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The Home-Rule League
The annual meeting of the All-India HomeRule League was held in Delhi on December 31 at the residence of Rai Bahadur Lala Sultan Singh with Mrs. Annie Besant, President of the League in the chair. The Report of the League for the past year having been circulated was taken as read. The Rules of the League were then amended. It was also decided to transfer the headquarters of the League from Madras to Bombay. The office bearers were then duly elected after which the following among other Resolutions were adopted :
That the Home Rule League welcomes the announcement of the visit of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales to this country believing that his presence will strengthen the connection between India and Great Britain.
That a deputation representing the AllIndia Home Rule League be sent to Britain to advocate the objects of the League, the members to be chosen by the executive of the League, and that the British auxiliary of the League be requested to make the necessary arrangements there for its reception and work.
That this Conference approves of the submission to H. M. the King Emperor of the petition hereinafter following and requests its British auxiliary to arrange for its presentation by the deputation while in England:
To the King-Emperor's most most excellent Majesty-in-Council.-The humble petition of His Majesty's loyal and loving subjects in India by the deputation of the Home Rule for India League showeth that your petitioners lay at the feet of your Imperial Majesty their loyal congraulations in that the Giver of victory has crowned with success the arms of your Majesty and of your Majesty's Allies in the world-war
'That your petitioners believe that this prayer for freedom cannot justly be denied to the onefifth of the human race in India over which your Imperial Majesty rules through your Majesty's Governor-General with the help in his own words, "of the machinery of autocracy," a vast population who do not share through your Majesty's sceptre the elementary rights of security of life, liberty of person and possession of property which should be theirs unless deprived of them by a sentence duly passed in one of your Majesty's Courts of Justice after open trial as assured by the Magna Charta and other laws on which depends the allegiance of the subjects of your Majesty.
'Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant through such constitutional ways as are available this our humble petition and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.'
That the British auxiliary in consultation with the deputation arrange for Home Rule for India Conference in London at such date as the British auxiliary shall decide on,
Indian Ladies' Conference
The All-India Ladies' Conference was held on January 1, at the Congress pandal, Delhi. Mrs. Ansari, heading the Reception Committee, opened the proceedings with a welcome address. Mrs. Besant who was elected president of the Conference remarked that the programme before her was divided into three parts-social, educational and political. Under the first came the loosening of the purdah system and the evils of early marriages. She showed how men suffered through loss of association with women and the women suffered through numerous limitations. Owing to early marriage many women being physically unfit to bear the strain died before the age of 25. The statistics showed that many more boys died before 15 than girls, but after 15 there was a sudden increase in the death rate of If they lived over 25 they generally passed on into maturity. This was a point which indeed, women must consider for themselves, for the health of the women affects the child.
In referring to the political subjects on the programme, Mrs. Besant traced the growth of the women's movement in Great Britain. She pointed out the hard conditions under which women and children laboured and how it was seen that these conditions could only be altered by women being represented in Parliament.
Mrs. Besant then reminded the audience that a resolution giving the vote to women was passed at the National Congress in Bombay and again in the Congress just over at Delhi showing that India was likely to gain quickly what England had taken 40 years to get. It was through the help of women that the South African difficulty was settled and as the women took up the cause of the women of Fiji, the system of indentured labour was stopped.
Mrs. Chand Lal and Mrs. Sir Ram spoke on the loosening of Purdah, Dr. Vedi and Mrs. Sultan
[ JANUARY 1919
Singh Jaini on the evils of early marriage and Shrimati Ram Dulari Shukla, Mrs. Sargari Pershad and Shrimati Satyabala Devi and Shrimati Ram Bai Kamadar on education.
A resolution on the enfranchisement of women was proposed by Shrimati Sarala Devi Choudhrani and seconded by Shrimati Chand Bai Jaini and was unanimously passed.
The following resolution was then unanimously passed :-'That the All India Ladies Conference urges that women possessing the same qualifications as are laid down for men in any part of the Reform Scheme shall not be disqualified on account of sex.'
Social Service Conference
The second session of the All-India Social Service Conference which was organized by the Indraprastha Sewak Mandaly met at the Congress pandal, Delhi, on the evening of the 28th Dec., Mrs. Sarojini Naidu presiding. Delegates from the Social Service Institutions in different parts of the country attended. The Conference opened with songs from the girls of Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Jullundhur, and prayers from Principal Rudra, and Mahamahopadhyaya Harnarain.
Rai Sahab Kidarnath, Chairman of the Reception Committee, welcomed the delegates and visitors in an Urdu address.
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A MONTHLY PERIODICAL DEVOTED TO THE DISCUSSION OF ALL TOPICS OF INTEREST. EDITED BY MR. G. A. NATESAN.
MR. D. S. GORDON, M.A., (EDIN.)
ITHIN the last few months various places in India, notably the great cities, have been the scenes of industrial war. Time was when it used to be thought that strikes and lock-outs were the peculiar legacies of Western civilisation and industrial system, with which people in this land had nothing to do. The situation has since changed; India has adopted Western methods of production, and it seems from recent occurrences that she has also imported the Western industrial unrest. Given a capitalist-owned factory and a working-class, the "labour problem" naturally arises. It arose in England in the last century, it has arisen in India to-day. In the former country, the Industrial Revolution transformed, within the space of eighty years, its whole industrial organisation and ushered in the factory system with its thousands of wage-earning "hands". The suddenness of the metamorphosis paralysed labour; and it took some time before the working classes came fully to realise what the recent changes meant for
In India we are more fortunate, for here we have not had, and shall not have, an Industrial Revolution as there was in England, or France, or Germany. It is true that some writers on Indian economics have spoken about an imaginary revolution which might bring about sweeping changes in our industrial system. This can only be explained by saying either that they were mis
taken or that they used a stronger word where a milder one would have described the impending change more accurately. A revolution in industry can only be brought about by the sudden or quick introduction of machinery and mechanical power, and by the rapid adoption of these agents in production. The first power-driven machinery came into India more than half a century ago, but still the greater portion of our industries is in the domestic stage. India, therefore, will not have an industrial revolution but will have an Industrial transition.
The slowness with which the industrial transition of this country is being accomplished is, from the point of view of labour, a blessing; for then labour will not be precipitated into a sudden and unequal struggle with capital, but will have time to deliberate and gradually adjust its relationship to capital. In spite of the recent disturbance in the mills at Bombay, Madras and elsewhere, which seems to have brought on the conflict between labour and capital sooner than one might have expected, the truth is that we have not yet been familiarised with the real combat as it prevails in industrially more advanced countries. The causes for strikes in those countries are fundamentally different from those which at present actuate Indian labour. There a strike is not SO much due to specific grievances as to an intelligent comprehension by the labourer, of the incompatibility of capitalistic