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Title: An Open Letter to the Right Honorable David Lloyd George - Prime Minister of Great Britain
Author: Rai, Lajpat
Language: English
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                      _OTHER BOOKS BY LAJPAT RAI_

                              YOUNG INDIA

                _An Interpretation and a History of the
                   Nationalist Movement from Within_

                            Price $1.50 net


                        ENGLAND'S DEBT TO INDIA

                  _A Historical Narrative of Britain's
                        Fiscal Policy in India_

                            Price $2.00 net


                             THE ARYA SAMAJ

                      _An Account of its Origins,
                       Doctrines and Activities_

                            Price $1.75 net


                    OBTAINABLE FROM ALL BOOKSELLERS



                             AN OPEN LETTER

                                   TO

                          THE RIGHT HONORABLE
                           DAVID LLOYD GEORGE
                    PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN


                                   BY
                               LAJPAT RAI

                             [Illustration]


                                NEW YORK
                             B. W. HUEBSCH
                                MCMXVII



                     Copyright, 1917, by Lajpat Rai
                Printed in the United States of America



                             AN OPEN LETTER
                                   TO
                          THE RIGHT HONORABLE
                           DAVID LLOYD GEORGE
                   _Prime Minister of Great Britain_



                             AN OPEN LETTER
                                   TO
                          THE RIGHT HONORABLE
                           DAVID LLOYD GEORGE
                   _Prime Minister of Great Britain_


Sir: I am an Indian who has, by the fear of your Government in India
been forced to seek refuge in the United States, at least for the period
of the war. In 1907, when Lord Minto's Government decided to put into
operation an obsolete Regulation of the East India Company (III of 1818)
against me, in order to put me out of the way, for a while, without even
the form of a trial, Lord Morley, the then Secretary of State for India,
defending his action, gave me the highest testimonial as far as my
private character was concerned. You must have heard that speech though
it would be presumptuous to imagine that you remember it.


                             MY CREDENTIALS

Even my worst enemies have not been able to point out anything in my
life which would give any one even the shadow of a reason to say that,
in my private life, I have not been as good and honorable a person as
any British politician or diplomat or proconsul, is or has been or can
be. My record as a wage-earner is as clean and as honorable as that of
the best of Britishers engaged in governing India.

Mr. H. W. Nevinson, than whom a more truthful and honorable publicist is
not known in British life, has said in his work, "The New Spirit in
India," that once when he told a high Anglo-Indian official that I was a
good man held in great esteem by my countrymen, the latter remarked,
that because I had a high character in private life, I was the more
dangerous as an agitator.

I am reciting all this as evidence of my credentials to speak on
behalf of my countrymen. Just now I am a mere exile. For the present,
I cannot think of returning to India, unless in course of time I begin
to feel that by running the risk of being hanged or imprisoned, I
should be doing a greater service to my country, than by remaining
outside. I am now in the fifty-third year of my life, out of which
more than thirty-four were spent in the limelight of public gaze. I am a
man of family with children and grandchildren and have had my share,
however small, of the good things of the world. Political freedom for
India has been a passion to me ever since I was a boy. However hard the
life of an exile or a convict may be, I am prepared to risk everything
in the cause of my country.

In the language of that prince of political exiles, Joseph Mazzini, the
word "exile," is perhaps the most cursed in the dictionary of man. It
dries up the springs of affection; it deprives its victims of the sweet
babblings and lispings of his little ones with whom every man of age
loves to beguile the evening of his days; it closes the avenues of all
comfort that are associated with that sweet word home; it shuts the
doors of heaven and makes life a continued agony, hanging on the slender
thread of such pity and hospitality as one may receive from the generous
and kind-hearted foreigner.


                   INDIA COMPARED WITH GREAT BRITAIN

How can I ask you who have perhaps never left your country except for
some pleasant trips on the Continent, to put yourself in my position, if
possible, for a moment only, and imagine how I long to kiss the soil,
with which are mixed the bones of my mother and other forbears; how I
miss the loving embrace of my beloved father, the sweet, expectant,
imploring eyes of my widowed daughter, the devoted look of my wife and
the kindly affectionate hand-shake of good and devoted friends. Nor can
you realize how an Indian loves his country. How can you, of dark,
sombre, fog ridden and misty climes, who are born of a chill atmosphere,
of treacherously changing weather, who count hours of sunshine and
months of darkness and fog and rain and snow and sleet, enter into the
feelings of one whose country is a perpetual sunshine, and where
universal light reigns--a country where weather is neither treacherous
nor continually and rapidly changing, where beautiful dawns, starry
nights, moonlit fields, resplendent waters, snow-clad hills and joyous
rivers constantly and unremittingly fill one's mind with the sublimity,
grandeur and beauty of nature; where one needs no stimulants to make him
feel lighter and happier. An Indian needs no alcohol to forget his
troubles. He has only to go to the Himalaya, or to the banks of Ganga,
Brahmputra, Sindh or their numerous tributaries by which the land is
blessed and fertilized. Oh, no! It is impossible for you to understand
how passionately an Indian loves his country. He would rather starve in
India than be a ruler of men in a foreign climate. For him, India is the
land of Gods--the _Deva Bhúmí_ of his forefathers. It is the land of
knowledge, of faith, of beatitude--the _Gnan Bhúmí_, the _Dharma Bhúmí_
and the _Punni-Bhúmí_ of the ancient Aryas. It is the land of the Vedas
and of the heroes--the _Veda Bhúmí_ and the _Vir Bhúmí_ of his
ancestors. Yes, to him, it is the land of lands, the only place where he
wishes to live, and more so, where he wishes to die. For a Hindu to die
anywhere but in India, is as if he had been damned to hell. He shudders
at the idea. To him, it is unthinkable. You may call it foolish,
unpractical, sentimental and unprogressive; but there it is--a mighty
fact of life into which no foreigner can penetrate.

Every Englishman loves his country, its darkness, its fog, its sleet and
rain nothwithstanding. Who does not love his country and who does not
say:

        Home, kindred, friends and country--these
            Are ties with which we never part;
        From clime to clime, o'er land and seas,
            We bear them in our heart;
        But, oh! 'tis hard to feel resigned,
        When they must all be left behind!

                                    --J. MONTGOMERY.

