Puslapio vaizdai



HE world is ripe for a new social programme. The War, with its unparalleled carnage and bloodshed, has materially altered the map of Europe, and it has similarly altered the map of men's minds. The great world-war has swept away old crusted conventions which cobwebbed the mind, and false foundations of social science upon which men laboured vainly to build Utopia. Now that a new mentality has been created, all these things must be reassessed at new values. All the great problems call for a broader view, a larger concept, and a more general action with the dawn of this newer social consciousness. We are coming to realise, indeed, that we cannot severally play our part as citizens of our respective countries if we forget that we are also citizens of the world. This new spirit is arising everywhere, founding a New Era of international relationship, and the thrills of international goodwill are even now stealing across a war-weary world.

Never before, however, has there been such hopefulness. The world may seem in disruption, and be hungry and sick, burdened with debt, and afflicted by the weight of its new problems. Nevertheless, the power of organised human resources has been amazingly shown, both for the arts of war and peace. The uprisings of the European peoples, and the political advances of organised democracy, open up an entirely new prospect for the employment of these illimitable resources. The cynic, of course, will say that the better world to come lacks nothing for its construction except the better men. The spirit of the masses, with all its faults, however, is a more fraternal spirit than any previously abroad on the earth, and undoubtedly this spirit is almost daily making history for itself.

For four years the evil shadow of War has

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spoiled our outlook. Now that peace has dawned, we look with faith to the future, trusting that the terrible lessons of the catastrophe will not have been learned in vain. If the result of the terrible carnage and desolation is the birth of a real League of Nations-not one built on words, but on the desire to do what is right and just to all, irrespective of race or creed-then the War will not have proved ineffectual. For helpful co-operation in the task of making this world safe for the common people by whom it is inhabited is, after all, the all-important duty.

This great crisis, therefore, seems to be the great opportunity for which we have prayed. The old world is a ruin; a new world must be built. In former days, our home was indeed our world; in these days the world must be our home. Cooperation alone offers to the world a complete philosophy of life and a working model of a noble and enduring civilisation. The peace of the world entirely depends upon the universal application of these principles. For there is no choice except that which lies between co-operation and chaos, between associated freedom and Imperial despotism.

If Wordsworth could write one hundred years ago, as he saw the beginning of a new day of hope and liberty


"Bliss were it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young, 'twere very heaven with what added meaning may we quote these words as we herald the New Age! Let us not forget, however, that the foundations of the New World have been well and truly laid by myriads of heroic men and women, and that this task must be approached with the spirit of sincerity. Peace has her tasks not less arduous than those of War, and this present occasion is a time for the casting away of all those sordid desires which

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R. GRANT ROBERTSON has produced a timely book. The present is a time when as a result of the prejudices generated by the War, the world in general has lost the right perspective concerning the German Empire. The utter disgust and repugnance with which civilized humanity has viewed the barbarous conduct of the German War-Lords has had the effect of war retrospectively distorting historic judgments. The opinion has often been expressed of late, even in quarters which ought to have known better, that the real source of the European conflagration was the refoundation of the German Empire in 1871. It has been widely held that the real originator of the war is not really the autocracy of the present day Germany, but the man of blood and iron who founded the German Empire under the hegemony of Prussia

*Bismark: By Grant Robertson, M.A., C.U.O. Fellow of all Souls. Constable & Co., London,


and a realisation of a great end, which have stilled the cries of faction during the war and inspired all with a common aim. We shall certainly miss the central spiritual lesson of Germany's downfall if in our schemes of reconstruction we fail to realise that religion and morality, faith and idealism, are the only foundations on which national stability and progress can endure,

The fortunes of mankind, as never before, are now in the hands of the democracy. The select classes of mankind, in fact, are no longer its governors. For the real strain of four year's unparalleled slaughter and bloodshed, as President Wilson has so ably reminded us, has come where the eye of Government could not reach, but where nevertheless the heart of humanity beats. We are bidden by these people to see that this strain does not come again.

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1871, the history of secular Europe is dominated by the personality of this single individual. To write the life of Bismark from the time of the Schelswig Holstein question to his dismissal in 1890 is to write the history of European Diplomacy in the latter half of the 19th century. The proper grouping of historical facts, the correct analysis of the interplay of complicated factors, the close study of the sensitiveness of national opinion in every country, during a period of 30 years, cannot be lightly undertaken or easily realised, This difficult task Mr. Grant Robertson has successfully fulfilled.

