Lahore, Friday, July 2, 1920

Disagree with Mr. Gandhi on Council Elections.

REFERRING to the suggestions that non-co-operation on Reforms should commence after the process of election has gone through, Mr. Gandhi says in his letter, which we published yesterday:--“I cannot help saying that it is a mistake to go through the election farce and the expense of it when we do not intend to take part in the proceedings of these Legislative Councils.” We dissent from this view. Even if the idea of boycott were adhered to, there would be advantage in boycotting the Councils after the election has gone through than in boycotting them before the elections. The latter could have a meaning and a reality only if there were reasons to believe that for Congressmen to boycott the Councils would mean that no elections would take place. If this would not be so, as we venture to think it would not, the only result of the boycott before the elections would be that the seats would be captured by others than Congressmen. What would prevent the successful candidates in this case from posing, and the Government itself from posing, and the Government itself from representing them, as the truest representatives of the country, the affairs of the Government going on much as they do now? It would be far different if Congressmen, after demonstrating that they are the real representatives of the country, were to resign their seats as a protest against the attitude of the Government in this or that matter. The resignations would be followed by fresh elections, and at these election again Congressmen might get themselves elected only to resign their seats after the elections, and so the process might go on. From a tactical point of view, this would be much the better way, because in this way alone could England and the world be satisfied that it was not a handful of members but the majority of the voters as well who keenly resented the attitude of the Government.

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