Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

PREFACE

George III of England lost the Colonies of the New World; George V stands a good chance of losing the Dependency of India. In place of the Tory Lord North we have today the "Socialist" MacDonald. The Burkes and Pitts of a former day have been harried out of the predominantly Conservative Parliament of the present time.

One of the perplexing problems of history once again presents itself before the inquiring student of national psychologies. England is undoubtedly the Mother of Parliaments. She has the proud tradition of having compelled a king to sign the Magna Charta at the point of the bayonet; of having exiled one and beheaded another king of the House of Stuart in order to vindicate the sovereignty of the people as against the so-called divine right of kings. And yet she had to be coerced into letting the American Colonies determine their destiny in their own fashion. And as if the lesson of history were wasted, England had to be coerced again and again before she would let Canada or South Africa or Ireland determine their destinies consistently with the sovereign will of their peoples instead of in obedience to the imposed will of the British Crown. The British people certainly must have a very short historical memory, otherwise India would not have been forced today to wage non-violent war against the Crown.

The story of India's non-violent war against the British Crown is a moving drama. In the background of this drama is India's unsuccessful violent War of Liberation of 1857-58. The first act of the drama is laid in the year 1885 when the Indian National Congress was organized

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