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SINDH CONGRESS COMMITTEE AND ITS ACTIVITIES (1937-1947) AS RECORDED AND REPORTED BY SINDH GOVERNMENT

 

[This information consists of reports sent by the Home Department of Sindh to the Government of India. Reference has been given at the end of every entry. Dr.Pathan]

 

Part-1                                  

1. The Sindh Provincial Congress Committee has decided to hold a sind Assembly Congress Programme Conference on the 29th and 30th instant at Kandiaro, a small town in the Nawabshah district, in order to prepare a programme for adoptions by the congress members of the Assembly. The programme will include, inter alia, (a) amelioration of the masses, (b) relief of unemployment, (c) reduction in land revenue, (d) abolition of the evils of official corruption and rasai, lapo and chher, (e) reduction in higher official salaries and an increment in the pay of the subordination staff and (f) enquiry into the agrarian problem. The selection of Kandiaro as the venue of the conference is  made with view to enable congress workers to establish contact with the messes. Prominent congress leaders from outside Sind have been invited to attend the Conference.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

2. The congress campaign to develop contract with the Muslim masses has now commenced and as a beginning congress literature has been sent to local Muslims holding political views.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

3. The local Congress Parliamentary Committee tried to induce a Muslim congressman to contest the seat on the Central Legislative Assembly vacated by Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, but he refused, one of the reasons assigned being the uncertainty of the tenure of the present Central Legislative Assembly.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

4. The resolution passed at the Sind Assembly Programme Conference, referred to in my previous report, have been printed in pamphlet form and copies distributed by the local congress committee to its various sub-committees, panchayats and other organisations throughout the province. In pursuance of those resolutions efforts are being made by the congress to organise mass a gitation against have been held and an appeal issued urging the people "to create a strong public opinion against the proposal by organising protest meetings and hartal". .[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

5. The decision of the congress regarding office acceptance has been received with great satisfaction in local congress circles where it is felt that "the nation will soon be able to fight the existing Constitution and evolve a new one".[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th July 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half of July 1937].

6. The Sind Congress Parliamentary Party has been renamed the 'Sind Assembly Congress Party ', the aims and objects of which are, inter alia, to earry out as far as possible the policy and programme laid down by the Congress Working Committee in their meetings at Wardha in February and March 1937, and to oppose all proposals - financial, legislative or otherwise involving domination and exploitation.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th July 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half of July 1937].

7. The local congress committee have been approached by the central body to organise a local boycott of the import of cloves in consequence of the rejection of the Zanzibar resolution in the Central Legislative Assembly, and in sympathy with the passive resistance movement which was being carried on by the Indian merchants in Zanzibar. .[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

8. The congress have embarked upon an intensive rural propaganda with a view to swell their ranks, particularly with Muslim members, and rural committees have been formed at certain villages. So far they have succeeded in enrolling a few more Muslims as congress members. [ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937]

9. Congress propaganda in rural area was vigorously pursued during the fortnight, particularly in the Sukkur district where it is propose to hold a Conference of cultivators on the 11th and 12th instant on the lines of the one recently held at Kandiaro. According to Press reports Mr. Bhulabhai Desai M.L.A will preside at the Conference Muslims are being enrolled for the Conference in appreciable numbers. The success of the propaganda has been due to glowing accounts of the arrangements that are in progress. A novel method of approach to the Muslim masses is the presence in their mosques of Congress leaders preaching the Congress doctrine direct and also through Maulvis.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th December 1937 Fortnightly report for the Second half on November 1937].

10. Congress have been occupied lately with determining their attitude towards the first of the above named two bills. The Bills propose "to make certain provisions for the relief of agricultural indebtedness". The congress party have decided to express their dissatisfaction with the Bill on the ground that it give too much protection to wealthy persons.[ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937].

