation of Indians it 
had produced possessed the courage and ability to 
criticise and oppose him. The heated controversy over 
tTie Act was the forerunner of the fierce outburst which 
the*partition of Bengal was about to provoke, and Lord 
Curzon left India before there was time to carry out 
the more beneficial features of a reforms scheme which 
in any case failed to strike at the roots of the evil/' 
are the observations of Sir Valentine Chirol upon this 

The Indian National Congress at its annual 
meetings passed resolutions demanding the introduc- 
tion of free and compulsory education, and in 1911 
Mr. Gokhale, the able leader of the Moderate party, 
failed to carry a Bill for free and compulsory primary 
education through the Imperial Legislative Council, the 
Government rejecting it on the grounds that " the 
time ha^not yet come for such a measure," " funds are 
not available to meet the necessary expenses,' 1 and 


masses are opposed to compulsion," lame excuses 
which only exposed the Government to the charge that 
they were " fraudulent trustees " of the children, for 
the Indian $tate O f Baroda had given its boys and girls 
free and compulsory education for nearly twenty years, 
and likewise the Indian States of Mysore and Travan- 
core. t 

In 1916 Mr. "V. J. Patel, the present President of the 
Legislative Assembly, endeavoured to give power to 
the local authorities to introduce free and compulsory 
education, but the official majority in the Bombay 
Provincial Council voted out his Bill, because it would 
be in violation af the policy of the Government of India. 

Since 1921 education has been a " transferred" 
subject in the hands of Ministers responsible to the 
Provincial Legislatures, but the efforts towards free 
and compulsory elementary education have been 
damped down by the paralysing parsimony of Briti^Ji 
Ministers of " Finance " a " reserved " subject over 
whom the Legislatures have no control. 

Regarding higher education, the report of the Sadler 
Commission points out the mistakes made by British 
rulers, and Sir Valentine Chirol, who has written a book 
on India which is largely an apology for British rule, 
cannot refrain from making the following criticisms : , 

" Education was conceived almost exclusively in 
terms of a literary education. . . . Young Indians 
needed even rribre than British youths the wholesome 
intellectual discipline of a science course. . . . Instruc- 
tion assumed a more and. more mechanical character. 
. . . The teachers were discouraged and the students 
led astray by a system which tended to make examina- 
tions jthe be-all and the end-all of education. *. . . The 
heart was taken out of the Indian members of the 


Educational Service by its reorganisation on a basis of 
almost flagrant racial discrimination 1 to their detri- 
ment. . . . Indians found themselves relegated to an 
inferior pen. ... A bureaucratic atmosphere is 
generally deadening, and never njpre than where 
education is concerned. , . . The university standards 
of instruction had to be gradually lowered. . ; . 
*Thougb Indian boys were pushed, often at too early a 
stage, to acquire some knowledge of English, as the 
university courses were in English, they seldom learnt 
enough to be able to follow them with any under- 
standing ; and as they had not been taught their own 
vernacular, they were left without a#y language in 
which they could learn to think. They were thrown 
back on learning by heart. . . . They were expected 
to assimilate through the medium of a foreign language 
a whole order of new ideas equally foreign to that in 
which they had been brought up in their own homes. 
This is one of the inherent difficulties of Western 
ediitation in India, even when conducted on the most 
approved lines. . . . For occupations involving manual 
labour their education had rarely done anything to 
train them. . . . They could not bear the prospect of 
returning to the drudgery of their humble homes. . . . 
They formed an intellectual proletariat ripe for any 
mischief, and the crashing of their hopes em- 
bittered them towards an alien system that had 
caught them in its toils and then cast them out 
on to the streets, and towards the alien raj which they 
held responsible for it. . /. It was also inevitable that 
when the best young Indian minds were fed upon the 
masterpieces of English literature, and when le 
history G< English social and political evolution taught 
1 The italics are mine. 


thejn to seek the secret of England's greatness in her 
ancient love and achievement of freedom, they should 
have begun to apply all these lessons to the condition 
of their owq country, ... to apply them to criticism 
of an alien systegi of government and to gratify the 
aspirations to freedom which their receptive minds have 
absorbed from Burke and Shelley and Byron and Mill, 
and all the Western apostles of democracy, by preaching 
the liberation of the Indian nation, as their vivid imagina- 
tion conceives it, from an alien and therefore oppressive 
yoke. . . . Can a new type be born of men alone 
without the co-operation of women ? That co-opera- 
tion Western education has barely ever enlisted. . . . 
Even in Western countries the State has been slow 4o 
recognise the importance of including girls as well as 
boys in any educational system that is to build up a 
nation. It was still more tardily recognised in India. 
. . . The provision of adequate training colleges for an 
Indian teaching staff had been gravely neglected. . . . 
A very serious impediment to the teaching of girfe is 
the dearth of women teachers. . . . The greatest 
source of weakness was the lack of any solid substance 
of elementary education." 

In view of the above catalogue of criticisms, the 
reader may reasonably ask whether the introduction 
of English as the medium of learning and of Western 
education into the colleges and universities of India 
was not the faorst blunder ever committed under 
British rule. British Imperialists, who are unfaithful 
to British ideals of freedgm* and who want to keep 
India in bondage, will unhesitatingly answer " Yes," 
because in their opinion English and English ideals 
have J>een a unifying influence in India, hdping to 
make India a united nation. 


Sir Valentine Chirol, who is more faithful to Brjf ish 
ideas of freedom and justice, and who recognises India's 
title to self-determination, answers : "Western educa- 
tion cannot be called a failure when it has produced an 
intellectual ilite capable of playing such a part as it 
does to-day in modern India. It has shown that Indian 
grains, when given a fair chance, are no whit inferior 
to European brains. Indians have succeeded in 
wrestling with and overcoming the tremendous initial 
difficulty of learning everything through a foreign 

