Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page

Advertising

Advertising

Trades Council and Uncertificated…

. Ordered Out of Court.

RHEUMATISM- KIDNEY TROUBLE.I

I Home Rule For India I

News
Cite
Share

I Home Rule For India I THE VISiT OF MR. E. L. IVER, M.A., TO I MERTHYR. THE AWFUL POVERTY OF OUR HINDU PEOPLES. Mr. E. L. Iyer, M.A. (Madras) the Home Rule for India League native speaker who visited Merthyr and Aberdare on Sunday and spoke on the conditions of his native land before good audiences gathered under the auspicoo of the I.L.P. branches concerned, will have no grounds for oomplaint of the sympathy with which the democracy of the valleys has didorsed kis pro- gramme of autonomy for the big. Asiatic depen- dency. Our sympathy was all with him and his fellow Hindus in their struggle for what we all consider as a primary essential of all Democratic evolution. If that fact will enheflrten the League in its agitation it will have accomplished something, but what will accomplish more will he to see to it that the facts which he enumer- ated shall sink with vitriolic bite into our con- sciousness, will stimulate interest in that great coloured world wo arrogantly speak of as "ours," and that out of his meeting and our studies shall arise a consciousness of our responsibility for the injustices meted out to the native East Indian. Tl-,tat is the first requisite of reform. Whatever may be the moral value of mere sympathy, the material, tangible values of Mr. Iyers' propa- ganda will be expressed in the concern we show in this matter when the next Parliamentary elec- tion presents us with an opportunity of ascer- taining the views of would-be ALP.s on particu- lar topics. The faots which Mr. Iyer adduced from the writings of English commentators on our Indian Empire, amply illustrated how much better it will be for our own souls if we ask the smug carpet-baggers who solicit the favour of our votes and support at the hustings" Are you prepared to work for Home Rule for India in the House axd out of it?" than if we merely ask what is his attitude towards the question, of Dis- establishment and Disendowment. Of course, an easier way of seeing that our Parliamentarians do their duty in this question will be to see that only Labour and Socialist M.P.s secure our sup- port. but even there it will be our duty to see that they know about India. At all events, we have a duty, and it is up to us io fulfil it. This question is of even more pressing import than its correlative Irish problem. A lot of blame attaches, alas, already to those of us who have known some of ohe facts and have kept them in our skin..For instance, one is a little puzzled that Mr. Harry Evans should have kept silent on the subject until he told us from the chair on Sunday of the revulsion that Keir Hardie's Indian tour revelations awakened in him. Just how deeply he feels we can gauge from his remark: "We are all familiar with the way in which Belgium ruled the Congo; and the way in which Itussia governed her Jews. Neither of those two cases were, in my opinion, very much worse than the way in which we have gov- erned in India." And what we say of Harry Evans applies to all who read and agreed with Hardie's book, while equally we have been crim- inally responsible that I knowing of the shocking treatment meted out to the Hindu on the Rand in Australia,, and knowing of that cowardly Canadian "direct routs" legislation we have been content to sit still and twaddle our platitudes. At the same time we have to face the fact that despite our sympathies in the past—and we have always advooated the grant- ing of a full measure of self-government to our sister island—we have accomplished little of practical value, still, our sympathy is the best guarantee of our inteiltioit when w. have be- come conscious enough to give it direction, and it is probable that a growing sympathy well and continuously expressed may not only enhearteii those directly interested in the realisation of Home Rule for India, but will also act as a cor- rective on the heavy hand of bureaucracy which otherwise might descend with appalling force on the litttle band of enthusiastic natives and their supporters who stand in the van of the Home Rule for India. Movement. Just how real this bureaucra tio oppression and suppression may be we can guage from the recent act of the Indian administration in the case of Annie Besant and her most prominent colleagues; an action that was only tardily reversed when English Labour and progressive thought had sat up and howled. .Unfortunately Mr. her on Sunday depended more on a legal minded case, than on a presen- tatioRof his own views a-,t native. He con- victed our bureaucracy on the evidence of the words of Anglo-Indian historians and writers; rind convicted them beyond doubt so far as a Democratic audience is concerned but that audi- ence