11. The Conference commenced on the 26th December and lasted two days. The arrangements made on this occasion were on a larger scale than those for the previous conference at Kandiaro and included a dispensary, radios etc.  The programme opened with a Chak was taken in procession to the pandal. The attendance at the first session numbered about seven thousand persons, half of whom were Muslim, and included members of the Legislature and other prominent people. The second session on the following day had an audience of about three thousand which later dwindled to about one thousand, about half the number were passed dealing with subject referred to in my last report. A notable incident at the Conference was a conversation reported to have taken place between Mr. Desai and Saiyed Attaullah Shah Bukhari(an Ahrar leader) when the former is said to have advised the latter not to mix religion with politics, saying that he did not favour the Ahrar's policy of making anti-Kadiant propaganda a plank in their political programme. Saiyed Bukhari agreed with Mr. Desai's views regarding the anti-Kadiani attitude but added that the Muslim masses needed some religious stimulant, whereupon Mr. Desai suggested concentration on the Palestine questions. The congress circles are gratified with the success of the Conference, and propose to convene another such Conference in March 1938. [ Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937 Fortnightly report for the first half on May 1937].

12. The closing fortnight of the year 1938 was comparatively quiet. Mrs. Sarojini Naidu arrived in Karachi on the 24th December and left the next day. She attended several public functions at which she urged opposition to Federation and advocated inter-communal unity, membership of the congress and the adoption of Hindi as the lingua franca of India. The province was also visited by Mr. Yousif  Meherali, a prominent Socialist of Bombay, who during his stay, endeavoured to rouse interest in the congress movement. He deprecated any action that ultimately the congress would be bound to help the people of the States. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th January 1939 Fortnightly report for the second half on December 1938].

13. There was some agitation during the fortnight against the alleged persecution of Hindus in the Nizam's Dominions and also against the atrocities alleged to have been perpetrated in Rajkot State. Meeting were held to create Hindu public opinion against the Stated and appeals were made for funds and for volunteers to be sent to the States to assist the "oppressed" subjects. At one meeting, Mr. R. K. Sidhwa, M.L.A, a local congress leader, remarked that "the All-India Congress would have to alter its decision  not to intervene directly in States". [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th January 1939 Fortnightly report for the second half on December 1938].

14. Under the auspices of district congress committees "China Day" was celebrated at various places in the province before audiences varying  form fifteen to three hundred, resolutions were passed sympathising with the Chinese appealing for funded in aid if Chinese sufferers and advocating the boy- cott of Japanese goods. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21st January 1938 Fortnightly report for the Fast half of January 1938].

15. At the instance  of the local congress committee, the Karachi Grocers Association have decided to boycott the importation of Zanzibar cloves until the Zanzibar Government makes terms with the Indians. In pursuance of this decision existing stocks of cloves have been handed over to the Association in order to prevent their sale and use.[Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th March 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1938].

16. The event of the fortnight was the victory of the Congress candidates over the Hindu candidates in the Sukkur Central Rural General Constituency for the seat rendered vacant by the death of Mr. Bhojsing Pahlajani, late Speaker of the Sind Assembly. The great significance of the Congress victory lies in the fact that the Hindu candidates  a brother of the late Speaker was backed by the entire Hindu Sabha organisation of Sukkur, which is one of the stronghold of the Sabha. Congress circles are naturally jubilant and look forward to more successes of the kind. Their recent victories in the Municipal elections in several parts of the province give them justifiable ground for their hopes. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of April 1938].

17. "National Week" was celebrated by the Congress at various place in the province by holding public meeting at which the audiences varied from twenty to four hundred persons. The speeches made were in the usual Congress strain referring, inter alia, to the Jallianwalla Bagh incident and declaring that as Indians derived no benefit from the last war they should not participate or render any help in any future war. Opposition was also expressed to Federation and audiences were asked to adopt Satyagraha against it when called upon to do so by Mr.Gandhi. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th March 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1938].

18. The Congress propose to celebrate "Zanzibar Cloves Boycott Day" on the 24th April by picketing the shops and  godowns of dealers in cloves who attempt to import cloves from Zanzibar, and by urging the public not to use cloves. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th March 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1938].

