Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XIX
MINORITIES--THE CARCASS OF A NATION

This is Mahatma Gandhi's fifth speech at the Round Table Conference, the second before the Minorities Committee, delivered on November 13, 1931.

In this speech Gandhi scores the tactics of the British government which called the Round Table into session ostensibly for the purpose of framing a Swaraj Constitution for India but which was really doing its best to flounder in the morass of communalism. The Congress, he affirms, would be no party to a scheme which made of the Indian nation a carcass. He himself is interested in the growth of "the hardy tree of freedom and responsible government."

In the most gentle but telling manner the Mahatma scouts the Premier's endorsement of the proposals drawn up by all the minorities excepting the Sikhs as well as the Premier's claim that the said proposals for the sharing of power with the British bureaucracy "may be taken as being acceptable to well over 115 million people."

Concerning the claim for a separate communal electorate and constituency for the Europeans (i.e., Britishers), it is interesting to note that within ten days after the second session of the Minorities Committee there appeared in the London Times two significant letters repudiating such a vicious claim. Speaking on behalf of the young Europeans, Mr. J. R. G. Bolton, who was assistant editor of the Times of India, Bombay, in 1930, repudiated the claim for a separate communal electorate saying that the European delegates at the Round Table "have misrepre

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