If then, an Indian decides to be an exile, voluntarily and maybe for
life, he only does so either under a grave sense of duty or of danger.
The duty lies in speaking _the truth_ about political conditions in
India and the danger in being effectively prevented from doing so if he
remains there. No Indian can speak the _whole truth_ while in India. The
criminal laws of your Government--your Penal and Criminal Codes,
Seditious Meetings and Conspiracy Acts, and Press Laws, your tribunals
presided over by your own people unaided by jurors--effectively gag his
mouth.

All honor to those who, though they cannot speak the whole truth, yet
keep the fire burning in India and do as much as considerations of
policy and expediency permit. If they do not speak the _whole truth_,
they have at least the consolation of being at home, in the heart of
their family and surrounded by their dear ones. For a political exile,
however, there is nothing else to do, unless he has to carry on a fight
for his living also, in which case he will divide his time between the
two, that of earning bread and crying for justice for his country.
Happily I have been comparatively free from much anxiety about the
first. The only justification for my condition of exile, then, is that I
continue to speak the truth about conditions in India and draw the
attention of the world to them.

But an additional reason has just been furnished to me by the morning
papers of March 15, 1917. It is said that your agents in India have
decided to raise a war loan of $500,000,000, equivalent to 1,500,000,000
Rupees of Indian money, and also, to make the floating of the loan easy,
your Government has agreed to increase the duty on cotton imports by 4%
_ad valorem_. This war loan, it is added, would be a "_free gift_" of
India to Great Britain! A free gift of $500,000,000 by starving,
poverty-stricken India, to rich, wealthy, mighty Great Britain! Could
anything be more astounding, more absurd and more tyrannical. The news
has stunned me. I know that David Lloyd George, the British war-lord of
1917, is not the same person who was the radical Chancellor of Exchequer
in the Liberal Government from 1908 to 1914, and who did magnificent
service to the British workingman by reducing his burdens and
alleviating his condition. I have been told that the said David Lloyd
George is dead and you, sir, are an entirely different person. The Lloyd
George of 1914 could not possibly have done the thing which you, sir, in
alliance with Curzons and Milners have just accomplished. The newspapers
say you are the same person; only you have changed. If so, the change is
not of opinion but of personality. Evidently the soul of the original
David Lloyd George has left the body to make room for an altogether
different soul. We Indians believe in the possibility of such a
metamorphosis taking place even in the lifetime of the same body! The
best part of the joke, however, in connection with the £100,000,000
transaction lies in the fact that you call it _a gift by India_--_a gift
indeed_. A gift like those given by Belgium to Germany. Is it not so,
Mr. George? You are a shrewd person, very well educated, clever in
diplomacy, well versed in tricks of speech and a master in statecraft;
but even you ought to know that this trick will not deceive any one--not
even the Indians who have been so often deceived by your predecessors in
business. By way of adding insult to injury, you profess to do "_an act
of justice_" to India by consenting to an increase of 4% on the duty
leviable on imports of cotton goods. You say it is necessary for the
success of the war loan of $500,000,000; but do you think that the
Indians are so devoid of knowledge of the ordinary rules of arithmetic
as not to understand what this "hitting below the belt" means to them?
Your additional duty would but bring only $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 to
the Indian exchequer, if the imports of cotton do not undergo a
decrease. Your Government in India estimates it at £1,000,000 sterling.
The interest at 5-1/2% amounts to $27,500,000. Your Government in India
estimates an annual charge of £6,000,000 sterling. Where is the balance
to come from except from the famished Indian _ryot_? Is that how you
show your love for democracy, for the people at large, for the
workingman? Your representatives in India and outside, are proclaiming
to the world that India is the most lightly taxed country in the world,
withholding the fact that the average income of an Indian is only £2 a
year, of which he pays 7 shillings toward taxes. That was before the new
taxes were imposed.

Your publicists circulate another lie, viz., that India pays no tribute,
while they know that from 20 to 40 millions sterling are remitted to
England every year, out of which only a portion represents interest on
loans made to India for the building of railways which your countrymen
have used in developing their trade, and the remainder is the profit you
make out of India. Then you cite the figures of trade in support of your
theory that India is prosperous under British rule, but you forget that
that trade benefits your country more than it benefits India, if at all.
We send you food and raw materials at cheapest prices, making ourselves
liable to "famines." You pay us in articles of luxury, of flimsy value,
at the highest prices. The balance of trade is always in your favor. We
toil and sweat, and your countrymen enjoy the profit. All the paying
industries, railways, tea, jute, half of the cotton industry, etc., are
in the hands of your countrymen. Theirs are the insurance companies,
banks, railways and ships that profit by their trade. The railway rates
discriminate against native industries and internal trade. Your
countrymen get the plum-pudding, while our people cannot have even two
meals of the coarsest food every day. When there is famine, millions
die. Of late, your "scientific" methods of famine relief have succeeded
in controlling mortality figures in famine days. The method by which you
do this is genuinely scientific. Most of the deaths are charged to
epidemics and disease; no one notices, however, that the havoc caused by
disease is due to lack of nourishment and consequent low vitality.
God-fearing Englishmen have cried themselves hoarse over the situation.
The misery of the Indian masses has been pictured by their powerful pens
in pathetic and soul-stirring words, but you and your colleagues still
continue to ignore what they have said. New methods are every day being
invented to exploit us. New departments with fat salaries for Englishmen
are being multiplied. The public debt is being piled up. While hundreds
of millions are spent on railways, nothing has been done to develop
local industries. The country is suffering from lack of capital (cash
and credit). (See Sir D. M. Hamilton's article in the _Calcutta Review_
for July, 1916.) Every honest inquirer who makes inquiries on the spot
and does not depend on the reports of your officials, finds and reports
that the condition of the masses is the most pitiable (see the article
by Mr. Manohar Lal in the _Allahabad Economic Journal_ for April, 1916,
and also the paper by Mr. Patro, of Madras, read in a meeting presided
over by the Governor of Madras). For the latest British testimony on the
point, see an article on Indian Industrial Development by Mr. Moreland,
C.S.I., C.I.E., in the _Quarterly Review_ for April, 1917, in the course
of which he remarks: "It is a matter of common knowledge that the
standard of life in India is undesirably low; that while the masses of
the people are provided with the bare necessities of life of a bare
existence [Are they?--L. R.] they are in far too many cases badly housed
and badly clothed, badly doctored and badly taught, often overworked and
often underfed; and that the present income, even if it were equitably
distributed, would not suffice to provide the population with even the
most indispensable elements of a reasonable life."

