Page:Mahatma Gandhi, his life, writings and speeches.djvu/55

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that of Mr. Ali was sent to England to agitate, if possible, against the Royal Assent being given to the new legislation. The Hoyal Assent was withheld in consequence till a constitutional Government should be installed in the Transvaal. As a result of its efforts a committee in London with Lord Amphthill, ex-Governor of Madras, as President, Sir Mancherjee Bowanaggree as Executive Chairman, and Mr. Ritch as Secretary, was also formed to keep guard over Indian interests in South Africa. But the relief thus obtained was only temporary, A constitutional Government was soon formed in the Transvaal, the new measure was passed in hot haste, received the Royal Assent, and became law.

Thus was the Indian community in the Transvaal impelled upon the great destiny of ’passive resistance.’ To register or not to register was now the question: to register and sell their honour and self-respect for a mess of pottage or not to register and take up arms against a ’sea of troubles.’ Like the voico of God speaking to the inmost soul was Mr. Gandhi's appeal to his countrymen at this hour. There could be no question, he explained, of their submitting to this final and crowning