Lahore, Sunday, January 15, 1922

Three Reservations

WE have three reservations. In the first place, Swaraj in this particular form will, in all human probability, come at the end of a series of negotiations, all but the last of which will be unsuccessful or only partially successful. It could come at once, only if we could posit the possibility of the whole country speaking with one voice at an early stage in the struggle. The case of South Africa stands on a different footing, because there the settlement came at the end of a life-and-death struggle, in which the combatants had had full opportunity in a single operation of testing each other’s mettle. In any other case, attempts are sure to be made from time to time on both sides to bring about some sort of a settlement, and it is by no means improbable that once or twice such settlements will actually be arrived at, or all but arrived at. If they are of such a kind that they can automatically, and within a reasonably short time, lead India to her goal, well and good. If they are not of such a kind, the probability is that the struggle will re-commence when a fresh crucial question arises, leading eventually to a fuller or complete settlement. Another point which is sometimes overlooked is that in this struggle even the Legislatures of to-day, defective as they are in their constitution and personnel, will take an active part. That process has begun already. It will go forward as time proceeds, and we are not without hope that before long these bodies will present a united front to the bureaucracy. The Legislative Assembly has already partially moved in the matter of its reconstitution. Every Provincial Council will in the immediate future either formally or informally move in the same direction, and ask for complete provincial autonomy.

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