Lahore, Friday, November 25, 1921

THE CRY FOR REPRESSION

THE extremist Anglo-Indian Press is passing through one of its periodical fits of hysteria. Everyone who is of age to remember it will testify that the section of the Press to which we refer has again and again been seized with this fit during the last thirty years. The climax has been reached during the past two years and a half and even more particularly since the starting of the non-co-operation movement. Non-co-operation has, indeed, been to ‘our friends literally what the red rag is to the bull, and in every case in which a new step has been taken in pursuance of this movement, they have been thrown into a new fit. It was so when the Congress concentrated its attention upon the boycott of Councils. It was so when after the Councils were formed, the Congress concentrated its attention upon the boycott of schools and colleges. It was so, when after the practical failure of that experiment it turned its energies, first, to the promotion of Swadeshi. It is so at the present moment when the Congress has, through the mouth of its supreme executive, declared itself in favour of civil disobedience. In all these cases, the plea has invariably been the same: the movement is bound to lead to violence. In all these cases, any outbreak of violence in any part of the country, no matter to what cause or causes it may have been due, has served as a plausible pretext. To persons in this mood, the recent happenings at Bombay have been a God-send. Those happenings are connected with a phase of the non-co-operation movement. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, it is possible to isolate Malabar; it is also possible to isolate Malegaon; it is not possible to isolate Bombay. Just because Bombay cannot be isolated, it has given an opportunity to those who have from the first been advocating the suppression of the movement of force, and, as was only to be expected, they have grasped at it. 

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