India from the Indian Viewpoint
Maoriland Worker, Rōrahi 11, Putanga 462, 21 Kohitātea 1920, Page 4
India from the Indian Viewpoint
ADDRESS BY MB. JfNABAJADASA.
A well-atlended conference of the New Zealand and India League was held recently in the Masonic Hall, Auckland. Representatives were present from over thirty centres ranging from Invereargill to Whangarei. It was resolved to affiliate with "The British and India Association," and also "The Home Rule for India League." After the election of and general busings wae completed, Miss C. W. Christie, who occupied tie chair, called upon our Indian visitor, 'Mr. C. Jiharajafiasa, M.A., to address the meeting. On rising, he congratulated New Zealand on the formation and work of the League. It had done some splendid work, and it was appreciated in India. Now, why Bhould New Zealand be ho interested in India?? Firstly, becauen India comprised four-fifths of the Empire. There had been, and still is, a great deal of unrest in India. The speaker compared India with Ireland, and said that, tbe problem of Ireland should be made an Imperial problem, and not left in the hands of Britain to decide in the matter. At 6ne time India was owiftly becoming another Ireland, but Mrs. Besant and her co-workers had prevented a. great deal of trouble there by directing political agitation along cOnstituti&nal liner-. The value of Mrs. Besanfe work was not generally known, hut timo would be the great revealer and history would chow the great importance of it. We could not, as an Empire, afford to have unrest in India. India had sent over 1,300,006 men to the war and ihad contributed more money than aay other Diminion; she had paid the cost of her own expeditionary force and had made a primary contribution of £100,000,000, and a secondary donation of £45,000,0D0 There would be nO trouble in India so long as Britain carried into practice her great ideals, but, unfortunately, a great deal of blundering had occurred, often with good intentions. Some of the severest critics of the Government of India were the Government officials. There had been an immense amount of inefficiency in the commissariat and other departments. The present British administration was not that which the British people really wanted. It was, and is, a decadent administration. Through inefficiency the results were often very far below the expectations held as an ideal. It is our responsibility to see that these great ideals should be carried out. There had been much said at the beginning of the war about "scraps of paper" with regard to Germany, and when that phrase reached India a smile went through the country, for so many Royal Proclamations had been made and shelved that they were regarded as "scraps of paper." By some subtle influence, the British character seemed to undergo a marked deterioration when "West of Suez. The Briton begins to regard tho colored man as an inferior being, and treats him as such. The speaker mentioned two instances he had witnessed of cruelties practised by white men on Indian coolies, and one instance witnessed by Mrs. Jinarajadasa of an Englishman kicking an Indian woman! That lady had given him a little piece of her mind, and mado him feel ashamed of himself. The epeaker then referred to the "Press Act" in India, and eaid that when the Bill was first introduced one of the spOnsore said in defence of it, that it bad been modelled on tho Press Act of Austria. Mrs. Bcsatit tad appealed to the Privy Council regarding the decision by the High Court against her" paper "New Iridic" She had pressed for a definition of the word "sedition," but they would not define it. The Indian censor had put an iron ring round India with his autocratic power, the situation now, however, was gradually changing , . A Reform Bill had been paseed, and will operate in a few months, but Indians wanted certain modifications of that Bill carried out. It was necessary that India should control her own Budget; at present Indians had no cay as to how the money should be spent The Government was spending too much on railways in proportion to the amount spent on sanitation, education, and the development of the country. Only ono per cent, was being spent 011 sanitation. The infant mortality was very great, amounting to 35 per cent, per annum; two and a half million children died before reaching the age of one year. The League could help by publishing conditions of Indian life. The missionaries, in tfaveiling, often distorted truths about India. India should be given a chance to work out her own salvation and every opportunity to solve her own problems. They'must raise India from the position of & dependency into that of a Pontfnjfttt. The status had been slightly raised Bince the war> But the representatives of India in tbe Government were not the representatives ot the Indian people. They must change those representatives. New Zealand's endorsement of The indenture system" in Samoa was diecussed, and it was unanimously resolved that the League publish a pamphlet disclosing tho facts regarding the working of the indenture system in FLU.
When the state is corrupt then the laws are most multiplied, said Tacitus. This was true of the old Romaa Empire and it is.true of every capitalist government to-day, including our own. To perpetuate and make sn cure the material privileges and Social advantages gained by legalised exploitation and robbery causes the ruling classes to add new laws to the' old ones. To-day we have in. the United States.oyftr 50,000, la,m-oVer, niae-tentfce of.,which 'are•'property