But important as these points of view may be, they 
sink into comparative insignificance beside those of 
Afohatma Gandhi, who speaks for India and her silent 
masses. " In my opinion/' Gandhi writes, " the 
existing system of education is defective, apart from 
its association with an utterly unjust Government, in 
tjiree most important matters : (i) It is based upon 
foreign culture to the almost entire exclusion of 
indigenous culture. (2) It ignores the culture of the 
heart and the hand, and confines itself simply to the 
head. (3) Real education is impossible through a 
foreign medium. ... A boy is never taught to have 
any pride in his surroundings. The higher he goes the 
farther he is removed from his home, so that at the 
end of his education he becomes estranged from his 
surroundings. . . . His own civilisation is presented 
to him as imbecile, barbarous, superstitious and useless 
for all practical purposes. ... If the mass of educated 
youths are not entirely denationalised, it is because the 
ancient culture is too deeply embedded in them. . . . 
If I had my way I would certainly destroy the majority 
of the present text-books, and cause to be written 
text-books which have a bearing on and correspondence 


with the home life, so that a boy as he learns may react 
upoft his immediate surroundings. ... In India, 
where more than 80 per cent, of the population is 
agricultural and 10 per cent, industrial, it is a crime 
to make education merely literary, and to unfit boys 
and girls for manual work. . . . Our children must be 
tapght the dignity of labour. . . . Manual training 
will serve a double purpose in a poor country like ourst 
it will pay for the education of our children and teach 
them an occupation. . . . The foreign medium has 
caused brain fag, put an undue strain on the nerves of 
our children, made them crammers and imitators, 
unfitted them for original work and thought, and 
disabled them for filtrating their learning to i^ie 
family or the masses. The foreign medium has made 
our children practically foreigners in their own land. 
It is the greatest tragedy of the existing system. It 
has prevented the growth of our vernaculars. If I had 
the powers of a despot, I would to-day stop tife 
tuition of our boys and girls through a foreign medium. 
... I regard English as the language of international 
commerce and diplomacy, and therefore consider its 
knowledge on the part of some of us as essential. As 
it contains some of the richest treasures of thought and 
literature, I would encourage its careful study among 
those who have linguistic talents, and expect them to 
translate these treasures for the nation in its vernacu- 
lars. Nothing *can be further from my thought than 
that we should become exclusive or erect barriers, but 
I contend that an appreciation of other cultures can 
fitly follow, never precede, an appreciation and assimila- 
ti$n of our own. It is my firm opinion that no culture 
has treasures so rich as ours has." 

Sufting*the action to the word, Gandhi established 


a university and college at Ahmedabad to carry put 
his ideals, as we related in another chapter. 

There are fifteen universities in India, namely, 
Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Punjab, Allahabad, Benares 
(Hindu) ; Mysore, Patna, Osmania (Hyderabad), Dacca, 
Aligarh (Muslim) ; Lucknow, Delhi, Nagpur and 
Rangoon (Burma). 

' The iphreemati Thackeray Indian Women's Univer- 
sity was started in 1915 under private auspices, and the 
Lady Hardinge Medical College for Women at Delhi 
is training many Indian women for medical service. 

The popular cry in India to-day is for elementary 
education, and, so far as the Government of India is 
cqpcerned, it is like one crying in the wilderness. 



INDIA may be divided into two parts : Britisfi India, 
for which we are entirely responsible, and Indian 
States, for which we are indirectly responsible. 
Numbering nearly 700, Indian States cover more than 
one-third of the^whole area of India and nearly a quarter 
of the total population. 

They present three different types : 

1. Fully powered States, with complete rights of 

making laws and of civil and criminal juris- 

2. States whose civil and criminal jurisdiction arid 

power of making laws are under the contrcfl of 
the Government of India through its agent. 

3. Congeries of States like Kathiawar (which com- 

prises 143 States), Bundelkund and Simla Hills, 
which have only inferior jurisdiction, and are 
without treaty rights enjoyed by the two 
previous classes. 

About 100 States fall under the first two categories, 
their princes being entitled to " Their Highness " and 
a salute of at least eleven guns, whilst the princes of the 
rest of the States are without these privileges. 

In external matters Indian States have no standing, 
India forming from an international point of^ view a 
complete iftiity, although they had representatives on 



the war councils during the war and at the Peace 
Conference at Paris, and also on the League of Nations, 
but the Government of India has consistently declared 
that the prince whom they select represents the Govern- 
ment of India and riot the princes. British India is 
also represented on the League, but the representative 
is a Government nominee, and not elected, as he ought 
'to be, by the Legislative Assembly. 

In regard to internal affairs, the major States, like 
Hyderabad, Gwalior, Mysore, Travancore, Baroda, etc., 
govern themselves, whilst the minor States are practi- 
cally governed by the agents of the Government of 
India. When questions like railways^ customs, posts 
and telegraphs, which affect all India, arise, the interests 
of India naturally take precedence. 

The policy of the Government of India in regard to 
the minor Indian States is more often inexplicable than 
not. In some cases it interferes too much and in others 
fc>o little. There are examples of ruling chiefs being 
horoured by Government who have a bad record 
morally and administratively, and who have put heavy 
burdens on their people by contracting debts for the 
gratification of their personal caprices. It looks as if 
the loyalty of individual rulers to the Government of 
India, and not the people's welfare and the public good, 
determined the attitude of the paramount power to 
the Indian States. 

Politically the Indian States exhibit various stages 
of evolution, the vast majority being old Oriental 
autocracies, in which the rulers treat the State revenue 
as their private purse, while a few, such as Mysore, 
Travancore, Baroda, etc., have followed in the wake 
of British India and created Legislative Councils, 
which are more or less of the same character aS those 


tfrttfsh Jfarliamfen^; 



conferred on British India by 
tha is to say .that their powers < 
Eventually the final decision 
ruling chiefs, as in the case 
British India, in a few ad\ 
has been established. 

In the education of the 
Indian States of Travancore, BarodSS 
beaten the rulers of British India, 
recently have provided free and compulsory education. 
Among the Indian States which the writer visited 
Mysore may be taken as one of the best governed and 
most progressive in the whole of India. The head of 
the State is the Maharajah, in whom all powei* is 
ultimately concentrated. His Highness appoints his 
own Prime Minister, the Dewan, and the members of 
his own Executive Council, three or four in number. 
As in British India, the Constitution is bicameral, 
consisting of the Legislative Council, with fifty membef s, 
twenty of whom are officials, and the Representative 
Assembly, with 250 members, elected on what in 
England would be considered a narrow franchise. 
Women have recently been admitted as voters. The 
powers of these councils are chiefly consultative, and 
there is a strong agitation in the State to convert them 
into real parliamentary institutions based on the will 
of the people, as expressed by a popular franchise. 
The Dewan is*ex-officio President of both the Repre- 
sentative Assembly and the Legislative Council. 
There is a civil list. The.p&sition and powers of the 
British Resident, who represents the Government of 
India, are difficult to define. By some he would be 
regarded as an ambassador, and by others asithe deus 
ex machina. 


Educationally Mysore is far ahead of British India. 
Its university combines both teaching and residential 
departments, with well-equipped and well-staffed 
engineering and medical colleges, a training college for 
teachers, and the Maharani's college for women. The 
wonderful Indian Institute of Science for research work 
^t Bangalore, founded by the munificence of the Tata 
family, 4 deserves special mention. The main feature, 
however, is that primary education is compulsory and 
free, and the children are provided with schools and 
'instruction, including agricultural, commercial, engi- 
neering and other technical subjects. 

State Socialism in Mysore has advanced beyond the 
pieneer stage in the successful manufacture of sandal- 
wood oil, charcoal, pig-iron, and in the development of 
electric energy from waterfalls. 

