Lahore,Thursday, September 16, 1920

THE PUNJAB RESOLUTION

WE have already commented upon the decision of His Excellency the Viceroy not to allow either of Mr. Shastri’s alternative resolutions on Punjab affairs to be moved in the Council. Unfortunate as such a decision would have been at any time, it is a blunder at the present time when, in the words of the Times of India, “the country is moved as it has not been moved for nearly two generations,” when the forces making for estrangement between the bureaucracy and the articulate section of the community have very nearly reached their culminating point. To those of us who, not of course, in the interests of the bureaucracy, but in the best interests of the country, with which are also bound up the best interests of the British connection itself, have been endeavouring to the best of their ability to stem these forces, it must be a matter of infinite regret that the head of the British Government in India, instead of strengthening their hands by a policy of large-hearted statesmanship, could have chosen to take a step, the only effect of which can be to materially weaken their hands and to carry the process of estrangement a step further. We can think of one and only one set of circumstances in which this action, however regrettable in itself, would not have been without an element of plausibility. Had the resolution of Mr. Shastri been really such that they would not be discussed without further embittering the already bitter racial feeling, then, whatever our personal feeling might be, we should have readily admitted that the Viceroy’s action had something to be said for it. As a matter of fact, there was nothing of a racial character in the resolution. They were not directed against the British Government. They were not directed against the British race. They were not directed against the British community in India as such.

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