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Henry Judd

British Violence Against India’s People Continues

(September 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 36, 7 September 1942, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The terror and violence against an unarmed people who are insistent upon their right to national independence is continuing without a let-up in India. Although clashes in the big industrial cities of the country have stopped for the time being, many cases of shooting and rioting have been reported from the peasant and small town areas outside the big cities. These reports have come through the tight British censorship and we list some of them below:

  1. In the district of Ashti, near the home of Gandhi, four constables and an inspector were stoned to death and two other constables were burned alive by angry peasants upon whom they had fired.
  2. At the town of Chimur four policemen were beaten to death with their own clubs which they had tried to use against demonstrators.
  3. Authorities in Patna threatened to use forced labor on the roads and fined two communities $1,500 each for political demonstrations.
  4. Nationalist newspapers in Calcutta, Bombay, Lucknow, Delhi, Nagpur and Ahmadabad (numbering: well over twenty-five papers) quit in protest against British censorship provisions.
  5. In the United Provinces, seventeen Indian peasants were killed in a clash between demonstrators and a police patrol.
  6. In the peasant districts of Bombay Province, a total of five were killed and forty-seven wounded in various clashes with the police and soldiers. Curfew was established in virtually every city of the province.
  7. Near the city of Lucknow, Many were injured at a demonstration outside a police station; at Benares a crowd that attacked the railroad station and police booths was fired upon, with seventeen wounded.
  8. In Bihar Province the authorities admitted that serious demonstrations had taken place last week, with at least ten killed by the soldiers.

Struggle Is Still On

And with all this going on (not to mention the innumerable events that are suppressed by British censorship), the foreign rulers of India speak as if the struggle was over and “law and order” had been established! Obviously, they lie, for the movement is spreading from one end of the country to the other, affecting the great masses of poor peasants. According to a secret statement of the Congress Party issued last week, the climax of the anti-British, pro-freedom movement can be expected within the next four weeks.

By their actions in the past three weeks the British imperialists have lost forever any possibility of winning support from India’s masses. Hundreds (approaching 400 to 500) have already been killed in cold blood; thousands have been wounded in bloody clashes and tens of thousands have been arrested in the three weeks of fascist-like British terror. The only result of their terror is that the 400,000,000 people of that country are more determined than ever that the fight for their freedom must go on.

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