Lahore, Wednesday, May 4, 1921

HAKIM AJMAL KHAN’S ADDRESS.

The Presidential address which Hakim Ajmal Khan delivered at the Punjab Provincial Conference at Rawalpindi was impressive. It is a noteworthy fact that during the last few years a remarkable change has come over the speeches of our public men. Self-reliance and self-help are their distinguishing characteristics. The note of mendicancy is conspicuous by its absence both from the speeches of our public men and from the resolutions passed at popular gatherings. The appeal is always for justice. This healthy change is a clear indication of the fact that the soul of India has become self-conscious and that it is becoming increasingly clear to Indians that political freedom is to be attained by their own exertions and not by depending on the generosity of their rulers. And whatever may be the opinion of the practicability or the desirability of the non-co-operation movement, the fact has to be admitted that the change noted above has been accelerated as a result of, of not actually caused by, this movement. Hakim Ajmal Khan, like an eminent physician that he is, begins by a diagnosis of the widespread unrest that one witnesses to-day. He refers to the Punjab tragedy and the Khilafat question as being the basic causes that are at the bottom of the present agitation. In speaking of the Punjab question, the President said that while they were asked to forget the martial law events, nothing had been done in the way of punishing the guilty officials. Lord Reading, who had been speaking of justice ever since his appointment to the Viceroyalty, had also disappointed them by repeating the set formula of forgive and forget during his Punjab visit. The speaker voiced the sentiments of not only those who were present at the Conference but also of all patriotic Indians when he said that the redress of the Punjab wrong was a condition precedent to all talk of forgiveness.

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