It is impossible to go into detail, but Mr. Robertson comes to a conclusion different from that held by most historians on one of the most critical events in the German history of the 19th century. The Frankfurt Parliament of 1848-the great convention on which the hopes of the liberals in Germany rested-ended in an absolute failure. The opinion generally held which seems to us to be entirely wrong, is that the Frankfurt Parliament failed because of the academic amateurism of its authors who wasted their time in threshing out fundamental rights. Mr. Robertson holds the view that such criticism is really amateur and ignorant of what revolution by liberal methods from an old to a new system implies. 'The scheme of 1848' was, as Mr. Robertson remarks, ' a noble and imaginative effort in constructive statesmanship which bore the stamp of an inspiring belief in the capacity of the race for achieving salvation when men build upon the uplands and not the lowlands of human endeavour. Had the unification of 1848 been given a fair trial, it would have moulded the German mind and directed German destinies and ambition into paths of self-development of incalculable benefits to Germany and the world. Its failure was a tragedy for German and European civilisation.'

The remarkable feature of the solution of 1848 was, he says, 'the rapidity with which in the

smoke and dust of bewildering revolution, the liberal majority hammered out by argument and under conditions of Government by public meeting a scheme of unification that probed deeper and was more complete than the constitution of 1867.' Historical hypothetics is perhaps the most useless form of speculation, and it may be permitted for us to doubt if the historical evolution of Europe in general and Germany in particular would have followed any very

different course had the scheme of 1848 been worked out and a unification of Germany based on it achieved.

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Mr. Robertson's object in this book has been to study the effect of Bismark's achievement on the history of the 19th century rather than to write a biography of the great chancellor. Therefore, naturally enough, the picture of Bismark is very incomplete, and we see very little of that disease peculiar to biographers which Macaulay has called Leus Boswilliana. All the same, Mr. Robertson is one who appreciates the great merits of the Iron-Chancellor. Indeed, it is impossible for any one to withhold a great amount of genuine appreciation for this Brandenbrug junker. For after all, from the historical point of view, a man can be judged only from his achievement and the amount of dynamic force that his personality generates in its relation to the general current of events. In this sense, post-Napoleonic 19th century cannot boast of a greater man than Otto Von Bismark who raised Prussia from the humiliation of Olmutz to the hegemony of the continent, upset the time-honoured balance of power which lay in an entente between England and Austria against France, humbled the pride of Napoleon and was the virtual dictator of European affairs for nigh 20 years. The age of which he was the founder has closed with the collapse of Imperial Germany; but his historical greatness remains embodied in the policy of Europe during the last 50 years,

The passing of the Rowlatt Bills in the teeth of the opposition of an overwhelming public opinion is yet another proof of the persistent obstinacy of the bureaucracy. Never was public opinion in India more unanimous and pronounced than in the unequivocal denunciation of what is popularly known as the "Black Bills." Men of all shades of political opinion all over the country have protested against the measure with a warmth of feeling that is not likely to subside till it is rescinded. The indecent haste in which it was rushed through the House at a midnight sitting should have almost exasperated the non-official members who have with one voice condemned the obstinacy of the Government in terms as eloquent as convincing. While sympathising with the Government in their anxiety to give no quarter to anarchists and to nip revolutionary plots in the bud, the wisdom of enacting such a drastic measure especially at a time when public opinion in India is focussed on the best means of successfully working out the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms is questionable in the extreme. In this matter the non-official members of the Viceregal Council have left no stone unturned. They have with remarkable ability and conscentiousness voiced the just resentment and indignation of the people at the way their will has been flouted by the bureaucracy. This only strengthens the need for a reform of the constitution in such a way that the will of the people may prevail. But that is another story. After all the 150 amendments with which non-official members tried to improve the Bill and the ultimate modifications it has undergone it still remains as vicious and objectionable as ever. No wonder that finding all manner of opposition fruitless, Mr. Gandhi has as a last recourse resorted to Satyagraha as the only remedy for such bureaucratic obstinacy. We have too bitter memories of the way in which the Press Act and the Seditious Meetings Act have been put into force to believe that the new legislation will not be taken advantage of by the Executive to give vent to petty acts of despotism. And a man of Mr. Gandhi's judgment and experience will not lightly undertake this extreme measure unless he has been convinced of its compelling need. With the greatest respect for his sincerity, his saintly disposition and his lofty sense of public duty we still believe that all means of remedy are not exhausted and that there are vet other courses open which should be tried before resorting to Satyagraha. It is unfortunate that the grace associated with the reform proposals should thus be nullified by the deepening shadows of the Rowlatt Acts. We still hope that wiser counsels will prevail and that something will yet be done to avert an unnecessary exasperation of public feeling at a time when more than ever there is an urgent need for co-operation and harmony between the people and the Government.-Ed. I. R.

i. Mr. Gandhi's Manifesto.

