A hundred years ago December 29, 1917. Archives

The Press Act.

Mr. B.G. Horniman moved a resolution urging repeal of the Press Act. He said that he thought that it was the sixth or seventh occasion on which the Congress had passed a resolution against the Press Act and the protest of the Congress had been supported in an almost unprecedented manner throughout the country. That Act still remained on the Statute Book of what had been called a free dependency. Since the last occasion on which they uttered their protest it had been the subject of an official defence by no less a person than the Viceroy. He was sorry to say that that defence was uttered in a tone which fortunately had very seldom been adopted by the Viceroys of India in dealing with reasoned representations of grievances by the people of this country. He was desired to tell the Viceroy from the great Congress that the Act was an interference not only with the following of a noble calling which was a perfectly legitimate calling but with the liberty of the subjects and the freedom of the people.

The Hon’ble Mr. Fazlul Haq, in seconding the resolution, said that it was a great shame that the Act was allowed to remain in the statute Book after it was unanimously condemned. Experience had shown that all the safeguards proved illusory and the operation of the Act was in the hands of the C.I.D. It should be remembered that half the follies and blunders of the Government were due to the C.I.D. There was no use in merely passing the resolution. If they only willed they would have the Act repealed. Babu Narendra Kumar Basu of Bengal, Mr. Saifuddin Kuchla of Punjab, Mr. D.C. Ghose and Debi Prasad Khattan supported the resolution, which was carried.

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