a protest

The Editor, Young India, Ahmedabd


The other day when you left Jubbulpore for Cuttack, you had an interview with Gunada Babu at Calcutta. I have seen that interview in the Independent of the 2nd instant, which appears to have borrowed it from the Servant. I refer you to a statement in that article attributed to you.

It runs thus:

‘At Jubbulpore, from where he (Mahatma Gandhi) was coming, two young men (sons of rich merchants) were leading the movement very successfully against a whole host of lawyers. Being businessmen, they were carrying on the work of organization most effectively.’

This statement is incorrect.

The facts are:

These young men are not merchants. They are foundation-stones of the British Government in India. They are Malguzars. Their trade is to realize Rs, 100 from the poor tenants, give the Government Rs. 55 and keep Rs. 45 with themselves as commission and guarantee to recover the money even in the worst times.

What a non-co-operation with the Government! If these Malguzars are not co-operators, no one else is a co­operator. The Malguzari system was an invention of Todarrmal by which means people could be systematically dominated by the rulers through their mercenaries. These mercenaries are the Malguzars, who, you have said, are leading the movement.

If a lawyer who has not suspended his practice is not a proper person to be an office-bearer, certainly a Malguzar too should not be an office-bearer. A Malguzar is more attached to the Government than a lawyer.

In Jubbulpore these young men, Malguzars, are not leading the movement.

The movement in Jubbulpore is being led  the lawyers and the whole host of them are supporting it.

You-did not give sufficient time to Jubbulpore, else

the members of the Bar would have gladly seen you and discussed the matter with you. I fully believe that it will never be wealth which will lead the movement. It will always be the intellect and I hope you will correct the wrong’ impression created by the interview.

I suspended my practice in November last.
I am etc.,
Bar – at- Law.”
Jubbulpore, 10-4-21

I am glad of Mr. Varma’s energetic protest. And I hope that the lawyers of Jubbulpore are leading the N.C.O. Movement. I must however adhere to my statement that the lawyers were conspicuous by their absence on the day I visited Jubbulpore, and that the two young men referred to by me, were in charge of the whole management. That they are sons of land-holders is true enough. Theirs today is cooperation of necessity. The Congress has not yet called upon land-holders to surrender their lands to the Government r101′ is it ever likely to. These youngmen, like some land-holders’ sons elsewhere are taking an honourable part in the national uplift and they deserve every encouragement from lawyers. There are no two opinions about the fact that intellect rather than riches will lead. It might equally be admitted by the correspondent that the heart rather than the intellect ‘will eventually lead. Character, not brains, will count at the crucial moment. And r fancied that these young men showed character. I should be sorry to find otherwise.

Young India, 20-4-1921, pp. 127,28

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