Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/19

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4
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

intense indignation amongst them. They clamoured for proof of this traffic but were refused. They appealed to have the charges investigated by a Judge of the Supreme Court, but the appeal was ignored. They had no parliamentary vote, and no representation in Parliament, so nothing remained but either to give the outward sign of the criminal in registration—which was the impression of the digits—or resist the Law. They decided on resistance. Fortunately, their leader was a refined, gentle, chivalrous man, a disciple of Tolstoi, and the resistance took the form of "Passive Resistance". Since then, Johannesburg has been a battle-ground on which issues, which will affect the whole Empire, have been fought out, and the battle is still raging. Now, as I write, the authorities are sending numbers of Indian hawkers to imprisonment in the Fort, for carrying on their trade without a licence. Of course, they applied for a licence, and tendered their money, but because they would not register under insufferable conditions, their money was returned, and they are being prosecuted and sentenced to seven and fourteen days with hard labour in the Fort for a breach of the Law. We can see them frequently marching up the dusty road in batches-