 

19. The Congress propose to convene a "Tenants Conference" in May to consider the reduction of house rents. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th March 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1938].

20. A noticeable feature of recent times has been the increasing asscendency of the Congress party in local bodies, they are vigorously contesting, with some measure of success, all elections to Municipalities and are steadily consolidating their ranks on those bodies. During the fortnight eighteen councillors of the Karachi Municipal Corporation joined the Congress group in the Corporation, making the strength of the party twenty, two more are expected to join. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April 1938].

 21."Zanzibar Colves Boycott Day" was celebrated at various places in the province on the 24th April. In two cases the stocks belonging to dealers in Kotri and Larkana were sealed up to prevent their sale, while in another case the cloves imported by a merchant of Shikarapur were re-exported by him to Khairpur state owing to the determined threats of the local congressites to picket his shop. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April 1938].

23. The Congress propose to hold an "Unemployment Conference" at Karachi on the 4th and 5th June. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April 1938].

24. Congress propaganda in connection with the agrarian movement still continues. Under the joint auspices of the Congress and the Jamiat-Ulema, a conference of zamindars and haris (attendance about 800) was held at a village in the abolition of forest grazing fees, free fuel for the personal use of villagers living near forests, prohibition in Sind, etc ., etc. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April 1938].

25. The decision of the Sind Provincial Congress Committee to allot only six additional seats to the Karachi District Congress Committee out of thirty seats allotted by the All-India Congress Committee has caused dissension among the Congress ranks. The Karachi Committee have decided to boycott the elections to the provincial Committee a protest against the meagre representation given to the City. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of May1938].

26. The Hari Conference, which had been fixed for the 16th and 17th April, was held on the 30th April and 1st May under Congress auspices, Miss Jethi Sipahimalani, M.L.A., presiding. About five hundred people including three hundred Moslems attended. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of May1938].

27. The long-drawn agitation for the premature release of Hansraj Wireless came to an end during the fortnight. Hansraj was release on the 6th May after giving an undertaking that he will remain in the province of Sind during the unexpired term of his sentence, which is approximately two and half years. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th May 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of May1938].

28. Dissension among the Congress ranks over the allotment of seats to the Karachi District Congress Committee still continues. Mr. Jairamdas Doulatram tried to persuade the members of the Committee at  a meeting held on the 28th May to rescind their decision to boycott the Sind Provincial Congress Committee elections, but the attitude of the discontented members remains unchanged. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

29. The Congress workers are carrying on intensive propaganda all over Sind advising people to join the Congress which alone, they say, can bring about the salvation of the country. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

30. The Congress electioneering campaign for the vacant seat in the Provincial Assembly is in full-swing. The Local Congress Committee, with the approval of the All-India Congress Committee, have set up their Provincial President, Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, as a candidate. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of June 1938].

31. The "All India China Day'" was celebrated by the Congress workers at Hyderabad on the 12th instant, with the object of collecting funds for financing an Indian Medical Mission for war service in China. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

32. In pursuance of their policy of contesting election to local bodies, the Karachi District Congress Committee have constituted a Municipal Board to revise the constitution of the Congress Municipal Party and to control and supervise the activities of the Party. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of Mhiay1938].

33. Another filed of activity to which the Congress has, of late, turned its attention is the problem of present day unemployment. On the 3rd instant a small procession under the leadership of Mr. R. K: Sidhwa, M.L.A., marched to the Secretariat with a view to meeting the Chief Minister in deputation. The Chief Minister, however, informed the leaders of the procession that he considered they should first conclude their deliberations and formulate any requests they wished to put forward when Government would give them due consideration. This was agreed to by the leaders of the procession which then dispersed. Under the auspices of the local Congress Committee, an "Unemployment Conference" was also held at Karachi on the 4th and 5th instant, which was attended by about six hundred persons. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

34. The Government of Sind have restored the pension of one Kodumal Bhatia, which had been withdrawn by the Bombay Government on account of his participation in the last civil disobedience movement. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

35. An incident of political significance arose out of the hoisting of the Union jack on the Karachi Town Hall on Empire Day. One of the Congress Municipal Councillors, Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., took exception to the hoisting of the Union Jack and has demanded an assurance from the Mayor that in future the union jack will not be hoisted on such occasions without the permission of the Municipal Corporation. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the Second half of May1938].