In commending the Satyagraha pledge Mr. Gandhi wrote to the press :-The step taken is probably the most momentous in the history of India. I give my assurance that it has not been hastily taken. Personally I have passed many sleepless nights over it. I have endeavoured duly to appreciate Government's position, but I have been unable to find any justification for the extraordinary Bills. I have read the Rowlatt Committee's report. I have gone through the narrative with admiration. Its reading has driven me to conclusions just the opposite of the Committee's. should conclude from the report that secret violence is confined to isolated and very small parts of India, and to a microscopic body of people. The existence of such men is truly a danger to society. But the passing of the Bills, designed to affect the whole of India and its people and arming the Government with powers out of all proportion to the situation sought to be dealt with, is a greater danger. The Committee utterly ignore the historical fact that the millions in India are by nature the gentlest on earth.

Now look at the setting of the Bills. Their introduction is accompanied by certain assurances given by the Viceroy regarding the Civil Service and the British commercial interests. Many of us are filled with the greatest misgivings about the Viceregal utterance. I frankly confess I do not understand its full scope and intention. If it means that the Civil Service and the British commercial interests are to be held superior to those of India and its political and commercial requirements, no Indian can accept the doctrine. It can but end in a fratricidal struggle within the Empire. Reforms may or may not come. The need of the moment is a proper and just understanding upon this vital issue. No tinkering with it will produce real satisfaction. Let the great Civil Service corporation understand that it can remain in India only as its trustee and servant, not in name, but in deed, and let the British commercial houses understand that they can remain in India only to supplement her requirements, and not to destroy indigenous art, trade and manufacture, and you have two measures to replace the Rowlatt Bills,

It will be now easy to see why I consider the Bills to be an unmistakable symptom of a deepseated disease in the governing body. It needs, therefore, to be drastically treated. Subterranean violence will be the remedy applied by impetuous, hot-headed youths who will have grown impatient of the spirit underlying the Bills and the circumstances attending their introduction. The Bills must intensify the hatred and ill-will against the State of which the deeds of violence are undoubtedly an evidence. The Indian covenanters, by their determination to undergo every form of suffering make an irresistible appeal to the Government, towards which they bear no ill-will, and provide to the believers in the efficacy of violence, as a means of securing redress of grievances with an infallible remedy, and withal a remedy that blesses those that use it and also those against whom it is used. If the covenanters know the use of this remedy, I fear no ill from it, I have no business to doubt their ability. They must ascertain whether the disease is sufficiently great to justify the strong remedy and whether all milder ones have been tried. They have convinced themselves that the disease is serious enough, and that milder measures have utterly failed. The rest lies in the lap of the gods.

The Pledge.

Being conscientiously of opinion that the Bills known as the Indian Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill No. 1 of 1919, and the Criminal Law (Emergency Powers) Bill No. 11 of 1919, are unjust, subversive of the principle of liberty and justice, and destructive of the elementary rights of individuals on which the safety of the community as a whole and the State itself is based, we solemnly affirm that in the event of these Bills becoming law and until they are withdrawn, we shall refuse civilly to obey these laws and such other laws as a committee to be hereafter appointed may think fit and further affirm that in this struggle we will faithfully follow truth and refrain from violence to life, person or property.

ii. Mr. Gandhi's Message at Allahabad.

There is no conception of defeat in Satyagraha. A Satyagrahi fights even unto death. It is thus not an easy thing for everybody to enter upon it. It therefore behoves a Satyagrahi to be tolerant of those who do not join him. In reading reports of Satyagraha'meetings I often notice that ridicule is poured upon those who do not join our movement. This is entirely against the spirit of the pledge. In Satyagraha we expect to win over our opponents by self-suffering i. e, by love. The process whereby we hope to reach our goal is by so conducting ourselves as gradually and in an unperceived manner to disarm all opposition. Opponents as a rule expect irritation even violence from one another when both parties are equally matched. But when Satyagraha comes into play the expectation is transformed into agreeable surprise in the mind of the party towards whom Satyagraha is addressed till at last he relents and recalls the act which necessitated Satyagraha. I venture to promise that if we act up to our pledge day after day, the atmosphere around us will be purified and those who differ from us from honest motives, as I verily believe they do, will perceive that their alarm was unjustified. The violationists wherever they may be, will realize that they have in Satyagraha a far more potent instrument for achieving reform than violence whether secret or open, and that it gives them enough work for their inexhaustible energy. And the Government will have no case left in defence of their measures if as a result of our activity the cult of violence is notably on the wane if it has not entirely died out. I hope therefore that at Satyagraha meetings we shall have no cries of shame, and no language betraying irritation or impatience either against the Government or our countrymen who differ from us and some of whom have for years been devoting themselves to the country's cause according to the best of their ability.

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