A great grievance of the Mysore State against the 
Government of India is the compulsory contribution 
of 35 lakhs a year towards the upkeep of the British 
Arnfiy in India, in addition to the annual cost of the 
Mysore Army, amounting to 21 lakhs. Both British 
India and the Indian States groan under the financial 
burden of British militarism. 

The political ferment produced by the Great War 
" to make the world safe for democracy " has not only 
pervaded British India, but also the Indian (native) 
States. Theoretically the day of the Divine right of 
princes and of conquerors to treat their subjects as 
chattels and slaves is gone, even in the most backward 
parts of India, hitherto kccustomed to paternal and 
tyrannical government. 

The people in the Indian States as well as in British 
India have awakened to the rights of men to rule 
themselves, and the Die-hards of autocracy aSid bureau- 


cracy who oppose democratic institutions and the will 
of ttie people- are only inviting trouble for themselves 
and India. 

With regard to this rapidly growing demand for self- 
government in the major States, the Government of 
India is between the devil and the deep sea, for parlia- 
mentary government in Indian States would be p. 
sharp reflection upon unparliamentary government in 
British India, and would restrict and abolish British 
authority in Indian States. 

The Chamber of Princes, over which the Viceroy 
presides, holds its sessions with closed doors, and its 
proceedings a*e not published, so that the natural 
inference is that it serves no useful purpose beyond 
being a sort of glorified trade union for the protection 
of princes. Indian opinion regards this Chamber as? 
a counterpoise to the reformed councils, as a sop 
to Indian princes on the doctrine of " Divide and 

When the British Government was busy Constitution* 
mongering, one wonders why it forgot to create at the 
same time a Chamber of Deputies for the Indian States 
as a set-off to the Chamber of Princes. Of course such 
action might have been interpreted in high quarters 
as gross interference with the sacred principles of 
self-government so far as princes are concerned, but 
what about the sacred principles of self-government 
applied to the people in the Indian States ? Are they 
not entitled to consideration ? A plebiscite would 
reveal their wishes, whether "they desire to continue to 
crawl under and sometimes to be crushed under 
autocratic government or to walk erect under parlia- 
mentary government. At the same time a plebiscite 
might be taken in British India as to whether the people 


are satisfied with the 1919 Constitution or whether 
they want complete parliamentary government. ' 

Not only were the Indian States entirely neglected 
by Parliament when it drew up the ramshackle Con- 
stitution of 1919, but the All Jndia Legislative 
Assembly was precluded, and has been precluded under 
Jhe rules of debate, from discussing vital questions 
affectir^j the common interests of Indian States and 
British India, even the States that are managed by 
British administrators appointed by the British 
Government on behalf of the minor chiefs. The 
Montford Report recognised the need of instituting an 
organisation wherein the representatives of British 
India and those of the Indian States would sit together 
and deliberate, but the Coalition Government was too 
cowardly to contemplate a Federated India. 

The failure of British statesmanship in 1919 has done 
incalculable harm to India, and seriously impeded her 
evolution towards federation. To keep up the division 
of India into two parts is inimical to every interest of 
India and to world progress. Federation must come 
and will come, despite the selfish barrage of Indian 
princes and British bureaucrats ; federation, in fact, 
already exists in an inchoate form in matters of defence, 
foreign policy, etc. 

A Federated India demands immediate revision of 
the Constitution on a democratic basis. Meanwhile 
the Government of India might prepare the ground 
by inaugurating a consistent policy regarding the 
Indian States in the directions (i) of insisting upon a 
minijnum of constitutional government, (2) of 
limiting the civil list, and (3) of establishing certain 
fundamental popular rights, such as freedom from 
arbitrary arrest, non-interference with jddicial pro- 



cegdings, and freedom from confiscation of property, 

In the interests of princes, it ought to be made clear 
that their future would be more assured if they were 
in the position of " constitutional monarchs," carrying 
.put the will of the people through parliamentary 
gqvernment, instead of being autocrats. 

The Right Hon. Srinivasa Sastri answers tlje que- 
tion, What about the treaties between the British and 
the princes ? " The Indian States had better be warned 
in time : our rajahs and maharajahs will find that the 
British crown, having done full justice to its own 
Indian subjects (when responsible government is 
granted), will rather sympathise with the struggling 
subjects of the States than feel compelled by the terms 
of out-of-date treaties to raise their strong arms io> 
support of mediaeval despotisms." 



THE two main excuses of British Imperialists for 
refusing Indians the inalienable right to rule them- 
selves and for Great Britain to continue politically to 
strangle India are, that under the benign and beneficent 
influence of Home Rule India would be^torn to pieces 
by .internal or external strife or both. 

The real reason for refusing Swaraj is never 

^gientioned now in public places like the Houses of 

Parliament, although the writer well remembers the 

truth being blurted out in the House of Commons 

several years ago that " we hold India for Lancashire." 

Lord Birkenhead repudiated in part that honest 
confession when he said in the House of Lords in July, 
1925 : " We no longer talk of holding the gorgeous East 
in fee." But his illustrious predecessor, the late Lord 
Salisbury, did not mince matters when he used the 
words " India must be bled." 

The Marquis of Salisbury contradicts Lord Birken- 
head, who tries to make the world believe that finance 
does not rule the world, that finance does not rule 
England, that finance does not rule India. 

In India this reason is ^recognised, and when Lord 
Birkenhead claims trusteeship Indians reply, " Yes, 
England is the trustee for British capitalism." This 
vital truth settled, we may now consider the imperial 



JLord Birkenhead, equipped with the latest bombs 
made in the India Office, excelled himself when he told 
the assembled lords that " if we withdrew from India 
to-morrow the immediate consequences would be a 
struggle & outrance between the Moslems and the 
JHindu population." So panic-stricken were their 
lordships by this brutum fulmen that one can readily 
conceive them holding a private conclave afterwards 
without reporters, when the following imaginary 
debate took place : 

" You don't really mean it ? " queried their lordships 
of the Chief Secretary. " You were just roaring like a 
lion or an ignij fatuus to frighten the British people, in 
order to prevent them keeping the solemn oath of 
Parliament that Indians shall govern India, but please 
don't frighten us too, for our nerves are none too 
strong, since we fought in the Great War and made the 
world safe for democracy." 

" Be careful," stammered a noble lord. " You, and 
Montagu, and Chelmsford, and Lloyd George, anjl our 
dear departed Bonar Law should have thought of that 
before you promised Indians responsible government." 

