An Absurd Report On ‘Plunder’ : The Tribune India

Lahore, Friday, February 20, 1920

An Absurd Report On ‘Plunder’



THE following is from a leaderette in the Pioneer:-- “There was recently published a report of an application for police protection by a zemindar in Behar who declared that a number of tenants after returning from the Congress at Amritsar had been disseminating wild ideas and proclaiming that anything which did not uphold the absolute rights of men must be seriously challenged. It was further stated that the tenants had amicably decided that the Malik should be set at naught and, if need by, his cutcherry should be plundered.” Most of us who read the report at the time did not take any notice of it, for the simple reason that no man in his senses could believe that the abnormal specimens of humanity, if such there were, who believed in plunder as the best and most suitable method of realising the ideal of the absolute rights of men could have derived their inspiration, however remotely, from anything that happened at the Amritsar Congress. The “absolute rights of men” were not one of the things that were even distantly within the purview of the Congress, and the only connection the Congress had with “plunder” was that “plunder” is a term of lawlessness, and the Congress condemned all manifestation of lawlessness, by whomsoever perpetrated, with equal strength and emphasis. It was reserved for the Pioneer to dignify the story not only by noting it editorially, but by proceeding to draw from it the moral that “the Government should take steps to enlighten the rural population as to the true nature of the Reforms Act.” One would have thought that so obvious a proposition could have been emphasised without the help of a report so palpably exaggerated in itself and so ridiculously absurd in its implication.

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