A careful study of the Reports on Prices and Wages discloses that the
real living wage in the case of the vast bulk of agricultural laborers
has considerably diminished, and this in spite of the absurd conclusion
of the Prices Commission appointed by your Government a few years ago.
No one knows better than you, Mr. David Lloyd George, that big buildings
in cities, mostly owned by foreign capitalists exploiting the country;
big trade carried on by foreign exporters and importers; railway mileage
and receipts of Government revenue do not mean prosperity. Even the
importation of treasure secured by capitalists in payment for exports
does not indicate better conditions of the masses. If the masses are so
prosperous, as your officers say, why cannot you tax the people for
purposes of education and sanitation? Why is the death rate so high
(over 30 per thousand)? Why can't you force the local bodies to spend
money on education and sanitation? Why do your finance ministers say
that there is no room for further taxes? Most of your agents in India
know the real condition of the people but they have to conceal it from
the British public as well as the world, as that enables them and their
kin to continue in the enjoyment of that power which means so much to
them.

In reply, you might well ask, why then is India loyal? Why do the people
put up with all this? Why don't they rebel? Because they have been
emasculated, and emasculated so completely, that they are absolutely
helpless against your organized brigandage. They are weak, ignorant and
incompetent. Sixty-four years ago they were not so helpless. But now
they are completely demoralized and penniless. Your system has ground
them into dust. They cannot even protect themselves from wild beasts.
You have completely disarmed them. No Indian can possess a firearm
except under a license from your magistrates, which is only rarely
granted. You have completely hypnotized them by your professions of
disinterested liberalism and altruism. The truth has, after all, dawned
on them that you are the worst harpies they ever have had and if they
could they would overthrow you without a scruple. You know that you are
safe in their helplessness. When the war came they deluded themselves
with the hope that in your hour of need you might accord them a better
treatment, but by this time they have found their mistake and have
concluded that, just as a lion may die of sheer exhaustion when attacked
by an enemy rather than willingly loosen his grip on his prey so long as
there is breath in his body, so a nation holding another in subjection
might endanger her own existence without loosening her grip on her
victim.

When the war broke out in August, 1914, I, with other Indian publicists,
thought that however badly you had treated us in the past we had nothing
to gain by German victory and the best thing, under the circumstances,
was for us to stand by you and establish our claim to better treatment.
The Princes and people of India therefore stood by you. You and your
colleagues have been singing their praises and extolling their loyalty,
but nothing has been done so far to give them even the elementary
political rights of a free people. Verily, we have had a deluge of fine
words but not an iota of deeds. On the other hand, you have imposed
fresh burdens on us. While doing an "act of justice" about the cotton
duties you have committed a wrong which wipes away the little good that
might otherwise have been expected to accrue therefrom. Your courts and
officers in India have taken away what little freedom the people enjoyed
before. In cases of alleged sedition the sentences inflicted have been
quite on a par with the doings of the Romanoffs in Russia. This time
even women have felt your steel.

You knew as well as anyone else does, how the German government has been
trying to win the good will of the Indians. It cannot be denied that the
temptation was alluring. If, then, we have withstood it, it was not
because we were in love with your Government in India, but on different
grounds. Personally, I do not believe that any liberty is worth having
which we cannot win ourselves, because liberty won by the aid of another
places us at the mercy of that other. European diplomacy is so crooked
that it is futile to place faith in the promises of any of them.

I would esteem German friendship as much as British or American or that
of the Japanese or the Chinese; I would gratefully accept any help
anybody would render in educating and fitting our young men for the
coming task, but I would not do anything that would cause useless
bloodshed in India. I am not afraid of blood. Blood will have to be shed
if we are to gain our freedom. I am not afraid of failures and defeats.
Failures and defeats are sometimes the necessary steps to victory. I do
not believe in peace at any price; nor pacificism at any cost. I do not
believe that "they also serve who only stand and wait." I am for a manly
assertion of our rights, even though blood may have to be spilled in
asserting or defending them; yet I would consider it highly improper to
encourage bloodshed where there is not a ghost of a chance of success.
That, in my eyes, is sheer lunacy and I have never made a secret of it.
So I protested against my people attempting to stir up revolt in India,
under the instigation of a foreign government. It was due to my horror
of useless bloodshed. I have no doubt that _agents provocateur_ played
an important part in instigating those whom your courts have found
guilty and sent to the gallows. I believe that the men who have been
sacrificed should have lived and worked for the movement for which they
have died. So that, in a nutshell, gives you my attitude towards foreign
help. Remember, please, sir, that I do not presume to pronounce any
judgment on those who think differently and have acted in the light of
their consciences. I simply state my opinion and my attitude.

This time the movement has failed. It was bound to fail. But the
experience which the Indians engaged in the cause have gained is not
lost. Next time, and who knows, the chance may come at no distant date,
they will profit by the experience thus gained. The world is not in love
with you, sir. There are a dozen peoples in the world who will be glad
to see your downfall and help in bringing it about. They will not
support the Indian Nationalist and the Indian Revolutionist openly, but
they will encourage him in every way they can, without bringing about
diplomatic complications. So the Indian will not be altogether
friendless when the next opportunity to strike comes. By that time the
country also will be better prepared to do something more definite and
more spectacular.

Under the circumstances, the question that I wish to put to you is:
"Would you do nothing to avert it?" It is in your power to act if you
will. The Indians are very easily satisfied. They abhor bloodshed. They
do not like revolution. They will gladly remain in the Empire, if
permitted to do so on terms of self-respect and honor. Their needs are
few. Their life is simple. They care more for spiritual values than for
worldly goods. They envy nobody's property. They have no ambition to
start on a career of exploitation. All they want is to be let to live
and think as they will. At present they are let _to exist_, but not to
live. More than 100 million are insufficiently fed. At least 60 millions
do not get two meals a day. More than 80% of the boys receive no
schooling, and more than 90% of the girls. They work and toil and sweat
primarily in the interests of the British capitalist and secondarily in
the interests of his Indian colleague. The latter only gets the leavings
of the former. The ships, the railways, the leading banking houses, the
big insurance offices, the tea plantations, one-half of the cotton
mills, about all the woollen mills, most of the paper mills, all jute
mills are owned by the former; a few by the latter. The profits of
agriculture are divided between your Government and the big landlords.
The pressure on land has reduced the size of the ryots' holdings, while
the number of mouths requiring food and the number of bodies requiring
clothing has increased.