" It would scarcely be playing the game to make a 
molehill into a mountain," whispered another earl, 
with bated breath. He had served his country as 
Governor of the Punjab, and knew a thing or two more 
than the Secretary of State, whom he warned in the 
following language : " Beware ! You are treading on 
dangerous ground, for Indians will remind us that 
Hindus and Moslems don't half knock each other about 
like Dyer and Q'Dwyer Knocked Hindus and Moslems 
about. One Jallianwalla Bagh will wipe out ^11 the 
casualties of fifty years' riots between Moslems and 


" For God's sake, Birkenhead," cried an irate Irist 
nobleman, " put a bridle on your tongue, and remen?b'er 
that Catholics and Protestants in Ireland used to 
cudgel and fire each other under British rule, and, now 
that British rule has gone, live and work together in 
peace, thinking only of their countfy's good. You 
cannot honestly use this argument of Hindu-Moslem* 
fracas against Home Rule for India any more than tlie 
Catholic-Protestant antagonism against Home Rule 
for Ireland." 

A pious pillar of the Church then prayed silence for 
a moment while he drew his lordship's attention to the 
facts that Christians of different denominations used 
to burn each other at the stake, hypocritically giving 
c GocJ the glory, and that in the recent war Christians 
jipt only killed each other in what is called legitimate 
warfare, but killed each other's women and children 
in illegitimate and still more devilish warfare. In 
th^e circumstances were Christians justified in criticis- 
ing ^Kndus and Moslems, who occasionally hit each 
other with sticks and stones, and had we any right to 
withhold self-government from them ? Let him that 
is without sin cast the first stone. 

" As for the assertion," added another lord, " that 
' in these dissensions we have kept our hands unsullied 
by partnership/ my noble Mend seems to have for- 
gotten the speech of Sir Bampfylde Fuller, when 
Governor of Bengal, that he had two wives, Hindu and 
Moslem, and that the Moslem was his favourite. Did 
not Lord Curzon, as Viceroy, flout Hindu opinion by 
the Partition of Bengal in the hope of winning favour 
with Moslems ? And, worst of all, did not the intro- 
duction of ' communal electorates ' by the Government 
of England aggravate and intensify Hindu-Moslem 


rivalry ? Indians have no doubt in their minds that 
British policy has always been c Divide and rule/ the 
historic policy of conquerors throughout the ages." 

When tlie writer drew Mahatma Gandhi's attention 
J;o Lord Birkenhead's outburst, and its effect on British 
pyblic opinion, he asked me to assure my countrymen 
that when Britain withdraws from India Hindus anfl 
Moslems will not kill each other to the same extent 
that Englishmen have killed Hindus and Moslems, 
that Indians will not indulge in civil war, that India 
will not have a War of the Roses, and that Hindus and 
Moslems will qpmpose their differences amicably. 

Mr. Jinnah, the distinguished leader of the Moh^rn- 
medans in the Legislative Assembly, informed the 
writer that the historical answer to Lord Birkenhead^g, 
contention was Canada, where the differences between 
English and French were on a much bigger and more 
serious scale than those between Hindus and Moslems 
in India. Whereas the differences between HinduSpand 
Moslems were chiefly confined to religion, which many of 
them had changed and interchanged, those between 
English and French extended to religion, race and 

Hindus object to "cow-killing," and Moslems to 
" music in the vicinity of mosques," especially during 
religious service, and he would be a bold bad man who 
would compare these apples of discord with the bitter 
racial rivalry and hatred between English and French, 
which had been intensified on a hundred fields of battle, 
and in a long-drawn-out*" struggle d outrance" for 
empire. To appreciate these antagonisms and rivalries, 
their scope and permeation, in the private ai^d public 
life of Canada, their dividing, disintegrating and 


disastrous influence on the peace, progress and prps- 
perity of Canada, one should re-read Lord Durham's 
vivid and enlightening report. 

Canada's ills were cured by the granting of full 
representative and responsible government*", when all 
the icy differences of race, religion and language melteij 
away before the sun of a common freedom and, a 
cJbmmon patriotism. t 

Are tfie religious differences of Hindus and Moslems 
comparable to the rivalry and hatred between Boers 
and Britons, which led to a two and a half years' 
" struggle d outrance " ? 

When a greater man than Lord Birjcenhead, when 
anpther Durham, or Campbell-Bannerman, or Keir 
Hardie, confers self-government on India, Hindus and 
Moslems will unite in a common patriotism to work 
out the salvation of their motherland. 

Whilst recognising the gravity of the quarrels which 
arose occasionally and spasmodically between Hindus 
andrMoslems, we must avoid the mistake of magnifying 
them onto a national scale, provocative of civil war ; 
and, above all, we must rule them out as illegitimate 
excuses for postponing Swaraj on the precedent of 
Lord Durham, who urged self-government as the 
remedy for the quarrels between British and French 

Let there be no mistake or misunderstanding with 
regard to the hearty and unanimous agreement 
between Hindus and Moslems in their love for India 
and India's freedom from British rule under a purely 
Indian Government. Time and tide have brought 
them ""together : for centuries they have worked to- 
gether iji uninterrupted harmony in Indian States, 
and in harmony interrupted by a few " makes " 


breaks " in British India. Education, which 
the British have neglected, and responsibility in 
government, *which the British have denied, will 
weld them into a perfect family, as those cementing 
'actors did* in Ireland, and Canada, and South Africa, 
fhe cobwebs of religious fanaticism are always blown 
a^yay by the healthy and purifying winds of freedom, 
and enlightenment, and patriotism. 

The second excuse of British Imperialism for^treating 
British pledges to India as " scraps of paper " is that, 
if the British lion walked out of India to-day some 
other imperial monster would walk in to-morrow. 
The Caliban Jhat would do this dirty work is not 
specified. It is left to the imagination to guess, whether 
he might come from Afghanistan, or China, or Japan, or 
Russia, or Italy. 

Signor Mussolini is credited with vaster designs than 
Caesar or Cecil Rhodes, or the deposed Kaiser, but 
before he got to India he would want to t^ce 
Abyssinia, and Egypt, and the Suez Canal, and ^den, 
so that he may be dismissed with a Portia's smile. 

The Indian casket is neither open to Mussolini 
nor to any other imperial competitor, for Indian 
Nationalists have not asked for Independence. They 
only ask for self-government " within the Empire," 
or, more correctly speaking, <a within the British 
Commonwealth," with the same status as Australia 
and Canada. o that the imperial monster who dared 
to contemplate an invasion of India would have to 
reckon with the might of the British Commonwealth, 
which means that no sang Power would entertain the 
idea for two minutes. But, for the sake of argflment, 
suppose the British Commonwealth of natigns sepa- 
rated into its constituent parts, or the people of Great 



Britain became so wise as to discard militarism aj*d 
declined to defend India, long before that time arrived 
India would have organised her own defence forces, 
and would be capable of preserving her own freedom. 

