7 MARCH 1931, Page 15


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sin,—Referring to Mr. Sinanan's letter, I could quote numbers of instances where the colour bar in this country does not apply to cricket, hockey, golf, and other " blues."

Is it not rather the case that some of your correspondents are obsessed with caste prejudice ? Is it not equally the

case that nothing evokes the scorn and derision of Englishmen (or even Moslems) more than the empty rhetoric about " mutual understanding and good will " between Brahmins and Sudras? The latter know only too well that this monstrous practice of caste distinction is a weapon that has

' been forged by the twice born castes in order to keep the Sudra in subjection, and is due partly to fear and partly to economic reasons.

The Sudra would like to believe that the -caste bar will disappear, not by anything the people of England can do, - nor even by the formation of a Depressed Classes Association, but only when the causes which give rise to it are completely eradicated, and every intelligent Sudra is convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the causes are mainly economic, and that not until he achieves practical and economic

independence will the Brahmins and higher-caste Hindus be compelled to put a stop to the unrestrained ridicule and misrepresentation and contumely which is directed against the " untouchables " in India. Mr. M. J. Sinanan will, I hope, accept my parallel as applicable.

May I quote the following from opinions expressed at a public meeting in Lucknow on February 1st, by a well-known Mohammedan gentleman ?—

" Almost half the population of India," he said, " is being treated worse than animals by the so-called higher classes." Ho claims to be an anti-Anarchist and is critical of his own people when he says, " This orthodox element of India which is inimical to national interests consists not only of Hindus but also of Moslems. Such Moslems are only Moslems in name and dress : untouchability, caste inferiority, and distinctions of wealth arc still current in their

practices. And that is why India cannot get freedom. Real Swaraj does not consist of social oppression. My mission is only to bring out a revolution in their (anarchists') ideas and to convince them that it is not the innocent Britishers. but those Indians who perpetuate inequality that deserve to be made the target of their bullets."