Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/118

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38 THE SOUTH AFRICAN INDIAN QUESTION

though he warns the deputation that it may be tedious and will certainly not be easy. As to the Cape Colony and Natal, the question is to a certain extent simplified since, of course, the Colonial office can speak to them with greater authority.

The incident is one of those which suggests wider questions than any that directly offer themselves for official replies, We are at the centre of a world-wide Empire, at a period when loco- motion is easy and is every day becoming easier, both in time and cost. Some portions of the Empire are crowded, others are comparatively empty, and the flnv from the congested to the under-peopled districts is continuous What is to happen when subjects differing io colour, religion and habits from ourselves or from the natives of a particular spot emigrate to that spot for their living ? How are race prejudices and antipathies, the jeal- ousies of trade, the fear of competition to be controlled ? The answer, of course, must be by intelligent policy at the Colonial Offioe,

Small as are the requirements of the Indian the steady growth of the population of India is such that a certain outward move- ment is inevitable, and it is a movement that will increase. It is very desirable that our white fellow-aubjeots in Africa should understand that there will, in all probability, be this current flow- ing from India, that it is perfeot(y within the rights of the British Indian to seek his subsistence at the Cape, and that he ought, in the common interest of the Empire to be well treated when he comes there. It is indeed to be feared that the ordinary Colonist, wherever settled, thinks much more of his immediate interests than of those of the great empire which protects him, and he has some difficulty in recognising a fellow-subject in the Hindu or the Parsee. The duty of the Colonial Offioe is to enlighten him and to see that fair treatment is extended to British subjects of what- ever colour,

Again : -

In lodia the British, the Hindu and the Massalman commu- nities find themselves face to face with the question as to whe- ther at. the outset of the new industrial movements which have been so long and anxiously awaited, Indian traders and workers are or are not to have the same status before the law as all other British subjects enjoy. May they or may they not go freely from one British possession to another and claim the rights of British subjects in allied states or are they to be treated as outcaste races, subjected to a system of permits and passes when travelling on their ordinary business avocations, and relegated, as the Transvaal Government would relegate them to a ghetto at the permanent centres of their trade? These are questions which applied to all Indians who seek to better their fortunes outside the limits of the Indian Rmmre. Mr. nhamhorlain'fl wr>rdfl and the determined

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