‘A colossal hoax’ : The Tribune India

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Lahore, Wednesday, July 9, 1924

‘A colossal hoax’



BY no manner of means can one explain, far less justify, the observation made by Lord Lytton in the course of a recent speech that the movement at Tarakeswar (Bengal) is a colossal hoax. We learn from the Bengal papers that no less than 800 persons are already in custody in connection with this affair. In what sense is the voluntary suffering of so large a number of persons a hoax? To whom is it a hoax? To the men themselves, to the public or to the Government? His Excellency probably meant the last, for he said that it was a hoax for the purpose of bringing discredit on the Government. But do men readily and cheerfully go to prison in order to hoax the Government of the day or anyone else? Is prison life in India so comfortable a thing as to make such a theory even plausible? What makes His Excellency think that the Satyagrahis in this case belong to that abnormal species of humanity who would cut off their nose to spite their face? The plain fact is that the affair at Tarakeswar is no more a hoax than is the Satyagraha at Vaikom

(Kerala), than was the Satyagraha at the Guru-ka-Bagh (Punjab) itself, of which no one has ever said, no one could ever say, that it was a hoax. There are important differences among the three movements, but they have this in common that the agitation in each of the three cases has its basis in the existence of a substantial wrong which the Satyagrahis imagine cannot be remedied by any other means except their own voluntary suffering.


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