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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”