Lord Sinha, whom John Morley appointee! to be the 
first Indian member of the Governor-General's Execu* 
tive Council in 1908, and whom Lord Birkenhead hfis 
recently appointed a member of the Judicial Committee 
of the Privy Council, in his address as President of the 
Indian National Congress in 1915 said : 

" There should be a frank and full statement of the 
policy of the Government as regards the future of 
India, so that hope might come where,, despair holds 
swqy, and faith where doubt spreads its darkening 
e shadow, and that steps should be taken towards self- 
government by the gradual development of popular 
control over all departments of government, and by 
removal of disabilities and restrictions under which 
w# labour, both in our own country and in other parts 
of tbe British Empire. . . . We ask for the right to 
enlist in the regular Army. . . . We ask that the 
commissioned ranks of the Indian Army should be 
thrown open to all classes . . . and that a military 
college or colleges should be established in India. . . . 
We ask that all classes should be allowed to join as 
volunteers ; . . . that the invidious distinctions under 
the Arms Act should be removed. ... It is not 
correct to assert of any section of the "Indian people 
that it is wanting in such physical courage and 
manly virtues as to render it incapable of bearing 
arms. But even if it were so, is it not the obvious duty 
of England so to train Indians as to remove this in- 
capacity , r especially if it be the case that it is English 
rule that has brought them to such a pass ? ' England 


lias ruled this country for over a hundred and fifty 
yeafs now, ,jand surely it cannot be a matter of 
pride to her at the end of this period that the with- 
drawal of her rule would mean chaos and anarchy, 
and would leavq the country an easy prey to any 
foreign adventurers. There are some of our critics 
who never fail to remind us that if the English 
were to leave the country to-day, we woyld have 
to wire to them to come back before they got to 
Aden. Some even enjoy the grim joke that were the 
English to withdraw now, there would be neither a 
rupee nor a virgin left in some parts of the country. I 
can think of i> more scathing indictment of the results 
of British rule. A superman might gloat overthe 
spectacle of the conquest of might over justice and 
righteousness, but I am much mistaken if the British 
nation would consider it as other than discreditable to 
itself that after nearly two centuries of British rule 
India had been brought to-day to the same emasculated 
condition as that of the Britons in the beginning <pf the 
fifth century, when the Roman legions left the English 
shores in order to defend their own country against the 
Huns, Goths, and other barbarian hordes." 

Indian Nationalists have never proposed that the 
British Army in India should march out of India the 
day after she enjoys Home Rule. Rightly they have 
demanded Indianisation of the Army they pay, which 
is quite a different proposition. But surely one good 
turn deserves another. As the Indian Army saved 
Great Britain in the Great War, it is up to us to leave 
the British section of that army in India until the 
AU India Legislative Assembly gives the command to 
go, which will be within a reasonable true. Our 
failure id Indianise the Army forms another and a a 


powerful reason for our guaranteeing the security *o* 
India from foreign invasion in the early days of Home 

In discussing the question of guarantee? for India 
against invasion and the hand of \^r, why do Im- 
perialists systematically snub or prostitute the League 
of Nations ? What nobler service could the League 
render fhan the protection of India from imperial 
" bounders " ? A caveat must be entered here. There 
must be no question of " mandate " to Great Britain, 
Japan, or any other Power, for the last thing that 
Indians desire is to be condemned by the League of 
Nations under the camouflage of " mandate " to an 
interminable number of years of subjection to any 
imperial vampire. Mandated Imperialism would be 
irore intolerable than naked Imperialism, unblushing 
and unabashed. 

The writer has no doubt whatever that when India 
is 'allowed to raise her own army, officered by her own 
son$ she will be capable of defending her frontiers, 
and that to talk about Pathans and Afghans rushing 
down to overwhelm and subdue her is wild and dis- 
creditable nonsense. 

As devil's advocate, Lord Birkenhead trumped up 
the further Tory and imperial excuses for keeping 
India down namely, the number of religions and 
languages in India, excuses which he should have left 
safely buried in the vaults of the India Ot&ce, especially 
after committing himself and his country in 1919 to 
Indian self-government. * In palming " nine great 
religions " and " 130 different speeches " on the con- 
centrated intelligence of the House of Lords, bis 
object wis evidently to prove to his peers that people 
indulging in so many religions and speaking so many 


*u4igues were unfit to rule themselves. When his lord- 
ship* ceases to be coached by sun-dried bureaucrats 
and consults Mr. Gandhi, he will learn from him that 
" out of a population of 315 millions only 38 millions 
living in the Madras Presidency cannot follow a 
Hindustani speaker, . . . thatthemajority of Moham- 
medans of the Madras Presidency understand Hindus- 
tani, . . . that audiences outside Madras can^more o*r 
less understand Hindustani without difficulty, . . . that 
Hindustani is a resultant of Hindu and Urdu," and 
that Hindustani is rapidly becoming the lingua franca 
of India. 

When Lorc^ Birkenhead acquires Hindustani and 
visits India he will be able to communicate his great 
thoughts on liberty, equality and fraternity it would 
be wiser to omit those on rebellion to the vast 
majority of her citizens ; and if his lordship added 
Tamil to his repertoire, the great majority of the 
people of the Madras Presidency would understaAd 
him too. o 

His lordship should revisit the United States and 
tell Americans that they are unfit to govern themselves 
because they practise all the religions under the sun and 
speak numberless tongues. 

While in India his lordship would learn from Indian 
authorities on languages that his statement of " 130 
different speeches " was most misleading, and should 
have been " different dialects," for the languages of 
India only number twelve : Bengali, Hindustani 
(Hindi), Urdu, Gujerati, Mahratti, Tamil, Telugu, 
Canarese, Malayalam, Cashmiri, Sindhi and Punjabi, 
of which the last three are dying out. 

His lordship^s contention that " to talk of Jndia as 
an entity & as absurd as to talk of Europe as an entity " 


has already been answered by the Government of India, 
erecting a new city outside Delhi, with new Houses of 
Parliament, and Chamber of Princes, and Administra- 
tive Buildings, at a gigantic cost to represent New India 
as a new entity or federation of entities. The latest 
answer, however, comes from Lord Reading, the e2fc % 
Viceroy, who said at the dinner given by the Federa- 
tion of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire 
to the members of the Imperial Conference in Novem- 
ber, 1926 : " If it had not been for Great Britain, India 
would not now be a nation, but would be divided up 
into a series of nations according to race, creed and 
caste." Why does Lord Birkenhead Iqg behind Lord 
Reading in claiming that British rule has made India 
a nation ? 

-, On the subject of religion and the morals and ethics of 
Imperialism Lord Birkenhead might sit at the feet of 
Mahatma Gandhi with advantage, and realise the 
irfimorality and the evil of British domination over 
India. It is within the region of possibility that the 
Mahatma might convert his lordship as he converted 
General Smuts. His lordship missed a great oppor- 
tunity of healing the breach between England and 
India in 1925, when the Viceroy, Lord Reading, came 
over to London to confer with him. Shall it be re- 
corded in history that, like the Bourbons, he learnt 
nothing and forgot nothing ? 



