13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 14


SIR,—The caption of an article on India in your issue of Novem- ber a9th, "What India Wants," was very unfortunate. After reading it I suggest a truer title would be "What the Indian Congress Wants." I therefore ask that we may have the views of other elements which, taken in the aggregate, are almost, if not quite, numerically equal, so that we may judge the feeling of the other India. We are told that -some Congressmen are anxious for a workable arrangement, and that at one time there were bright prospects of a sauna working compromise. Who, then, upset them? Shortly after the fall of France, the Work- ing Committee demanded "an acknowledgment by Great Britain of the complete independence from Britain, and the immediate setting up of a national Government." And note, unless this was granted, there was to be no effective organisation of the defence of the country. There is no reasonable working arrangement here.

The writer also mentions such things as "the acid test of the Government's sincerity," and "poisonous suspicion." Who poisoned it? All this bickering and splitting of hairs is both ludicrous and tragic, and undignified in those who aspire to be leaders of a unified India, if that is possible. It can certainly not be without the co-operation of Great Britain. India, but mostly the Congress, have missed many opportunities. In 5921 parties were given ten years in which to prove their worth. What a miserably short time in the life of a nation! No unbiased or detached observer can say they did so. Unfortunately, the British Government betrayed the British people, who are- also inteiested in •the-matter, by ignoring the test which had been laid down. Now it looks like further demonstra- tions of unworthiness. May I say this to the Congress? Can you not co-operate for say, ten years," learn your job of government—for it needs learning—and take a closer interest in the welfare of your country? If you can, then give us an earnest. A successful issue would not only be welcomed here, but would set India on a brighter and less discordant road. Why not try?—I am, Sir, your obedient