Lahore, Sunday, May 23, 1920

Mr. Pal and Non-Co-operation

Referring to the criticism which the policy of non-co-operation as outlined by him in connection with the working of the Reform Act has evoked in the country, Mr. Pal says in the Democrat that he is “a bit too inconveniently logical for politicians,” meaning thereby that the policy of non-co-operation is the only logical policy for those who supported the Amritsar resolution to follow. Mr. Pal may be a bit too inconveniently logical for politicians, but the public memory also is a bit too inconveniently long for himself. Mr. Pal now says that he is “absolutely incapable of imagining any kind of co-operation” between the Government and the nationalists. What did he say in his Congress speech? Did he not say (we are quoting from the Associated Press summary of his speech) that “they would co-operate with the Government when it meant advancement of the country, and obstruct if the country’s interests demanded obstruction?” What else have his critics been saying? And what this the same thing as saying that obstruction pure and simple should be the governing principle of nationalist politics, which, if we understand Mr. Pal right, is his present position? Again Mr. Pal takes Mr. Chakravarty severely to task for laying down the following harmless proposition, which we thought was the common ground of all nationalist politicians;-- “if the bureaucracy behave well, we will cooperate with them whole-heartedly. If they will not, we will obstruct.” Mr. Pal’s comment upon this is that good behaviour on the part of the bureaucracy from the nationalist point of view can only mean the surrender of all power and authority “in at least the transferred departments, if not also in the reserved departments as well,” and this is “an impossible and unreasonable thing to ask of the bureaucracy.” 

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