would have been equally with him on his own evidence, because, so far as Merthyr and Aberdare are concerned we admit the absolute right of any people to self-government, and wor- ship the plebiscite as a very respectable and im- portant diety indeed in our new creed of demo- cratic materialistic pantheism. Still it is pos- sible to briefly, and, perha,pe, interestingly, give the thread of his story. He began by re- minding us of the antiquity of Indian civilisa- tion, I and, incidentally, opined that she had lived through the ages that had seen the glories of Babylon and Nerevah because she has a mis- sion yet to perform in the world. At all events he succeeded in surprising us with' the know- ledge that India had her democracies at a time when the amiable caveman, and kitchen mid- den er of Europe was cudgelling hie apish wits to scrape a precarious living from the exercise tif his skill as a welder of flint-tipped weapons, and peeolithic tools: and that she had a repub- lic 600 years before Christ trod the hills of Pales- tine. He also showed us that it was a. misnomer and perversion of the facts to say that she htd been tyrannised by her ancient kjIlg, and had suffered under the suzerainty of her Moham- medan emperors. The worst act of the woret emperor had been the imposition of a capitation tax of 2d. per head per annum; and when it was remembered that this dreadful deed syn- chroniseêl with the burning of heretical catho- lics by protectants, and heretical protectants by catholics in Europe, this seemed to fade into in- | aigniftcartce. The reality of the eulture and røli- _I gion of Hindustan had only to be recalled to be admitted. But not w) the economics. It must have been a surprise to many to learn that India yields about £ 40,000,000 a year to Britain and that the selfish dividend-hunting policy of Gov- ernment instituted by- the" John" Company, in the days of its charter, still characterised Eng- lish rule despite the proclamation of Victoria the ,G-ood that My subjects of whatever race, colour or creed will be treated with equality." Mr. Iyer's point of the economic necessity to lie un- scrupulously on the part of missionaries and Anglo-Indians we all agreed to. The missioner had to misrepresent India as being a land of bad morals and nQ religious reality, or he might be asked what need he had to go there; and the Anglo-Indians' whole financial interests were wrapped up in the false story of Indian incapa- city for government and the equally incorrect representation of India as a mass of little states which without the restraining hand of Britain would be warring perpetually the one 011 the other. It was not so surprising to learn that the Capitalist—the ubiquitous animal—who sucked up enormous profits by the Ganges to use in the war with Labour by the Thames; had the bureaucratic administration well under his thumb, and secured tremendously valuable legis- lative edicts. The question of taxation gave us some startling food for thought, and it was Hardie who was quoted as saying that the amount of taxation raised direct from the peasant was 60 to 65 per cent. of the value of the yield of the land, and that in addition, local assessments probably brought this to 75 per cent, of the actual har- vest reaped. The audience gasped to learn that the average income in India was something under ld. per head per day the official staticians placing the figure at £ 2, and El 6s. 8d.—the la- ter being Lord Curzon's statement—whilst the unofficial staticians estimated it so low as 12(. 6d. per head per annum. In contrast with this Russia's average per head per annum in,.ig LI-1, and our own somewhere about C42. It was not so surprising after this to learn that the bug- bear of the periodic famines were d polite fiction for English consumption to hear that India any and every year produced enough to feed her en- tire population but that profits by exportation saw to it that the food was not distributed where it was so urgently needed to avoid wholesale death from actual starvation. To learn on top of this that the famine statistics were cooked to show a diminution of mortality from hunger was practiced, Mr. Iyer also told us 00 me surprising facts csbout tho respect for vcmw ih India; a fine tribute to Mrs. Annie Besant, who, he said, had come along when intellectual India was in despair turning to Anarchy, and had said No, you are wrong. All that is necessary is to let the Democracy in Britain know all the facts, and you will get your desires," which were all summed up in autonomy in home government, with civic and military oontrol still retained by Britain. It was because of that he had come. Well we were pleased to see him, and we unani- mously pad a resolution That this meeting heartily supports the Home Rule for India League in the work which it is carrying ON."

IPalestine For the Jews¡

Rhymney Valley Notes.