The Attitude of British Political Parties to India 
India and World Progress 

THE political situation in India is full of danger, for 
India is united, as she never was before, in her hostility 
to British rule, in her contempt for many aspecft of 
British civilisation, which appear to her to be largely 
an alloy of gross materialism and brutal militarism, 
and in her determination to win self-government. 

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Brahmins and non-Brah- 
mins, all sorts and conditions of men, and all the 
political parties are animated by one patriotic aifcf, the 
attainment of Home Rule. 

The base ingratitude of England for India's services 
in the Great War, as revealed in the reign of repression 
and terror inaugurated immediately after the Armis- 
tice, and in the great swindle of the Constitution of 
1919, shattered India's faith in British honesty and in 
Britain's intentions to fulfil the promises of " respon- 
sible government " given during the war, when England 
was in need of India's help. 

Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi and the religious con- 
cepts of the people, this spirit of discontent anc^ revolt 
has Been largely kept in check, and murder of attempts 
at murder of, British officials' have been f e\f and far 

M.I. 257 


Paradoxical though it may appear, Gandhi is tt 
greatest bulwark of British rule in India to-day* ana 
the best guarantee against a campaign of assassination 
and violence. If he ceased preaching the gospel of loving 
your enemies and of praying for thejn which despite- 
fully use you, and withdrew his veto on violence, poli/ 
tical crime in India would probably exceed political 
crime ii^ Ireland and Italy under foreign <rule, and the 
lot of English officials would become intolerable. 

India demands a Round Table Conference to revise 
the Constitution in accordance with the principles 
embodied in the resolution passed by the All India 
Legislative Assembly in September, 1925^ The modesty 
of this demand and the moderation of the principles 
enumerated in the resolution betoken a sweet reason- 
ableness on the part of the elected representatives of 
India, which is rarely found in political life, especially 
under alien domination, and which stands out in vivid 
cohtrast to the stone wall attitude of the Baldwin- 
Birfcenhead Government, a slave to dates and to tradi- 
tion. Lord Birkenhead will not entertain revision of 
the Constitution until 1929, as specified in the Act of 

When Mr. Baldwin and Lord Birkenhead talk about 
" goodwill and co-operation/' Indian patriots are no 
more deceived than British miners and British work- 
men, for they know by experience that these beautiful 
words in the mouths of Tories mean " keeping things 
as they are," keeping the ring while British capitalism 
exploits them and their country. 

His^lordship made this perfectly clear when he said 
on July Jth, 1925, " I am not able in any foreseeable 
future te discover a moment when we may safely, 
either to ourselves or India, abandon oUr trust." 


Abandon our trust " on Tory lips is equivalent to 
" abandon our privileges and powers/' Indians inter- 
pret this declaration as a definite betrayal of India, and 
as a definite abandonment of the policy of " goodwill 
and co-operation " decided upon by the House of 
Commons in 1917. 

.Actions speak louder than words. During two years 
the BaldwiivBirkenhead Government has been m 
power with a magnificent majority in the House of 
Commons and a docile House of Lords, and yet it has 
done nothing for India except (i) to compel her to pay 
her alien rulers more ; (2) to insult her with a Royal 
Commission qp Agriculture without power to inquire 
into the system of land tenure and land taxation, which 
lie at the root of agricultural depression ; (3) to reject 
the request for a Round Table Conference ; and (4) ^o 
feed " the demon of suspicion/' " to expel and exor- 
cise " which Lord Birkenhead postulated as essential to 
good relations and progress. 

The Liberal party may or may not be as dead a the 
dodo, but Indians feel that since the departure of Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman the policy of that party 
on imperial questions has been difficult to differen- 
tiate from that of the Tory party. Some portion of 
Campbell-Bannerman's mantle seemed to have fallen on 
Montagu, but his association with Liberal Imperialists 
of the calibre of Asquith, Grey and Lloyd George tore 
his mantle to pieces, and his coalition with Tories, the 
undisguised champions of Imperialism, gave the coup 
de grdce to his fine intentions of " responsible govern- 
ment " for India, and ended in the Montagu-Chelms- 
fojrd abortion. Imperialism destroyed Libdrausm in 
England and ip Europe. 

The Labour party alone is left to honour British 



pledges and to bear the torch of liberty to India. Sad 
to relate, the Labour Government of 1924, absorbed in 
the problem of a European settlement, missed the 
opportunity of an Indian settlement. What it might 
have done by recalling the Viceroy ajid replacing him 
by a strong man, strong in his faith in Labour ideals for 
the settlement of the world, a man with the wisdom and 
the courage of a Durham, a man whc* would have 
opened the prison doors to all political prisoners, who 
would have established the courts of justice above the 
executive and the police, who would have laid down 
plans for the Indianisation of the Army and Civil Ser- 
vice, and who would have held a Round Table Confer- 
ence for the revision of the Constitution according to 
Indian ideals, belongs, unfortunately, to the realm of 

No future Labour Government should enter upon 
the great adventure of government with the highest 
aiRhorities Viceroys and Governors tainted with 
Imperialism. Labour must employ its own clean and 
healthy instruments for carrying out its own clean and 
healthy policy. 

tlf the Labour Government had gone down with 
colours flying in a great effort of justice to India instead 
of on the Campbell case, it would have earned the 
respect of the people of India as well as of the people 
of England. 

What the Labour Government did do" in a moment 
of forgetfulness was to bend the knee to Baal, to accept 
the policy of Imperialism "of Lord Reading, whom no 
member of the Labour party would follow in home 
affairs, aftd to dash the hopes and expectations'. ijot 
only ofc Indian patriots, but of Internationalists 
throughout the world, who are striving fof the over- 


qf Imperialism and for the creation of the 
commonwealth of nations. 

' The Independent Labour party dissociated itself 
from the policy of the Labour Government towards 
India, opposed the Bengal Ordinance, and urged a 
Round Table Conference in the following resolution, 
v^hich was passed unanimously at the annual meeting 
in 1924 : " Jhis conference is of opinion that the tiiAe 
has arrived to seek a settlement of the probl&n of the 
government of India by calling a conference of repre- 
sentatives of the various parties in India and inviting 
them to prepare a scheme of self-government for dis- 
cussion withjthe British Government with a view to 
immediate application." 

