Mr. Tilak and the British Government
[C. Subramania Bharati]

Mr. Tlilak’s letter to the Maharatta, reprinted in your issue of the 1st instant is bound to have created an infinite variety of emotions in the minds of his foes and his friends, his detractors and admirers in the country.

All the same, there is nothing new, nothing unexpected, nothing surprising in his words to us members of the Constitutional Nationalist Party, of which he is the accredited leader. We have always been saying the something whenever there was any necessity to explain our attitude to the British Government in India.

The reason why we are not incessantly proclaiming it from housetops has been, to put it frankly, our unwillingness to please those whose one aim seemed to be to misrepresent us. And, again, incessant explanations would hardly have left us any leisure for constructive propaganda. And God knows toot that our revilers were too many and too noisy for us to attempt any explanations at all.

In the face of the present European crisis, however, the Nationalist Party – every member of it – felt that our position should be made once for all clear to England and her enemies, her pro-consuls and her agents, her critics and her friends, her flatterers and her misleaders.

And now our leader has spoken for us all in language unmistakable and clear, unmistakable may I hope, even to those who hailed his release from six years’ imprisonment with two special police stations placed on each side of his house in Poona.

I trust that England’s chief representatives in India and her ministers at Home are not ignorant of the tremendous influence which Mr. Tilak’s name and his words wield over the hearts of his many thousands of followers in India. He has given all our thoughts, ideas and aspirations in a nutshell. We want Home Rule. We advocate no violence. We shall always adopt peaceful and legal methods to achieve our object. In peace time, we shall be uncompromising critics of England’s mistakes. But when trouble comes, we shall unhestitatingly stand by her and, if necessary, defend her against her enemies. And to those who may thoughtlessly persecute us in England’s name, we shall say- “Oh ye of little wisdom, it may be in your power to temporarily injure us in petty ways. But you can never crush us. For we are lovers of Humanity and servants of God, the children of Righteousness and the peace that endure forever.”

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