SAPRU VS SMUTS : The Tribune India

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Lahore, Tuesday, November 20, 1923

SAPRU VS SMUTS



THE pose of the ‘injured innocent’ assumed by General Smuts in his interview with Reuters will deceive no one who is not eager to be deceived. The remarks of Dr Sapru against which he so vehemently protested were absolutely just. There is no doubt whatever that he had made certain insulting references to the Government of India. Even if he said nothing more than what he himself admits having said, his words did constitute a clear insult to the government. Why should the Government of India have been attacked by him for its action in the case of Kenya? If he, an absolute stranger both to East Africa and to the Indians residing in that Colony, was both wise and prudent in promising his support to and actually advocating the cause of the small British community in Kenya, why should it be either unwise or imprudent for the Government of India to press the claims of its own people, who in East Africa largely outnumber the British community? Was it not an insult to the Government of India to assert by implication that it was the only Government in the Empire for which it was neither wise nor prudent to do what any other Government in its position would have done to advocate the cause of the people committed to its care if the interests of ‘a small loyal British community’ were pitted against theirs? Nor can any fair-minded person deny that either General Smuts was himself imbued with deep-seated colour prejudice against the people of India or he had ignominiously failed in his duty as a leader. General Smuts said that in speaking of him as Dr Sapru had done, the latter had disregarded all international etiquette.


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