When Lord Olivier outraged Indian opinion and* 
British Labour by sanctioning the Bengal Ordinance ; 
when he rejected overtures for a Round Table Confer- 
ence ; when he suggested another Royal Commission 
on the. Constitution, tantamount to postponement of 
India's claims ; and when the Labour party in opposi- 
tion tamely supported the Tory Bill for bleeding India 
by increasing the emoluments to the British bureau- 
cracy ; and, finally, when the Parliamentary Cqp- 
mittee of the Labour party adopted Mrs. Besant's 
Commonwealth of India Bill, an undemocratic measure 
both as to franchise and second chambers, and which 
the Indian National Congress refused to discuss, 
Indians wer^ driven, against their will, to the conclu- 
sion that the Parliamentary Labour party was bitten 
with Imperialism, and that India could not rely upon 
it for the realisation of its goal of self-government. 
The writer tried to reassure Indians, bdth*on the 
public platform and in the Indian press, that the ran k 
and file oi the Labour movement in Great Britain was * 



true to the great principle of Home Rule ; ihat th* 
resolutions passed at the annual meeting in 1925 othe 
Independent Labour party, of the Labour party, and 
of the Trades Union Congress, in favour of Home Rule 
for India, proved conclusively that their heart was in 
the right place ; and that the next Labour Government 
would redeem Britain's pledges and give India her 
hfeart's desire. 

UnlessHhe Labour party realises that Imperialism is 
Capitalism writ large in force and fraud, unless Labour 
frees itself and England from this insidious and virulent 
poison, all its fondest hopes of Socialism in our time, of 
Nationalisation in our time, of elimination of the basest 
and c most selfish and immoral attributes of private 
profiteering, are born in vain, and await the inevitable 
grave of imperialism. 

Socialism in England seems difficult, if not impos- 
sible, while we hold India, because of the exportation of 
British capital to India, as illustrated by the migration 
of thf mills of Dundee to Calcutta. 

Imperialism being the greatest enemy of the British 
people as well as of the human race, the Labour party 
mi^st slay this dragon before it can rescue the people 
of England and of the world. 

It may appear a hard saying, but until India, Egypt, 
Ceylon, Irak, Kenya, and the other slave parts of the 
British Empire, enjoy self-government on the Austra- 
lian and Canadian model, the British working classes do 
not deserve better conditions of life, do not desferve 
emancipation from economic slavery, for with poli- 
tical power in their hands, with the power to bend the 
British 'Parliament to their own will, their first duty jte 
to undo Jhe crimes committed by their Country, and 
confer political freedom on the innumerable cctapany of 


slaves isi the British Empire. Until the leaders of 
Labour grasp this moral and put it into action they are 
little better than Prometheus chained to a rock, or 
popinjays^in the hidden hand of imperial Capitalism. 

Every member of the Labour party should repeat 
*every morning Lamartine's famous words : " No man 
wer riveted a chain of slavery round his brother's 
neck but Gcd silently welded the other end round tfie 
neck of the tyrant." 

Every bishop and every minister of religion who 
prays for " peace on earth and goodwill to men " might 
appropriately repeat Lamartine's lines to his congre- 
gation until Sngland breaks the fetters she has forged 
for India, Egypt, and other parts of God's world. 

Towards a solution of the Indian problem, which al 
good men wish to bring about in the interests of Eng- 
land, of India, and of the world world progress on a 
grand scale seems impossible as long as West dominates 
East by force and interferes with her self-expression 
and natural evolution I submit the following ^prin- 
ciples : 

I. In accord with the sacred principle of self-determina- 
tion, India must draw up her own Constitution. * 

The imperial dictation of England in 1919 disre- 
garded India's right to shape her own Constitution, 
exhibited the cowardice and insincerity of British 
statesmanship, and transgressed against the vital prin- 
ciple of self-dfetermination for which the Great War was 

In the revision of the constitution there should be no 
repetition of that overbearing interference.^ India 
shoifld revise or reframe her Constitution, aAd British 
Imperialists would be wise tb put their insufferable 
pride in tfteir pockets, remembering also that a nation 


which embodies a hereditary chamber in its Constiti** 
tion is scarcely competent to advise, much less to 
dictate, a Constitution. 

If the British Labour party sought to protect the 
masses of India by pressing for manhood or adult 
suffrage and no second chambers, I believe it would 
push at an open door, for the intelligentsia of India 
has learnt from the mistakes of Western Constitution- 
builders. Second chambers only make complete demo- 
cratic government impossible, and bring parliamentary 
government into contempt. 

With regard to the objection of the " illiteracy " of 
the masses, illiteracy is no legal barrier; to exercising 
thevote in England and in other Western countries, 
*and illiterates in India to-day vote under the present 
CQnstitution. Illiterates in India know how to vote, 
and, next to schools, the vote is the best means to break 
down illiteracy and to educate the people in self- 
goVernment. * 

He There is no half-way house to self -government. 
The framers of the 1919 Constitution ignominiously 
failed because they attempted the stupid trick of dual 
control (dyarchy). Divided control between English- 
men and Indians cannot work. Indians must be 
masters in their own house. 

It may be necessary to make India a party question 
in British politics as Ireland was under Gladstone, and 
South Africa under Campbell-Bannermah, unless per- 
adventure the Tory bear with a ring through its 'nose 
allows the Labour lamb to'l^ad it. The Labour party 
has espoused the cause of Home Rule for India and, if 
any of ife leaders, by conviction or cowardicet' are 
opposed*to this policy, duty demands that they should 
stand to one side and let others with greatfer faith in 


?iie healyig, emancipating and uplifting powers of self- 
government lead the party and the nation on the high- 
road to freedom. 

III. Morally it does not lie in the province of England 
as conqueror and exploiter to determine the day and the 
season of India's emancipation from foreign rule, nor to 
determine whether India is fit for self-government or not. 
These vital fights belong to India, and her judgment 
should be accepted as final by England, if England has 
any respect for justice and liberty. After more than four 
years of sanguinary conflict Germany was conquered, 
but her sovereign rights, with certain limited infractions, 
have been r^pected by the Allies, and now, within 
eight years of the Armistice, she has been restored as 
an equal amongst equals in the council of the nations. J 

After nearly a hundred and fifty years of devitalising 
and degenerating conquest andexploitation and overrule 
India must be put in her rightful place, an equal amongst 
equals, und her sovereign rights acknowledged and accepted, 
otherwise England stands condemned as a natipn of 
hypocrites, and the greatest offender against freedom 
on the face of the earth. 

If only England would approach India in the spirit 
of Locarno, the Indian problem would be solved without 
any more bitterness and bloodshed. 

India and World Progress 

The conclusion of the whole matter is that British 
domination over India fpftns the greatest barrier to 
freedom and progress in the world (i) by emasculating 
apd*suppressing the self-expression of one-frfth of the 
human race, #nd (2) by making the freedom x>f Egypt 
and of ttte Euphrates valley, not to mention that of 


Malta, Cyprus, Ceylon, etc., wait upon the freedom ol 
India. Indian freedom is the keystone to African and 
Asiatic freedom. 

