11 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 2

Mr. Gandhi's Visitors While it is satisfactory that the Government

of India should have allowed Mr. Gandhi to carry on conversations with visitors from outside his gaol on the question of untouchability, it is by no means satisfactory that the permission should be strictly -limited to that. The untouchability issue, so far as it directly concerns the British Government, is settled, though as between Hindus and the untouchables there is a good deal of ground to be covered yet. Mr. Gandhi's proposal to renew his fast in order to bring pressure on his fellow Hindus is a highly doubtful expedient. Success may be achieved in that field once ; to achieve it twice in a couple of months is a very different matter. But the outstanding question is still' the larger communal problem between " Hindus and Moslems. There is no reason on the face of it why Mr. Gandhi should not have been allowed to discuss that with Shaukat Ali with the same freedom that was accorded him in the matter of untouchability. Neither the British nor the Indian Governments would have been in any way involved. There may be good reasons for refusing to consider any new pact between the Government, and Mr. Gandhi, butithere is no reason at all for preventing him from doing what he can to achieve a, pact between Hindus and Moslems. To say that he is a State prisoner and must be treated as such is simple pettiness where issues so immense are involved.