Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/577

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THE KHILAFAT QUESTION.

ln the first week of March, 1920. Mr. Gandhi issued the following manifesto regarding the Khilafat question. In this manifesto Mr. Gandhi enunciated the duty of the Muslims, as indeed o f all India in case the agitation should fail to secure the redress of the Khila- fat wrong.]

The Khalifat question has now become a question of questions. It has become an imperial question of the first magnitude.

The great prelates of England and the Mohammedan leaders combined have brought the question to the force. The prelates threw down the challe,^e. The Muslim leaders have taken it up.

I trust the Hindus will realise that the Khilafat question overshadows the- Reforms and everything else.

If the Muslim claim was unjust, apart from the Muslim scriptures, one might hesitate to support it merely on scriptural authority. But when a just claim is supported by scriptures it becomes i-rresistible.

Briefly put the < Uim is that the Turks should retain European Turkey subject to full guarantees for the protec- tion of non-Muslim ra^es under the Turkish Empire and that the Sultan should control the Holy places of Islam and should have suzerainty ovemJazirat-ul-Aras i.e., Arabia as defined by the -Moslem savants, subject to self-governing rights being given to the Arabs if they so desire. This was what was promised by Mr. Lloyd George and this was what Lord Hardingc had contemplated. The Mohammedan soldiers would not have fought to deprive Turkey of her possessions. To deprive the Khalif of this suzerainty is to reduce the Khilafat to a nullity.

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