(Note: The following paragraphs were directly suggested
by the strange and arbitrary conduct of the U.P. Government
regarding the Abhuudaya journal owned by Pandit Malaviya.
But, later the good news has been received that Sir
James Meston has seen the wisdom of rectifying an injustice
and has withdrawn his ill –advised order on the Pandit.
It was a nice act, and we are all thankful to Sir James.
But what of the other journals, the Hamdard and the
Utkal Star etc.? Is there going to be a distinction
of treatment? If so, based on what? Will any Englishmen
in India answer me that question? – C.S.B.)
Englishmen in this country are not popularly supposed
to offer much encouragement to advocates of Indian freedom,
venturing to give wholesome and useful advice to the
Government. And yet it is such advice that should be
prized most by the Government. All right-minded English
people will agree with me that only those Indians who
live and strive for Indian autonomy are the true sons
of the Motherland – not those others who deify titles
and higher salaries. And the thoughts that true patriots
are thinking today will materialize into national facts
tomorrow. Those who desire to cultivate friendly relations
with India must learn to respect and, if possible, immediately
satisfy the legitimate and reasoned demands of Indians
seers and creators.
And the first thing that modern India demands of England
to-day is that none may interfere with free speech in
India. Free speech is the truest ally of every sensible
government. When you stifle men’s voices, you embitter
and harden their hearts. And this world is based on
the mind: “Thoughts are things.”
An old Indian writer says that the wise king should
care more for the respect of a hundred thoughtful men
than the blind allegiance of a million fools. And the
first condition for any sort of State to be respected
it to permit free speech in all things and to all parties.
Of course Englishmen know these things quite as well
as we do. But, all the same, we sometimes feel constrained
to restate them, “lest they forget.”