The British Empire is an audacious combination of 
freedom and slavery, and unless British statesmen free 
the slave nations under their control, one fears another 
great war to smash British Imperialism and to make th# 
wbrld safe for democracy. 

" O wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as others see us ! 

It wad frae monie a blunder free us, 
And foolish notion/' 

It is recorded in the New Testament, \yfrich English- 
men^profess to accept as the guide to individual and 
'national conduct, that the devil took Christ up into a 
high mountain and showed Him the glittering prizes of 
dominion and empire, which the evil one promised 
should be his, if only Christ would fall down and worship 
him, when Christ rebuked the tempter and said, " Get 
thee Behind Me, Satan." 

Far otherwise was it with Great Britain when she 
was submitted by the devil to the same temptation and 
f elj, and lost her own soul, unmindful of the crown that 
virtue gives, unmindful of her evil example, which has 
led other nations into the bloody scramble for empire 
and profits, unmindful of the greatest prizes in life : 
self-control, self-sacrifice and human service towards 
the supreme goal of peace and goodwill, of liberty, 
equality and fraternity. 

I love my country ; I lave India ; and my love for 

both constrains me to appeal to my countrymen to do 

unto Indiems as th,ey would that Indians should do 

unto them if conditions were reversed, if Indians were 

,,the conquerors and Englishmen the conquered. 


AGRICULTURE, 85, 89, 90, IO2, 

"5. 133, 13-fc J 36, 137, 138, 
139, 142, 144, 146, 150, 151, 

155. !56, 161, 198 
Ali Brothers, 25, 36, 37, 38 
Armritsar, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23 

BENGAL, 55, 56, 57, 69, 70, 72, 
81, 93, 102, iy, 121, 207, 221, 

Bengal Ordinances, 56, 81, 261 

Birkenhead, Lord, 40, 64, 72, 74, 
77, 80, 82, 83, 119, 167, 169, 
r 94 195. 197. 199, 200, 201, 
203, 204, 208, 213, 216, 220, 
246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 
254, 256, 258, 259 

Bombay*3, JI *9 2 7 37. 3**, 39, 
42, 43, 69, 70, 71, 94, 96, 97* 

134, 141, 151, l6l, 221, 238 

Burma, 69, 70, 221 

CALCUTTA, 25, 37, 41, 56, 86, 113, 

134, 161, 238 
Central Provinces, 55, 69, 70, 71, 


Chelmsford, Lord, 6, 18, 33, 39, 
64, 247 

Coal, 100, 101, 124, 126 
Co-operation, 147, 148 
Cotton, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, no, 

I2fl, 137, 170 
Curzon, Lord, 64, 85, 86, 92, 130, 

192, ^198, 199, 231, 232, 248 

DAS, . R., 5, 17, 40, 41, 55, 56, 


Delhi, 7, 10, 19, 20, 38, 45, 55, 69, 
76, 79, 10$, 16^, 1 68, 199, 200, 
202, 204, 07, 238, 256 

Dyer, ~~ 
16, 18, i 

EAST India Company, in, 113, 
127, 128 

Education, 30, 71, 115, 116, 146, 
179, 192, 230, 231, 232, 233, 
234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 241, 
250 1 

FAMINE, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 135, 

GANDHI, i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 
10, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 
26, 27, 28, 29, 31. 32, 33^3, 
37> 38, 39, 4. 4L 42, 45. 48, 
52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 153, 229, 
236, 249, 255, 256, 257, 258 

Gandhi, Remain Rolland on, i, 
4, 8, 9, 16, 26, 32, 33, 35, 36, 
39, 45, 46 i 

Governor-General, 57, 58, 59, 60, 
62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 7L 
72, 73, 75. 7 6 > 79, 219, 231 

HINDUS, 20, 25, 30, 32, 33, 37, 
140, 247, 248, 249, 250, 257 

IMPERIAL Legislative Council, 7, 

8, 19, 232 
Indian Civil Service, 64, 68, 71, 

74, 75, 76, 116, 160, 2ii 
Indian Legislative Assembly, 55, 

57, 6l>, 61, 65, 6ty, 67, 68, 69, 
^72, 76, 77, 78, 80, i, 82, 117, 

164, 165, 166, 173, 182, 213, 

219, 233, 240, 244, 252, 253 : 



Indian National Congress, 2, 5, O'DWYER, Sir Michael, u, 

21, 25, 33, 34, 38, 41, 54, 56, 18, 19, 23, 247 

232 Olivier, Lord, 6q, 261 

Irrigation, 70, 90, 91, 108, 124, 

JUTE, 97, 114, 124, 137 

KHALIFAT, 19, 20, 23. 24, 36, 38, 

39 i 

Kitchlew, Dr., n, 18, 38 

LABOUR Party, British, 35, 102, 
126, 173, 174, 259, 260, 261, 
262, 263, 264 

Lahore, 16, 34, 134, 207, 213 

MADRAS, 69, 71, 72, 80, 85, 92, 
^04, 141, 142, 143, 161, 221, 
238. 255 

Montagu, Mr., 6, 23, 64, 75, 159, 
247, 259 

Mcuatagu-Chelmsford Reforms, 
20, 78, 185 

Mussulmans, Indian* 19, 20, 23, 
24, 30, 3i, 32, 33. 36, 3S, 40, 
50, 247, 248, 249, 250, 255, 


NEHRU, Motilal, 5, 40, 56, 57, 68 
Non-Co-operation, ^5, 20, 21, 22, 

24, 26, 33, 34, 35, 38, 41, 43, 

48, 49, 52, 56 

1 PUNJAB, 10, n, i^. 1$, 17, 18, 

19, 23, 24, 28, 34; 35, 49, 50, 

' 69, 70, 71, 80, 90, 106, 141, 

143, 145, 147, 156, 210, 22*, 

238, 247 

RAILWAYS, 66, $9, 91, 124, 129, 

Reading, Lord, 36, 56, 64, 76, 

256, 260 
Rowlatt, Acts, 7, 43, 49 

SIKHS, 33, 34, 35, 67, 257 
South Africa, I, 2, 5, 22, 25, 32, 

46, 49, 54> 6 9, 117, 131, 180, 

181, 183, 184, 186, 187, 188, 

223, 250 
Strachey, Sir John, 109, no, 

in, 115, 118, 120, 121, 138, 

Swaraj, 2, 25, 32, 33, 34, 37, 46, 

4 8 > 55, 56, 68, 75, C io6, 109, 

115, 132, 175, 228, 246, 250 

UNITED Provinces, 34, 69, 70, 71, 
148, 221 

VICEROY, 6, 7, 18, 20, 21, 22, 33, 
36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 56, 57. 65, 
76, 77, 79, 166, 192, 195, 198, 
199, 202, 204, 229, 232, 243, 
256, 260