Your Government encourages drinking, speculating and gambling in a way
never before conceived. If you have any pity in your heart, sir; if you
are a good father and a good husband, I would beseech you to devote but
an hour's time to the wages tables printed by your Government in their
Report on Prices and Wages (1915). I give a few samples below:

In the district of Patna (Behar), the monthly wage of an able-bodied
agricultural laborer in the year 1907 was only R5.62 (say R6) equal to
8s. or $2. In 1873 it was from R3 to R4. Imagine the laborer having a
family of four and then conceive how he manages to live on this wage. In
Fyzabad (Oude) the monthly wage of an able-bodied agricultural laborer
was only R4 (5s. 4d. or $1.33) in 1905, the same as it was in 1873. In
1906 it is given as ranging from R1.87 to R4 a month. From 1873 to 1906
it was never more than R4 a month.

In Cawnpore (U. P.) it was R3.75 in 1873; R3 in 1892; less than 4 in
1896; from 3.44 to R5 in 1898 and from R3.69 to 7 in 1903; at which
figure it practically stayed up to 1906, the last year for which figures
are given in the report.

In Meerut (U. P.) it was R4.33 in 1906 as against R4.5 in 1873.

In Belgaun (Madras) it was R6.25 in 1912.

In Jubbulpore (C. P.) it was R5 in 1908.

In Raipur (C. P.) it was R5 in 1908.

In Bellary (Madras) it was R4.75 in 1907.

In Salem (Madras) it has never exceeded R3.67 since 1873.

The Government postal runners who carry mails at a trotting pace for
several miles a day, often making two trips in 24 hours, are paid the
following salaries in the different provinces of your Indian Empire:

    Bengal                  1913,    R7.75    a month,  $2.58
    Behar and Orissa         "        6.33       "       2.10
    United Provinces         "        6.25       "       2.08
    Panjab and N.W.F         "        7.75       "       2.58
    Bombay                   "        7.5        "       2.35
    Central Provinces        "        7.         "       2.33
    Madras                   "        7.11       "       2.40
        (The equivalents in dollars are approximate.)

Postmen who are supposed to be literate, received from R10 to R16 a
month (_i. e._, from $3.33 to $5.33 a month) in the different provinces
in 1913.

The scale of wages allowed to unskilled labor in the railway yards of
Mirzapore and Cawnpore (U. P.) is given between R5 to R6 per month
(_i. e._, less than $2.00). These are figures of 1914.

In the canal foundry and workshop at Roorkee (U. P.) the daily wage in
1916 was only 4 annas a day (_i. e._, 8 cents).

In the Cawnpore saddlery establishment, the bullock drivers, the
sweepers and the _Bhishties_ received only R5 and R6 a month (_i. e._,
less than 8s. or $2.00); the lascars from R6 to R7 (_i. e._, $2.00 to
$2.33).

In the woolen mills in Northern India unskilled labor was paid at R8.12
(_i. e._, less than $3.00) a month in 1914. These are the rates allowed
in big cities. For other big cities the rates may, in some cases, be
somewhat better, but in small rural towns and villages, they are
considerably less.

Does the Indian laborer, considering his standard of life, the size of
his family and the requirements of decency, get a living wage? I am sure
that a humane inquirer, not so much interested in the good name of the
Government as in truth, will have no hesitation in answering the
question in the negative. Any increase in wages has to be divided over
the average strength of a family, which will show how disproportionate
the increase in wages is to the increase in prices. In a family of five
with one or two earning hands the increase in wages is two-fold at the
most. While the increase in the cost of living by the increase in prices
is five-fold. Your Official Report writers always ignore this important
consideration. As for the housing conditions in which Indian workmen
live, let me present to you the following testimony from a recent issue
of the _Times of India_, Bombay (quoted in the London _Times_, June,
1917):

    "It is no unusual sight to find fifteen or twenty persons, of
    both sexes, lying huddled on the floor of a single room in a
    stifling atmosphere and a vile stench. A single small window or
    an open door gives the only ventilation. Furniture there is
    none, beyond a few brass pots and some pegs. The sanitary
    arrangements are unspeakable. Every noise and smell that occurs
    in the neighborhood penetrates the crazy walls and floor and
    disturbs the sleepers. The chawls are often so rickety that it
    is a miracle that they do not collapse under their own weight.
    They seem to be kept up like a house of cards, by the support of
    their scarcely less rickety neighbors."

As for the Indian laborer getting any education or any leisure for art
or for the pursuit of taste, that is out of the question. The condition
of the small farmer or _ryot_ is even worse. Sir, if you are ever
inclined to study the actual conditions of life in India, do not rely
upon the "conclusions" of your officers as embodied in reports. Study
the facts, given in the reports, but disregard the conclusions. If you
seek the aid of an Indian Nationalist he may show you how the reports
are drawn up, and how dates and figures have been selected to suit
conclusions. Having been a lawyer most of your life you are well aware
of the magical properties of special pleading. In the hands of a
skillful apologist, the figures can be made to mean anything. Better
still, if you want to have a glimpse of conditions of life in India,
depute an honest man of the type of Mr. Nevinson to go to Indian
villages unaccompanied by officials, and see the things for himself; or
to the slums in towns. The slums of Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Lahore,
Delhi, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Benares, will throw the slums of London and
New York far back into the shade. The latter are verily a paradise as
compared with the former. As to the villages, the less said the better.

The point is in fact conceded by all fair-minded English publicists.

