Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/12

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INTRODUCTION

this disfranchisement, under a Liberal administration, of men on account of their colour, this deprivation of an elementary right of British citizenship on racial grounds, constitutes a reactionary step in Imperial government almost without parallel, and perhaps there never has been so great or momentous a departure from the principles on which the Empire has been built up and by which we have been wont to justify its existence, the principles of that true Liberalism which has hitherto belonged to Englishmen of all parties. But the violation of the political ethics of our race is even greater in the case of the "colour bar" which has been established in the Transvaal than in that of the new South African Constitution. If the Houses of Parliament and the Press cannot see this and do not think it worth while to take account of so momentous a reaction, it would seem that our genius for the government of an Empire has commenced its decline.

What is to be the result in India if it should finally be proved that we cannot protect British subjects under the British Flag, and that we are powerless to abide by the pledges of our Sovereign and our Statesmen? Those who know about India will