Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/295

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popular will oan only produce discontent which in the oaaa of fear-stricken peasantry such as of Kaira oan only find an underground passage and thus demoralise them. Ttia present movement is an attempt to get out of such a falsa position, humiliating alike for the Government and the people, And how do the Government propose to assert their position and so-called prestige? They have a ' Revenue Code' giving them unlimited powers without a right of appeal to the ryots against the decisions of fche Revenue Authorities. Exer- oUea of these powers in a case like the one before us in which the ryots are fighting for a principle and tba authorities for prestige, would he a prostitution of justice, of a disavowal of all fair-play. These powers are:

(1) B'ghb of summary execution.

(2) B'ght of exacting a quarter of the aseeessment as punishment.

(3) Bight of confiscation of land, uot merely 'Rayat- wan' but even 'laami* or 'Sanadia,' and the right of keeping a man under hajat.

Those remedies may he applied singly or all to- gather, and unbelievable though it may seem to the public, it may be mentioned that; notices of the applica- tion of all these remedies but the last have been issued. Thus a man owning two hundred acres of land in per- petuity and valued at thousands of rupee*, paying a small assessment rate, may at the will of the authority lose the whole of it, because for the sake of principle he respectfully refuses voluntarily to pay the assessment himself, and is prepared meekly but- under strong protest to penalties that* may be mll.uted by law. Surely vin- diobive confiscation of property ought not to be the re- ward for orderly disobedience which properly handled

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