Lahore, Thursday, September 20,1923


IF the Special Congress at Delhi did an eminently statesmanlike act in permitting the Swarajists to enter the Councils, it took an obviously false step in passing the resolution on Civil Disobedience. Dr Kitchlew, who moved the resolution both in the Subjects Committee and the open Congress, said that the resolution was a part of the compromise on the Council-Entry question. It probably was, for among those who supported it were Mr Das and Pandit Nehru. But the fact remains that the impracticability of a campaign such as is contemplated in this resolution was the very basis of the Council-Entry proposal as it was originally put forward. ‘Battle on all fronts’ is a capital idea. It had been the idea of Tilak. It had, we believe, always been Mr Das’s own idea, though he had surrendered his judgment to Mahatmaji at Nagpur. It had also been the idea of a good many lesser men. But with the Swaraj party as a whole, it was more or less an after-thought. It was, at any rate, not on this ground either primarily or principally that the pro-entry section of the Civil Disobedience Enquiry Committee had put forward its main proposal. In their own words, “mass or individual Civil Disobedience on a sufficiently large scale to force the issue being out of the question for the present, we must have something else as nearly approaching Civil Disobedience as possible,” and they strove hard to show that this something was Council-Entry. It was for the leaders of the Swaraj party, especially Pandit Motilal Nehru, who was a signatory to the pro-Council part of the Civil Disobedience report, to show how the present situation was different from that in which that report had been written.


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