Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/33

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and in the unsuccessful one to prevent the disfranchisement of the Indian community, though the effort made obliged the Imperial authorities to insist that this disfranchisement should be effected along non-racial lines. At the end of 1895, he returned to India, being authorised by the Natal and Transvaal Indians to represent their grievances to the Indian public. This he did by means of addresses and a pamphlet, the mutilated contents of which were summarised by Router and cabled to Natal, where they evoked a furious protest on the part of the European colonists. The telegram ran thus: "A pamphlet published in India declares that the Indians in Natal are robbed, aud assaulted, and treated like beasts, and are unable to obtain redress. The Times of India advocates an enquiry into these allegations."

This message was certainly not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, though it had elements of truth in it About the same time, Mr. Gandhi returned to Durban with his family, and with him, though independently of him, travelled several compatriots. The rumour arose that he was bringing with him a number of skilled Indian workers with the express object of ousting the European artisans from the field of employment, and the two circumstances combined to stimulate in the colonists, high and low alike, all the worst passions, and feeling ran so high that the Attorney-General, Mr. Escombe, felt himself obliged to side with the popular party, and accordingly gave instructions that the vessels bringing Mr. Gandhi and his companions should be detained in quarantine. The quarantine was only raised when the ship-owners announced their intention of taking legal action against the Government. The vessels now came alongside the wharf, but the crowd that assembled became so hostile that a police inspector, who came on board, warned Mr. Gandhi of his own personel danger if he landed then, and urged him to delay the landing until night. A little later, however, a well-known member of the Natal Bar came on board specially to greet Mr. Gandhi and offer his services, and Mr. Gandhi at once determined to land without waiting for darkness to