The _Manchester Guardian_, only the other day, discussing the recent
increase in the cotton duties, questioned "the wisdom and justice" of
this £100,000,000 exaction from India and admitted that "the loss it
represents to an extremely poor population like that of India is very
much greater than the gain to England." Even the _Morning Post_, that
representative of Jingo Imperialism, recognizes the extreme poverty of
the masses of India. I will not quote the _Nation_ as you do not like
that journal. The moneyed classes of India, the Rajas and Maharajas, the
bankers and mill owners, the industrial corporations that will fill this
loan could not find a more profitable investment. They get 100 per cent.
stock for 95 and besides get from 5 to 5-1/2 per cent. interest, in some
cases free of income tax for thirty years to come. Upon whom will the
burden of interest fall? Neither on the lender nor on the borrower, but
mainly on the ryot and the laborer. Do you know, sir, that the average
price of salt (wholesale) in Lahore, Punjab, had risen from R1-9-7 a
maund in 1912-13 to R2-7-3 in 1916-17? But that in retail sale "the
average price of salt per maund (82 lbs.) had risen from R1-14-0 to
R5-0-0" (_Tribune_, Lahore, March, 1917). The fresh taxation imposed
since the war, which by this loan-cum-gift transaction of 100 million
sterling threatens to become permanent, has raised the prices of the
necessaries of life to an abnormal extent. The wages remain virtually
the same. Your Government which employs large numbers of laboring men in
railways, canals, and otherwise have not considered it necessary to
raise the wages of the workingmen. Will the private employer do
otherwise? I know from personal knowledge how frightfully the poor
Indian clerk is sweated in the offices of your Government in India on a
mere pittance. Can't you feel for the millions of those little ones
whose already scanty, insufficient food is still further reduced by the
fresh taxes imposed by your Government to find means to pay the war
budget and this permanent addition of £6,000,000 a year to their burden?
Don't you know, sir, that in India there are millions of widows (much
more than in any other country) who have to support their little ones by
their own toil and that every penny of additional taxation hits them
hard. The hardships and privations imposed in Europe by the war are
nothing as compared with what the Indian masses have been putting up
with, for the last fifty years or so. The fiscal policy of your
Government has ruined Indian industry. You know it as well as anyone
else. Did you notice the letter of Mr. G. W. Forrest in the London
_Times_ of March 14, 1917, wherein he admitted that "the tale of
England's dealing with Indian industry was one of littleness and
injustice," and that "by positive prohibition and heavy duties the
Indian textile trade in England was destroyed and our own trade was
fostered." You and your colleagues have used grandiloquent rhetoric in
your defense of the increase in the cotton duties in India and over your
concern for India and Indian industries, but you are mistaken if you
think that anyone in India is likely to be taken in by your hypocritical
professions. Pardon me, sir, I mean no insult when I say "hypocritical
professions." The practice is a part of a modern statesman's job. He has
to create a certain atmosphere before he can make his people believe
that what he does is the only correct thing to do.

Your cotton duties, sir, afford no relief to the Indian poor. It would
not have hurt me much, if you had forced or induced the Rajas and the
Maharajas, the bankers and the capitalists to contribute even more than
100 million pounds to the war expenses, as it is they who have grown
fat, if anyone in India has, under the British regime, but to force the
Indian ryot and the Indian wage earner to do it and to continue to pay
for it for years to come out of his scanty daily rations is the climax
of cruelty. Then the unkindest cut of all is that it should come from
you, whom we had associated with feelings of kindness, and pity, for the
poor and the workmen.

Your Government has called it a free and spontaneous gift of the people
of India! If the members of your cabinet, if the Secretary of State for
India, if the Governor General of India and his ministers of the
Executive Council, are the people of India, then truly you are right and
we wrong. If they are not the people of India, as they are not, then it
is a gift by yourself to yourself, of other peoples' money. Again, the
statement that the measure was unanimously approved of by the Indian
members of the council is a _diplomatic lie_. You know that the matter
was settled between your Cabinet as represented by the Secretary of
State for India and the Viceroy's Executive Council (which includes only
one Indian member nominated by you), before it was announced in the
Legislative Council. You know also, sir, and if you don't, you ought to,
that the Indian Legislative Council has no power under the law to make
any changes in the budget. The budget is entirely beyond their purview.
The members can only extol it or criticise it. They can propose
resolutions disapproving of some of its provisions which can amount to
nothing more than pious wishes even if passed. But the official majority
in the Council guarantees the defeat of any hostile resolutions by
non-official members. Re this loan-cum-gift transaction, the
non-official members of the Legislative Council put a seal on their
mouths because they thought it was useless to incur the risk of being
called disloyal for a matter which was reported to them as a _fait
accompli_ and which they could not in any way change or modify; yet two
of them did raise a sort of feeble protest.


                IT IS NOT A GIFT BY THE PEOPLE OF INDIA

The press comments on it, however subdued and timid and halting, leave
no doubt about the real mind of India in the matter. The truth has been
pointed out by the _Manchester Guardian_ and the _Nation_. (Beg your
pardon, sir, for mentioning the _Nation_ again). The former, in its
issue of March 15, remarked: "It is we, who govern India and not the
Indian people. The initiative in all financial proposals necessarily
comes from the government we appoint in India, and these cannot reach
the light of public discussion in the Legislative Council or elsewhere
until they have received the sanction of the Secretary of State for
India here. For Mr. Chamberlain to throw off upon Indian people the
responsibility for originating and devising the 100 million contribution
is as unconvincing a rhetorical exercise as the House of Commons has
witnessed for many a long day. The responsibility from the first to the
last is his and that of the Indian Government. We have said more than
once, and we repeat it that in our opinion a wise statesmanship would
both find better uses in India for India's millions and employ India
more advantageously for the common cause by using more of her manhood
and less of her money," I will not quote the _Nation_, sir, which is on
this point as explicit, if not more, as the _Manchester Guardian_.

Now, sir, you know that India has been very eager to fight for the
Empire. She has supplied you with about 350,000 troops in this war,
paying for their services and equipment herself. But 350,000 do not
represent even a fraction of her man power, the whole of which she was
prepared to throw in this struggle. While Australia and Canada and
Ireland have either rejected conscription or are shirking, India has
been clamoring for it. You can no longer say that you could not utilize
India's manhood because of the prejudice of color. That shibboleth has
been shattered by this war and, we hope, for good. The colored people of
Asia and Africa are fighting in numbers alongside of the best European
troops. Poor people! They believe they are fighting to make the world
"safe for democracy!" You cannot say that Indians are lacking in
fighting qualities, because the existence of them in a high degree they
have proved conclusively in face of difficulties, by no means light and
contemptible. That the Indian soldier can hold his own in Europe, even
better than the European soldier in Southern Asia, has been established
beyond the shadow of a doubt by the experiences of this war. Why, then,
won't you use India's manhood and relieve her of this financial exaction
which she can ill afford to meet, without suffering egregiously?