36. The local Congress organization scored another victory when their candidate, Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of the Provincial Congress Committee, was elected by an overwhelming majority in the recent bye-election for the seat rendered vacant by the death of the late Diwan Bahadur Hiranand Khemsingh. Doctor Gidwani polled 1,065 votes against 53 votes polled by his opponent, Mr. L.A. Advani who, incidentally, forfeited his election deposit. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th July 1938 Fortnightly report for the First Half of July 1938].

37. Speculation rergarding the attitude of the Congress Party toward the Ministry have, at last, been set at rest. The Congress Parliamentary Sub-Committee has announced its decision that unless the Ministry agrees to a postponement of the orders passed by Government, including those regarding regrouping for one year, the Congress Party, will resume freedom of action and will remain neutral in case a no confidence motion is moved on this issue in the next session of the Legislative Assembly. As the Ministry is not prepared to consider the question of postponement of the orders with regard to regrouping, it will have to face the opposition in the Assembly without support of the Congress Party. The announcement of the Congress policy has, however, clarified the situation, and the Ministerial and Moslem League Parties are now striving to strengthen their position. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 16th September 1938 Fortnightly report for the First Half of September 1938].

38. Two meetings of some importance were held during the fortnight one at Ghotki in the Sukkur district on the 5th  November and the other at Karachi on the 7th November. The former was organised by Congressmen mainly for ventilating local grievances. About 450 persons attended, including a few Muslims. The achievements of the Congress  Ministries in Bombay, Madras, the United Provinces, etc., were eulogised, while disappointment was expressed at the indifference of the Sind Ministry in the matter of granting relief to the masses. Great stress was laid on the necessity of awakening the masses through which alone it was claimed that the freedom of India could be won. The latter was convened by the Sind Provincial Congress Socialist Party and the Trade Union - Congress to celebrate the Russian Revolution Day, The attendance was large and speeches were made denouncing capitalism and the Bombay Trade Dispute Bill. . [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th November 1938 Fortnightly report for the First Half of November 1938].

39. The Karachi District Congress Committee propose to set up an un-official committee to enquire into the unfortunate drowning tragedy referred to in my last report. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th October 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of October 1938].

40. To condemn the alleged repression in Rajkot State, meetings were held at different places and resolutions adopted sympathising with the Rajkot Satyagrahis. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 16th December 1938 Fortnightly report for the First half of December 1938].

41.The Congress electioneering campaign for the vacant seat in the Provincial Assembly is in full swing. The Local Congress Committee, with the approval of the All-India Congress Committee, have set up their Provincial President, Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, as a candidate. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

42.The “All India China Day” was celebrated by the Congress workers at Hyderabad on the 12th instant, with the object of collecting funds for financing an India Medical Mission for war service in China. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th  June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

43.In pursuance of their policy of contesting elections to local bodies, the Karachi DISTRICT Congress Committee have constituted a Municipal Board to revise the constitution of the Congress Municipal Party and to control and supervise the activities of the Party. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

44.Another field of activity to which the Congress has, of late, turned its attention is the problem of present day unemployment. On the 3rd instant a small procession under the leadership of Mr. R. K. Sidhwa, M.L.A., marched to the Secretariat with a view to meeting the Chief Minister in deputation. The Chief Minister, however, informed the leaders of the procession that he considered they should first conclude their deliberation and formulate any requests they wished to put forward when Government would give them due consideration. This was agreed to by the leaders of the procession which then dispersed. Under the auspices of the local Congress Committee, an “Unemployment Conference” was also held at Karachi on the 4th and 5th instant , which was attended by about six hundred persons. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th  June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

