A hundred years ago September 1, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (September 1, 1921): Misuse of power

Since writing our leading article we have received a report of Lord Willingdon’s action indicting the Madras Legislative Council from discussing the matter which is causing great anxiety in many homes in the city. At the commencement of the proceedings leave was given by the Council to discuss the motion brought forward by Mr. S. Srinivasa Iyengar. At a later stage Lord Willingdon has intervened to disallow the discussion and to gag the Council preventing it from voicing the opinion of the people in a matter of burning public importance. The public are bound to feel the deepest resentment at so obvious an abuse of power as Lord Willingdon has committed in this matter. He addressed the Council in the beginning of the day’s proceedings with a speech of a most proactive character laying the deed for the misdeeds of his administration upon the wrong shoulders. Public opinion holds his administration responsible for the miserable condition of Malabar, and of the Madras City at the present time, and he has by exercising a power which was intended to be used most sparingly and for righteous purposes, shut out the only avenue that exists under the so-called Reformed constitution for ventilating a popular grievance of great magnitude and pressing importance.

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