                 INDIA'S TEEMING MILLIONS WANT FOOD AND
                         KNOWLEDGE OF THREE R'S

The question for India's teeming millions is not "how to live well" but
how to live at all. There is no question of comforts for them. What they
want, and do not get, is sufficient and nourishing food and a knowledge
of the three R's. Your Government is unable to give them the first, and
persists in refusing to give them the second; yet when an Indian
publicist loses patience and says "slavery has deprived Indians of
wealth, honors and freedom, and has reduced them to destitution and
starvation," your Viceroy in India cites it as an instance of depraved
journalism and a justification for the gagging of the press. He
complains that "there are papers in India which magnify the ills from
which she suffers" and "which harp upon plague, famine, malaria and
poverty" and "ascribe them all to the curse of an alien government." May
I ask, sir, if it is not a fact that millions in India die of famine,
plague, and malaria? Is it not a fact that the curses and the appalling
effects of them, are directly or indirectly traceable to poverty? Many
countries on the face of the earth do not grow food sufficient for
themselves while India does. Why then should India alone suffer from
famines when her food supply, once in a while, falls short of the
ordinary year of agricultural "prosperity?" If even during famine years
India can supply food to other nations by exports of wheat and other
grains, why can't she keep that food at home and feed her own hungry
children? Why should plague have stayed in India so long? Why should
malaria exact such a heavy annual toll there? The reason is obvious.
Because of the ignorance and poverty of the people.

Let us assume that India has not grown poorer under British rule, though
there is abundant evidence to the contrary, that the masses have become
poorer and are becoming poorer every day; let us also assume that in the
matter of education India was worse off under native rule--_i. e._,
before the introduction of the British rule--a period of history when no
other part of the world was any the better. Is it not a matter of shame,
that after 150 years of British rule, when most of the other national
governments in other parts of the world have reduced their illiteracy
almost to zero point, India should still have more than 90% of its
population illiterate. Is it not a matter of shame, that of all the
grain producing countries of the world India alone should be so
miserably situated as to be unable to supply sufficient and nourishing
food to her sons and daughters. Don't you think, sir, that the Indians
have reason to feel sore when they see that the food grown by them is
denied to them; that it is almost snatched from their mouths; that
others should eat the food which is grown by them, that even in the best
of years millions of them must be contented with only one meal a day,
and that of the coarsest grain.

Do you remember, Mr. Lloyd George, how bitter you felt against the
capitalist, when you yourself in your boyhood, felt the pinch of want?
Have you forgotten all that you said in the Lime-house speech? I repeat
that the sufferings of the British laborer and workingmen, the trials of
the British poor are nothing compared with those of the Indian ryot and
the Indian workingmen and the Indian clerks in your employ in that
country. Yet you have no feeling to spare for them, and those that have,
you and your Government brand as malcontents and seditionists. Don't you
think, sir, that the Indian ryot and the Indian poor are being crushed
under the weight of two capitalisms superimposed upon each other--one
foreign and the other indigenous? When we ask for freedom to manage our
own affairs you say we are not fit to do so. But what can we do to
ourselves which will be worse than what you have done us? If left free,
we might bring to book the indigenous capitalists whom, in the interests
of your own capitalists, you have been supporting and fattening. But
even if we fail to do so, we shall at any rate have upon us the burden
of only a single weight. Your colleagues say that in refusing
self-government to India they are actuated by devotion to India; that
they do not want to hand over the millions of India to the tender
mercies of a small minority of educated and wealthy men in whose hands
the government will inevitably drift. Supposing it does, it will be easy
for the masses to keep the minority in check. They can revolt and rebel,
but under your Government the bureaucracy is all powerful. The truth is,
sir, that the condition of these very millions, in whose interests, you
say, you are reluctant to give power to the educated and the wealthy
few, is a standing condemnation of your government there. The educated
minority and the wealthy few are fairly well off under your regime. It
is the ignorant ryot and the millions of workingmen and women who
suffer. In the words of one of your distinguished writers (W. Lily),
they do not live but just exist.

Recently the _Times_ said that the British were "the trustees of the
welfare of India's millions." Who are these millions for whom you are
trustees? Are they those homeless, educationless millions who get only
one meal a day or are they those who have benefitted from your schools
and are wealthy? If the former, you have failed in your trust. If the
latter, they are quite fit to manage their own affairs. It was only the
other day that Mr. Austen Chamberlain was reported to have said
(_Times_, London, March 30) at a luncheon given to him and the India's
so-called representatives at the Imperial conference (one of whom was a
Lieutenant Governor interested in extending India's sphere of
subjection) that "India will not remain and ought not to remain content
to be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water for the rest of the Empire."
Noble words these, full of hope and encouragement. But what a sad and a
crushing acknowledgment of the present helpless condition of India. It
is a truthful statement for which the Indians ought to be grateful to
Mr. Chamberlain. At the present moment India is a mere "hewer of wood
and a drawer of water" for the rest of the Empire. Against that her sons
protest, and will continue to protest, as long as the wrongs of the
country are not redressed, your press act, your sedition laws, jails and
prisons notwithstanding.

The position, Mr. Lloyd George, is pathetic. When we ask for more outlay
on education, you say, no, the condition of the finances will not permit
of that. When we point out the way to find finances, you say, "no,
further taxes are impossible and retrenchment in public expenditure in
other departments undesirable." When we say, "give us the management and
we will do it," you say, "no you are unfit." The result is that you will
neither educate the masses yourself nor will you let us educate them.
Yet you hold their ignorance a valid ground for refusing us our right to
manage our own affairs. When, however, you want money for Imperial
purposes you raise loans, impose taxes, and reduce public expenditure on
education and public works. You have done this not only now, for the
purposes of this bloody war, but you have done so in the past in
building railways for your merchants and to fight your wars in Africa,
in China, in Afghanistan, in fact, all over the old world. It is true
the present is a trying time for you and you may have a pretence of
justification in this crisis in your Imperial life. But so long as you
refuse the conscription of wealth in your home islands, what right have
you to impose this conscription of India's money resources? You have not
forced the dominions to make monetary contributions. In fact you have
advanced them over £140,000,000 from your own funds. You have not so far
called upon the British capitalists to pay even a fraction of their
wealth. You have simply taxed their excessive profits. Why should you
have made an exception in the case of India? India is the poorest part
of the Empire. Yet it is she who has been selected for this exceptional
treatment. She had already made lavish gifts of money and provisions and
equipment. Her gifts were in entire disproportion to her means. Compared
with your dominions' resources and their money sacrifices India's
contribution stood higher than those of the former. Yet you selected
India for this compulsory money contribution because India is the only
part of the Empire which you could thus treat. India is the only part of
the Empire which has been forced to give $500,000,000 as a _free gift_.
Even the fabulously rich United States which have made huge war profits
from you and your other allies have not thought of a national gift. Yet
imperial sophistry represented by your imperial publicists and
officials, represents that Great Britain exacts no tribute from India
and makes no profit out of her connection with India and that she rules
India simply out of philanthropic and humanitarian motives.


