Lahore, Tuesday, September 20, 1921

THE ARRESTS

THE country generally and the non-co-operators in particular are to be congratulated on the manner in which they have received the news of the arrest of the Ali brothers, Dr. Kitchlew, Swami Sankaracharya and three other gentlemen in connection with Karachi speeches. With the merits of the prosecutions, on which the Bombay Government has entered, we are not way concerned. Not only are we precluded from expressing any opinion on cases which are to all intents and purposes sub judice but the data before us is insufficient for our forming any opinion. What does concern us is to point out that while the subject fills the public mind, the political atmosphere is free from excitement. At least four of the seven gentlemen are men of all-India reputation. Two are among the foremost leaders of the Mussalman community, and one is perhaps the most popular leader of the community in this province. It is easy to imagine how the arrests of such men would have affected the country two years ago. We know how the turning back of Mahatma Gandhi from the Punjab in April 1919 and the deportation of two gentlemen in our own Province threw large numbers of people into a fit of excitement which, helped by official provocation and bungling, for a time carried some of them literally off their feet. To-day the arrest of one of the very gentlemen, whose deportation caused a sensation two years ago, coupled with the arrests of others, has caused no visible excitement. Something of the attitude of Mahatma Gandhi seems to pervade the whole country. Of that remarkable man it is said that he and Mr. Mahomed Ali were proceeding to a public meeting when the latter was arrested and that so little was his equanimity disturbed that he coolly proceeded to the meeting, without a moment’s pause or hesitation.

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