by Lala Lajpat Rai

PART 12 -- [A summary of my conclusions and advice]

[A] In the last article I observed that Mian Fazl-i-Husain embodied, in his person, a real grievance. But a grievance against whom? Certainly not against the Hindu community. If the Hindus occupy a larger number of posts under the Government than they would be entitled to on a purely numerical basis, they are not to be blamed for it. The Muslim community ought to recognise that the fault is principally their own. They did not take sufficient advantage of [[215]] the educational facilities provided by the Government in the early days of the British rule, and it is that fact which is responsible for the present condition of things. For the last fifty years the Government have been giving them special facilities for making up for lost time, with the gratifying result that they are now in a position to hold their own against every other community.

They are perfectly justified in claiming that in future they should receive their due share of Government posts. But are they justified in holding that until their proper proportion has been secured to them, no one from the other community should be employed? The contention is absurd on the face of it. The claim that the number of Government posts allotted to each community should be in proportion to its strength in the population, is equally absurd. How are the figures to be made up? Is the proportion to be fixed according to the number of posts, or according to the amount of salaries? Are promotions, sub protem appointments, and retirements also to be regulated by the same standard? If so, why not say that all the Departments of the Government should be divided into "Muslim" and '"Non-Muslim" sections, entirely separate and independent of one another? Even these would then have to be subdivided into "Urban" and "Rural," and agricultural and non­agricultural. The whole thing is so ridiculous that one wonders how such a claim could be seriously put forward by men of intelligence and common-sense.

[B] Again, are the Muslims quite sure that, taking all-India figures, they will gain much by these principles being enforced? On what principle will the Ministerships be divided? Is it not a fact that in some Provinces, and within the Provinces in some Departments, they have got a larger number of posts than the ratio of population would justify?

[C] I would beg of my countrymen to consider the matter in the light of practical difficulties, and then suggest a scheme by which their reasonable demands may be satisfied. I am free to confess that in the present state of communal feeling no Department should be monopolised by anyone community or class. All reasonable safeguards against this contingency should be provided. Precautions must also be taken against communal intrigues or machinations. I think the appointment of a properly representative Public Services Commission will be a sufficient guarantee that no [[216]] community shall, in future, be improperly deprived of its due share of Government posts. I can think of no other solution which would meet the needs of the situation. When, however, Swarajya is attained, the solution will probably be simple. The Provincial Governments will have full powers to appoint their servants, and the Provinces having Muslim majorities will, if the present state of feelings continue, automatically have a majority of Muslim Government servants. In the All-India Services, a Services Commission will continue to make appointments.

[D] In the meantime, may I make a respectful appeal to the Hindus not to make much fuss about Government appointments? No community can economically prosper which relies too much on Government patronage. What percentage of the population earn their living that way? It is true that Government servants influence communal life otherwise than through their salaries. The amount of such influences can easily be exaggerated. As long as the present conditions last, I would leave the Government free to distribute the loaves and fishes at their disposal as they choose. The cream is, in any case, reserved for Europeans; then come Anglo-Indians; Indians come last of all. To me this fight over crumbs seems to be the most insensible [=senseless] thing for any patriotic person to indulge in. Under Swarajya, the Government of every Province will determine the complexion and the character of its administrative agency. It is perfectly futile to enter into any pact about this matter now or to quarrel over it.

[E] From Government Services we descend to Local bodies. I think the constitution of Local bodies must be settled on lines different from those of the Legislatures. The population rule will not be sound in their case. The Local bodies do not legislate. They only manage local affairs. Local affairs are local, after all, and must be managed according to the special <::ircumstances of each locality. But if the Muslims insist on the population basis, I will let them have it that way. While they will
be the gainers in some Provinces, they will be the losers in others.

[F] As for Universities and other educational institutions, they are the last places where any communal distinction should be allowed. That will be poisoning the whole intellectual life of the [[217]] nation. I can understand and appreciate special facilities being asked for classes considered backward. Give them special scholarships, open educational centres in areas largely occupied by such classes; even assign larger or special grants from public revenues for their benefit, without dislocating or injuring existing institutions.

In this connection I will say at once that I did not like or approve of the opposition offered by some Hindu members of the Punjab Legislative Council to the opening of Intermediate Colleges at Campbellpur, Lyallpur, and Gujrat. If they objected to more money being spent on Arts Colleges, the best thing for them was to suggest the transfer of one or two Colleges from the East to the West. I am afraid an analysis of the conduct of some Hindu members of the Punjab Legislative Council, both in the last Council and in the present one, will not convince any fair-minded person that the whole blame for the present communal tension in the Punjab can be laid at the door of Mian Fazl-i­Husain.

The responsibility for much of what the Mian has done, or is doing, rests with the bureaucratic Government. Perhaps he has been its ready and willing tool, as his own views coincided with that of the Government. Hindu critics should have seen into the game, and should not have allowed themselves to be made the unconscious instruments of the bureaucracy in creating more bad blood between the communities. In any case, the future generation will not acquit them of all share in helping, however unconsciously, to bring about the crisis through which we are passing. In my judgment the Non-co-operation movement is also partly responsible for it. Personally, I do not care at all about posts or about admissions into the Government Arts Colleges. The case is, however, different with the Professional Colleges. In their case the allocation of numbers to different communities, regardless of merit, would lower the standard of education and the subsequent efficiency of the successful units. These are, however, minor matters to which undue importance should not be attached.

[G] Now to summarise the suggestions I have made:

(1) Free your minds from the pernicious doctrine of absolute nghts.

(2) Purge your politics of "religion" (dogmatic religion).

[[218]] (3) Rationalise religion as much as possible, and lay emphasis only on essentials.

(4) Remove social barriers which separate and estrange one community from another.

(5) Love India above any other country in the world, and be Indians first and last.

(6) Concentrate all efforts on improving conditions at home. That does not debar you froni sympathising with your fellow-religionists abroad and helping them occasionally, provided that your duty to your own countrymen permits of it. In this respect follow Turkey and Egypt.

(7) Don't fret at Shuddhi. It has come to stay.

(8) You can try Sanghathan and Tanzim, if you can purge them of anti-Muslim and anti-Hindu feelings, which, in my opinion, is very difficult.

(9) Have proportional representation in Legislature if you.may, but do not insist on separate e!ectorates.

(10) Divide the Punjab into two Provinces to make majority rule effective.

(11) Don't insist on population being the rule of representation in local bodies. But if you must, do not insist on separate electorates.

(12) Have Public Service Commissions to regulate the filling of Government posts on certain general broad principles.

(13) No communal representation in Universities and educational institutions. But special facilities for backward classes may be provided, with special grants from public revenues for their benefit.

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