                                 WASTE

One would have thought that under the pressure of the war, your
Government in India would make an honest and earnest effort to reduce
expenditure on public services, at least under heads mainly ornamental
or which only afford luxuries to your agents in India; but on the other
hand, what is the actual situation? A perusal of the proceedings of the
Imperial Legislative Council and also of the Provincial Councils shows
that all efforts made by the non-official members to obtain additional
money for education and sanitation by the reduction of expenditure on
luxuries, were opposed by your Government, and were consequently
defeated. All efforts to reduce expenditure on comforts were of course
resisted by those who enjoyed them, and it is they whose votes count in
the Indian Councils. For example, it was proposed that the huge
expenditure incurred by the different Government Departments, Imperial
and Provincial, in moving to the Hills for seven months of the year,
should be reduced, at least partially. Many persons competent to express
an opinion on the subject, among them Lord Carmichael, the retiring
Governor of Bengal, have placed it on record that this "exodus to the
hills" was not necessary, and was in fact prejudicial to the interests
of good government; yet the Government opposed the motion of the
non-official member and he was forced to withdraw it. A similar motion
to curtail the expenditure on the ornamentation of the residence of the
Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces was also opposed and met a
similar fate. The huge allowances made to the heads of the different
governments in India for kitchen expenses, for dispensing hospitality,
and for traveling in royal style have not been reduced by a penny. The
Punjab Government has provided in its current budget a large amount of
money for providing palatial residences for its officers in summer
resorts, and has sanctioned large pensions, from father to son, for a
few of their Indian supporters. These men are mostly wealthy men. They
did nothing more than help you in your suppressive and exploiting
policy. Your Government naturally rewards them. Is it not bribery. If an
expert financier were to examine into these items, which can only pass
unchallenged in a country wherein the people have no voice in the
raising of the taxes and in spending them, it would be found that great
savings could be effected and the money thus made available used for
other urgent needs of the people. The fact is that the Indian ryot who
pays for all these extravagances has no voice to check the vagaries of
those who spend his money for their own comforts. I have not mentioned
the lavish scale on which special traveling allowances are granted to
high officials in India. It is a matter of common knowledge that these
officials do not spend as much as they draw under this head. Yet it is
actually proposed that the salaries and the allowances for the European
members of the Indian services be substantially raised. _Verily,
taxation without representation_ is a crime of the worst possible kind.


                               DEMOCRACY

Mr. Lloyd George, you and your colleagues in the Government of Great
Britain, say that in fighting the Germans you are fighting the battle of
Democracy, to make the world safe from autocracy and militarism, that
you are fighting for rights of small nations, and for the domination of
right over might. The United States has joined the war for the same
reason. I have seen numerous recruiting posters exhibited in New York
City exhorting young Americans to enlist in the army "to make the world
safe" for Democracy. I have not the slightest doubt of the sincerity of
the American professions because their international record is so far
clean. Vide their record in Cuba and the Philippines. Can we say the
same for Great Britain? I am afraid not, so long at least, as you
continue to deny self-government to India, the second of the two biggest
democracies of the world. Here is a nation of 315 million human beings
(or say several nations, if you wish, as your publicists are so fond of
repeating _ad nauseam_ that India is not a nation) whom you are
governing by the force of might, without their consent, and on
absolutely despotic lines; whom you deny freedom of speech, freedom of
association and freedom of education; whom you tax without their consent
and then spend those taxes outside of their country, and in providing
luxuries to your representatives in India or in bribing such Indians as
uphold you in your possessions. I have no doubt that you are sincere in
your denunciation of German militarism. For myself I have no use for
Czars and Kaisers, Emperors and Sultans, and I dare say that you, too,
have none. Thus I am in full sympathy with your efforts to exterminate
the race of Kaisers. So far you are right. But an Indian cannot help
smiling rather cynically when he hears you saying that you are waging
the war to make the world safe for democracy. Your conduct in India and
in Egypt, and in Persia belies your protestations.


                          AS TO SMALL NATIONS

In defending your conduct you urge that India is not a nation. Very
well, sir, divide India into small nations and give them self-government
separately. You will admit that there are parts of India which are
homogenous, entitled to be called small nations in the sense in which
Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, and Holland are. The bulk of the
population follow the same religion, speak the same language and belong
to the same race. Remember, please, that I do not admit that India is
not a nation or that the sameness of language, religion and race is
necessary for a political national existence. Switzerland, Canada, the
United States, South Africa, Russia, and Austria-Hungary have demolished
that theory.

The apologists of the present system of Government in India say that the
Indian people are not sufficiently educated in the principles and
practice of politics and that their ignorance and illiteracy make it
necessary for the British to continue to rule them from without, until
they are fit to establish and maintain a democratic form of government.
I have already made some remarks about illiteracy and shown that the
responsibility for it rests on your shoulders. If you, sir, are to be
the sole judge of the educational requirements of the Indian people,
their progress is bound to hang on your convenience. No one in
possession is anxious to be dispossessed and if the time and method of
his dispossession is to be determined by himself, then woe to the
dispossessed! But, sir, you forget that literacy is not education. The
Indian masses have a background of centuries of culture which places
them in the matter of intelligence and character, in a better position
than even the literate millions of European and American countries. And
after all, it is intelligence and culture that count most in the fixing
of final values.

As for their training in political life, how are they to get it, if you
make it a penal offence for their leaders to tell them that the present
system of Government is unnatural, harmful, and a hindrance to progress?
The masses cannot grasp principles unless one illustrates these
principles by their application to the affairs of every day life. Your
Government and your courts say that an agitation for home rule is legal
and permissible, but any criticism that is likely to create
dissatisfaction is illegal and deserves to be suppressed high-handedly.
You know from experience, sir, that the masses require to be led. No
government is willing to make changes unless compelled from below. That
is as true of democratic America as of monarchical England. Much more
must it be so in the case of countries under foreign yoke. To carry the
people with them, the leaders must expose the existing evils and stress
the necessity and urgency of sweeping changes in political conditions.
The moment they proceed to do so with any degree of effectiveness, they
are charged with an attempt to create disaffection and convicted of
sedition. Do you honestly believe that any people on the face of the
earth can make any progress in political education when they are ruled
by a Press Act which stops criticism and discussion in the following
terms:

