Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/101

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These particulars are enough to-throw light upon the hateful persecution to which British Indian subjects are being subjected. The new Indian Immigration Law Amendment Bill, which virtu- ally proposes to reduce Indians to a state of slavery, is another example, The thing is a monstrous wrong, an mault to British subjects, a disgrace to its authors, and a slight upon ourselves. Every Englishman is concerned to see that the commercial greed of the South African trader is not permitted to wreak such bitter injustice upon men who alike by proclamation and by statute are placed upon an equality with ourselves before the Law.

The London Times also in supporting our prayer has compared the state of perpetual indenture to a "state perilously near bo slavery." Ito alao says :

The Government of India has one simple remedy, It can suspend indentured immigration to South Africa as it has sus- pended such immigration to foreign possessions until it obtains the necessary guarantees for the present well-being and the future

status of the immigrants It is eminently a case for sensible

and conciliatory action on both sides. . . , But the Indian Govern- ment may be forced to adopt measures in connection with the wider claim now being urged by every section of the Indian com- munity and which has been explicitly acknowledged by Her Majes- ty's, Government at home namely, the claim of the Indian races to trade and to labour with the full status of British subjects throughout the British Empire and in allied States.

The letters from Natal informing me of the Royal sanction to this Bill ask me to request the Indian pubiio to help us bo get) emigration suspended. I am well aware that the idea of suspending emigration requires careful consideration. I humbly think that there is no other conclusion possible in the interests of the Indians at large, Emigration is supposed fco relieve the congested districts and to benefit; those who emigrate. If the Indians instead of paying the poll-tax, return to Indb, the congestion cannot be affected at all. And the re- turned Indians will ratber be a source of difficulty than anything else aa they must necessarily find it difficult} to get work and cannot be expected to bring sufficient to live upon the interest of their capital. I* certainly

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