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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 2 April 23, 1942

Symposium — These Red Indians — Rev. Newell


These Red Indians

Rev. Newell

Q.How far is the Congress Party-representative of the Indian people?
A.It is the largest and best organised of the parties but does not include a large number of Mohammedans, nor orthodox Hindus nor does it represent the depressed classes.
Q.In view of the fact that it does not represent any particular religious group does that not give it a more impartial view of Indian affairs?
A.That is probably true but it is important to realise what an important part religion takes in Indian affairs so it is really impossible for it to be impartial. The value of Congress does not lie so much in its impartiality in Indian matters as in the fact that its leaders are many of them men who are trusted by different religious groups in India.
Q.Do you consider Cripps' mission to India inadvisable?
A.From the point of view of the good of India it may be doubted whether it was really advisable. The scheme showed signs of hasty drafting and was an attempt to make a short cut across a problem of intense complexity, which could only be safely crossed with long patience and mutual understanding. Above all it was a scheme fatally compromised, because it was a scheme framed in London and not in India.
Q.But was not Britain justified in trying to find any way out of the present impasse in India?
A.Undoubtedly she had that responsibility but she has dealt with the responsibility without real imagination. Many Indians distrust Britain but they have nothing but goodwill towards the other member States of the United Nations. It might have been possible for India to have a free partnership in the United Nations War Council along with China and America in the United [unclear: National] effort. This might after the war have paved the way for a real political solution.
Q.Do you think Nehru is of the calibre and has the support of the Indian people to become a great national leader at this time
A.Undoubtedly both by [unclear: training] and character for he is [unclear: the] obvious successor to Ghandi in traditions and authority.

All-India Students' Federation

"From Hitler's treacherous attack on Russia to Japan's unprovoked aggression, leading to the U.S.A.'s entry into the world struggle, a series of events has taken place, completely transforming the character of the war. The Federation must take note of the change and reformulate its policy.

"It is not enough to express sympathy and give moral support to the war of the anti-Fascist front led by the Soviet Union. It would be wrong to say that we cannot do anything before we are free or are granted such and such demands. The titanic struggle for world liberation raging in five continents which is now knocking at our very door, demands that we Indian people unite to hold our heads high and declare to the people of the world we know this war is just, we are in it, and are determined to do everything to win it."

A Gardener

The question of Home Rule should have been settled before. It should have been given to India before, as it should have been given to Ireland before the last war.

But there are great difficulties in the way—such as difficulties of religion.

A Union seems the best way, but the small sects would inevitably suffer. Consequently some form of Federation seems the best way out.

A Business Executive

Although British administration of India is probably far more efficient than what could have been achieved by the native people, it is still government from without instead of from within. India can only [unclear: l[gap — reason: illegible]n] to [unclear: govern] by governing. The religious problem which is the main problem, might by this time have been solved if the British Government had not, in its anxiety to placate the Indian sects, protected the grossest forms of superstition.

From India To-Day

"The bankruptcy of imperialism in India is written large in the present situation of India and in the condition of the people. It is impossible to escape the contrast between the achievement of the. Soviet Union during these past two decades (starting from the lowest level of broken down Tsarism) and the record in India in the same period. When we consider such figures as those for the iron and steel industry given above; the contrast in agricultural development and in the movement of the national income; the liquidation of illiteracy in the Soviet Union and the reduction of illiteracy by 2 per cent, in India in twenty years; or the expanding network of health and social services there established and the almost complete absence of the most elementary services in India, these facts bear deep lessons for the Indian people, and those lessons are being taken to heart.

"Modern industry will dissolve the hereditary divisions of labour upon which rest the Indian castes, those decisive impediments to Indian progress and Indian power."—Marx, 1863.

"In places like Jamshedpur where work is done under modern conditions men of all castes and races work side by side in the mill without any misgivings regarding the caste of their neighbours."—Bihar and Orissa Census Report, 1921.

"England, it is true, in causing a social revolution in Hindostan, was actuated only by the vilest interests and was stupid in her manner of enforcing them. But that is not the question. The question is: Can mankind fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia? If not, whatever may have been the crimes of England, she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about that revolution."— Marx, "The British Rule in India."

Staff Changes

Miss Cecil Crompton has undertaken the duties of Associate Editor, Miss Betty Arya becoming Press Bureau Correspondent. Miss Janet Wilkinson has agreed to act as typographical adviser.