                SECTION OF THE INDIAN PRESS ACT OF 1910

    Whenever it appears to the Local Government that any printing
    press in respect of which any security has been deposited as
    required by Section 3 is used for the purpose of printing or
    publishing any newspaper, book, or other document containing any
    words, signs or visible representations which are likely to have
    a tendency directly, or indirectly, whether by inference,
    suggestion, allusion, metaphor, implication or otherwise:

    (a) To incite to murder or to any offense under the Explosives
    Substances Act of 1908, or to any act of violence or

    (b) To seduce any officer, soldier, or sailor in the Army or
    Navy of His Majesty from his allegiance or his duty or

    (c) To bring into hatred or contempt His Majesty or the
    Government established by the law in British India, or the
    Administration of Justice in British India or any native Prince
    or Chief under the suzeranity of His Majesty or any class or
    section of His Majesty's subjects in British India or to excite
    disaffection towards His Majesty or the said Government or any
    such Prince or Chief or

    (d) To put any person in fear or to cause any annoyance to him
    and thereby induce him to deliver to any person any property or
    valuable security, or to do any act which he is not legally
    bound to do or to omit any act which he is legally entitled to
    do or

    (e) To encourage or incite any person to interfere with the
    administration of the law or with the maintenance of law and
    order or

    (f) To convey any threat of injury to a public servant, or to
    any person in whom the public servant is believed to be
    interested, with a view to inducing that person to do any act or
    to forbear to do any act connected with the exercise of his
    public functions the Local Government may, by notice in writing
    to the keeper of such printing press, stating or describing the
    words, signs or visible representations which in its opinion are
    of the nature described above, declare the security deposited in
    respect of such Press and all copies of such newspaper, book, or
    other document wherever found to be forfeited to His Majesty.

    EXPLANATION I: In clause c the expression disaffection includes
    disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.

    EXPLANATION II: Comments expressing the disapproval of the
    measures of the Government of any such native Prince or Chief as
    aforesaid with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means
    or of the administration or other action of the Government or
    any such native Prince or Chief or of the administration of
    Justice in British India without exciting or attempting to
    excite hatred, contempt, or disaffection, do not come under the
    scope of clause c.

Can any people make headway in the art of self-government who are
governed by a foreign bureaucracy aided by an army of Indian Czars
regulating the very minutest details of their life? You know that this
over government of India is a direct result of your rule. Before you
came the Indian village was a self-governed unit. (See statements of
Monroe, Elphinstone, Metcalfe, and Lawrence.) Even now the people in the
Native States are in this respect better off than the people of British
India. The Education Minister of your Cabinet, Mr. H. A. L. Fisher has,
after a visit to India, placed it on record that "the inhabitants of a
well governed Native State are, on the whole, happier and more contented
than the inhabitants of British India. They are more lightly taxed; the
pace of the administration is less urgent and exacting. They feel that
they do things for themselves instead of having everything done by a
cold and alien benevolence." Yet if an Indian leader were to point this
out and ask the Indian masses to improve their lot by demanding and
winning for themselves the right to manage their own affairs, and by
driving out those influences that stand in their way, he would be
persecuted and imprisoned or transported.

The first axiom for political progress is that the people should
throw away their attitude of submission to oppression, tyranny,
high-handedness, and conditions of slavery whether imposed by a national
or a foreign Government. They have a right to revolt if they have the
means to do so successfully. But in any case, they have a right to
discuss, agitate and organize for changes. This they cannot do unless
they have a free press, a free platform, and the right of free
association. In India the first is denied by the Press Act, the second
by the comprehensive sections of the Penal Code, and the third by the
so-called "Seditious Meetings Act." What little was left has been done
away with under the extensive powers taken and exercised by the
Executive under the plea of war exigency by the "Defense of India Act."
While every other part of the Empire, including the "Mother Country" is
discussing political and economic changes of an extremely radical
character, such as the establishment of a more effective Imperial
Parliament and Preferential Tariffs after the war, not to speak of
constructive programmes for education, and industrial rejuvenation, the
Indian leaders are "officially" advised to be mum, and any effort to
rouse the country to a consciousness of its rights and duties is
characterized as perverted, ill-timed, and inconsistent with loyalty.

The advocates of "Home Rule" are being openly hampered in their
propaganda. Papers advocating home rule have been persecuted, and
leaders have been prohibited from entering provincial areas. But what is
worse is that the Criminal Investigation Department have been instructed
to take down the names of all those who have enlisted in the cause,
either as active or passive workers. A deputation of representatives of
the press that waited on the Viceroy to lay their grievances before him
has been lectured on the impropriety of thus raising the question at
this juncture and has otherwise been treated with shocking discourtesy.

In conclusion, let me ask you, sir, to notice the coercive methods by
which the War Loan is being raised in India. Poor underpaid subordinate
officials are being forced to purchase Government stock. They will
surely purchase the stock and win the good-will of their officers, but
just as surely they will squeeze the cost out of the people. That will
be strictly in accord with the standards of loyalty set up by your
officials!

Mr. David Lloyd George, I have addressed this letter to you, because at
this moment you seem to be the only British statesman possessed of
imagination. Exercise your imagination, sir, a little and save India for
the Empire; win the gratitude and blessings of a fifth of the human
race--of a people who were one of the first pioneers of civilization in
the world, who laid the foundations of culture, which you profess to be
so very anxious to save. Remember that the Indians were rich,
prosperous, free, self-governing, civilized and great, both in peace and
war, when not only Britain but even "Greece and Rome were nursing the
tenants of the wilderness." The Indians have lost their freedom because
they oppressed the people under them and as surely as night follows day,
the British will lose all that makes them great to-day, if they continue
to oppress and exploit the subject races within their Empire. The world
cannot be safe for democracy unless India is self-governed. Nor can
there be any lasting peace in the world, so long as India and China are
not strong enough to protect themselves.

Pardon me, sir, if I have disturbed you at such a critical moment;
though it is folly to presume that you could be disturbed in the
slightest degree by such a letter. I have written it out of a sense of
duty as sacred as that which inspires you in your herculean task; and if
you are inclined to think harshly of me for this letter, just try to put
yourself in my position and decide what then would be your point of
view.

                                                         LAJPAT RAI.
New York City, June 13, 1917.



                           Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of
the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

Errors in punctuations and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected
unless otherwise noted.

Page 11, "Deva Bhúmi" was replaced with "Deva Bhúmí".





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