Lahore, Friday, April 8, 1921

AN ATTACK UPON THE MODERATES

WE cannot help thinking that the attack made by Lala Lajpat Rai on the Moderates in a recent speech at Bombay was a one-sided attack, good enough for an ordinary nationalist or non-co-operator, but not for one holding the eminent position that Lala Lajpat Rai does in Indian politics, far less for the President of the Special Congress at Calcutta. Much that the speaker said we can grant; some of it we have ourselves said. It is true that while till the other day, there were three parties in the land, the bureaucracy, Moderates and the advanced wing of the Nationalist Party, to-day a portion of the second have virtually merged their existence in the first. That they would do so had been foreseen by some, at the very time when the Moderates first seceded from the Congress. The worst thing about such secession was that it would place the seceders more in a position in which some of them at any rate would be unable to resist the temptation of identifying themselves with our common opponents. To-day not only the Moderate ministers in certain provinces, but an appreciable proportion of the Moderate rank and file, have virtually made common cause with the bureaucracy as regards the latter’s campaign against the non-co-operators. Within certain limits, the thing is intelligible. Both the Moderates and the bureaucracy are opposed to non-co-operation and are convinced of the necessity of counteracting it, and it is not unnatural that there should be something in common between their respective activities in this direction. When there is propagandism, for instance, it is inevitable that the Moderates should repeat some of the things said by the bureaucracy and vice versa. But those Moderates who support, or even fail to oppose, a policy of repression go beyond all reasonable limits and lay themselves open to the severest condemnation.

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