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A deputation of the Executive Committee of the Depressed Classes Mission Society of India, consisting of Sir N. G. Chandavarkar (President), Mr. V. R. Shinde (General Secretary), Messrs Hansraj Pragji Thakersi and V. S. Sohoni (nembers of the Committee) and a number of representatives of the several Marathi and Gujarathi untouchable communities in Bombay, waited upon Sir C. Sankaran Nair prior to his departure to England. Mr. Shinde introduced the members to Sir C. Sankaran Nair and acted as interpreter during the conversation that followed. The following memorial was signed by several members and handed to Sir Sankaran Nair :
We, the members of the Executive Committee of the Depressed Classes Mission Society of India, and some members of the several depressed or untouchable communities of Maharashtra and Gujarat, representing our respective communities, beg to request you on behalf of the depressed classes in India to be good enough to represent the cause of the said classes, in your evidence before the Joint Parliamentary Committee now sitting in England under the Chairmanship of Lord Selbourne and in other ways to enlighten British public opinion so as to advance the interests of these classes. In this connection we wish to bring to your kind notice, especially the following three points :WIDENING THE FRANCHISE.
The right should be so extended to the depressed classes as a special concession in view of their special social disabilities and poverty as to lower the minimum limit of their property qualification to a fixed income of not lower than Rs. 144 per annum, and that of their educational qualification to having passed the 4th Marathi standard in any primary school recognised by Government. A person belonging to any of the classes described as depressed i.e., untouchable, in the Indian Census Reports for 1901, and being qualified in either of the above ways should be entitled to vote
This procedure is as much necessary to secure them direct and effective representation as also to educate them to a sense of civic duties and train them to actively participate in the affairs of their own well being.
The depressed classes should be granted the right of electing their own representatives in numbers proportionate to their respective popular strength in their own electorates instead of Government nominating their representative.
If the above demands be found impracticable to grant, there shall be reserved in each of the Provincial Legislative Councils at least as many seats for these elected representatives of the depressed classes, as there may be territorial divisions in that province, e g., at least four for the four divisions in Bombay, viz., (1) Southern, (2) Central, (3) Northern Divisions and (4) Sind; and there should be reserved as many seats in the Supreme Legislative Council as there are provinces, i.e, each province should be allowed to return at least one representative of the depressed classes from among the provincial members.
Sir Sankaran Nair assured the deputation that he would do everything in his power to promote their cause in England and thanked the members heartily for meeting him.
The procedure, when a new Speaker is to be elected, is both quaint and formal. The House having assembled, the Chief Clerk rises, and having bowed towards the empty Speaker's chair, turns towards the Prime Minister and, without uttering a word, points three fingers at him.
The Premier thereupon rises and proposes the election of a candidate, who has been previously agreed upon, and the Leader of the Opposition seconds the choice.
The Chief Clerk then turns an old fashioned sand glass on the table before him, and after a lapse of two minutes, no amendment to the proposition having been made, impressively points three fingers towards the successful candidate.
N. B.-All "KESHAVKANT" packets contain Present Tickets. DY WORKS 147. Abdul Rehman Street, BOMBAY 3.
MR. M. K. GANDHI.
-Whose Fifty-First Birthday (Sunday, the 21st Sept.) was celebrated through-out India. Collections were made in different parts of the country for presenting a purse to him as a fitting token of the appreciation of millions of his countrymen for his saintly character and selfless devotion to humanity.
MR. M. K GANDHI
Whose Fifty-First Birthday (Sunday, the 21st Sept.) was celebrated through. out India. Collections were made in different parts of the country for presenting a purse to him as a fitting token of the appreciation of millions of his countrymen for his saintly character and sel!less devotion to humanity.