A hundred years ago June 6, 1917 Archive

Mr. Gandhi’s mission.

The “Pioneer” publishes a letter from Mr. Irwin, Manager of an important factory in Motihari, giving the history of Mr. Gandhi’s recent proceedings in Behar. After describing incidents up to the fire in the Tarkunhu outwork, Mr. Irwin says: Naturally his arrival in Bettiah sub-division was objected to by both planters and officials and the former sent a deputation to Ranchi to try to get the Government to put an end to or at any rate, keep under some control, Mr. Gandhi’s activities. This resulted in the local officials and Mr. Gandhi being summoned by wire to attend the conference in Bankipore, which ended in Mr. Gandhi’s being permitted to return and continue his doings now more uncontrolled than ever, and clothed, to the raiyat’s mind, in garments of recognition and approval by the Government. He visited a village in the Dhakrahu Factory Dihad, the raiyats of which in his presence and before the S.D.O. and the factory manager foully abused in Hindustani the factory head servant and while Mr. Gandhi was still in the neighbourhood but not actually within sight assaulted and grossly maltreated a most respectable old man who, too aged and infirm to walk, had come in a cart to make a statement in the factory’s favour, and finally two days or so later, the factory office was set fire to and burnt down. The writer is prepared to believe that Mr. Gandhi is a well meaning philanthropist and he has been made a catspaw of by individuals who have engineered the movement. Mr. Irwin concludes: "For the protection of the property of Champaran planters one and probably only one, step is essentially necessary and that is the removal of Mr. Gandhi from the district. The extreme forbearance of planters has so far prevented an outbreak of any very serious disturbances, but unless the Government can see its way to protecting them they will unavoidably be forced into taking steps necessary for their own protection.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:30:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/archive/mr-gandhis-mission/article18724585.ece

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