A hundred years ago June 18, 1920 Archives

The Pan-Asian Movement.

(From an editorial)

It is abundantly clear that in the endless roll of humanity this is pre-eminently the day of the white man, who, in addition to the dutiful discharges of his ever-increasing borders of traditional notoriety, is now feverishly engaged in the equally self-imposed, if not uncalled-for, task of making the world safe for democracy and self-determination. Whether or not he may be said to have now reached the climax of his power and glory, the world, at least its coloured part, may be said to have seen enough of his devastating greatness and soulless civilisation. Without pretending to predict the exact date of the white man’s decline, ethnologists have been heard to prophecy that the next age in the cycle of civilisations is to be that of the brown man. And the growing struggle for freedom and honour by the coloured peoples of Asia, Africa and America against their violently aggressive white brethren may well be taken as the significant manifestations of a general awakening among them to a sense of their racial rights and self-respect. But of more immediate consequence in the near future in securing equality of treatment for all races than such isolated and individual struggles is the pan-Asian movement of present embryonic existence which, according to an American writer, threatens to assume formidable dimensions in the future, causing not a little of grave anxiety for the ambitious exploiters of Europe and America. The remarkable achievements especially won by Japan, alike in the fields of war and industry, capturing besides the important German possessions in the East, a large portion of the world’s commerce and the indefinite possibilities of a united and well-governed China, with her “patiently plodding millions” led in the fraternal alliance by her more enterprising neighbour, when viewed with the alarming prospect of a pan-Islamic combination in the near East cannot fail to arouse the natural fear of the Western ruler and capitalist who is, and still hopes in an increasing measure to be, in unmolested enjoyment of the fertile resources of the several regions of exploitation and conquest in the East. When we further note that the strength of the foreigner in the Orient lies more in the latter’s traditional meditativeness, indifference and disorganisation than in the former’s intrinsic superiority or might, we can well realise the panic that must creep into the intruder’s mind at the ominous portents of an awakened Asia shaking herself free of all alien encumbrances and turning the tables on her erstwhile evangelists and exploiter.

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