45.The Government of Sind have restored the pension of one Kodumal Bhatia, which had been withdrawn by the Bombay Government on account of his participation in the last civil disobedience movement. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th  June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

46.An incident of political significance arose out of the hoisting of the Union Jack on the Karachi Town Hall on Empire Day. One of the Congress Municipal Councillors, Dr. Popatla A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., took exception to the hoisting of the Union Jack and has demanded an assurance from the Mayor that in future the Union jack will not be hoisted on such occasions without the permission of the Municipal Corporation. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th  June 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of June 1938].

 

47.The Local Congress organization scored another victory when their candidate, Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of the Provincial Congress Committee, was elected by an overwhelming majority in the recent bye-election for the seat rendered vacant by the death of the late Diwan Bahadur Hiranand Khemsingh. Doctor Gidwani polled 1,065 votes 53 votes polled by his opponent, Mr. L.A. Advani who, incidentally, forfeited his election deposit. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th  July 1938 Fortnightly report for the first half of July 1938].

 

48.Political – Speculation regarding the attitude of the Congress Party towards the Ministry have a last, been set  at rest. The Congress Parliamentary Sub-Committee has announced its decided that unless the Ministry agrees to a postponement of the one year, the Congress Party, will resume freedom of action and will remain neutral in case a no confidence motion is moved on this issue in the next session of the Legislative Assembly. 49.As the Ministry is not prepared to consider the question of postponement of the orders with regard to regrouping, it will have to face the opposition in the Assembly without support of the Congress Party. The announcement of the Congress policy has, however, clarified the situation, and the Ministerial and Moslem League Parties are now striving to strengthen their position. 

 

50.  " Independence Day'" was celebrated by the Congress throughout the province on the 26th January by taking out processions and holding public meetings. At some places municipal offices and schools were closed but on the whole not much enthusiasm was evinced in the observance of the day. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th February  1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of January 1939].  

 

 51. There were no political activities of any importance during the fortnight. Congress efforts to enroll members of criminal tribes within the congress fold have developed in the case of one district Congress Committee, into persistent attempts to assist criminal tribesmen against the police. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 28th February  1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of February 1939]. 

 

55. Soon after the outbreak of war there was a marked increase in anti-British and anti-war propaganda by extremists and a League against War and Imperialism was formed at Karachi in order to create public opinion against India's participation in the war. This League, together with the local Congress, the Congress Socialist- Party and Labour were more than usually active, carrying on street propaganda and agitation of a most pernicious nature, particularly among the labouring classes who were urged not to take any part in the  war and to give no help to Government in this direction. Action under Rule 38 of the Defence of India Rules against some of the more virulent speakers had a sobering effect, and agitation thereafter was confined mainly to denouncing capitalism and the Sind Ministry, and urging India to take advantage of the present situation to press her claims for complete independence. Prosecutions under Rule 38 mentioned above have so far been confined to Karachi city and the local officers have been instructed not to use their powers under the Ordinance without the prior consent of Government. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd October February  1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of August/First half of September 1939]. 

 

 56. The Local Congress have decided to hold a Swadeshi Exhibition and a District Political Conference at Karachi during Diwali, and also a Sind Political Conference at Sukkur sometime this month. The local Muslim League has been approached by the parent body to mobilize public opinion, against Federation in pursuance of M.A. Jinnah's statement in this conection. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd October February  1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of August/First half of September 1939]. 

 

57. Except for Congress agitation for the release of political prisoners on hunger strike in Bengal and the commemoration of the death anniversary of Tilak on the 1st August, there were no outstanding political activities during the fortnight. A move by the Congress left wing to invite S.C. Bose to attend a Students' Conference next month, preparatory to the formation of a Left Consolidation Committee, is being combated by the Congress right wing. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 16th August  1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of August 1939]. 

 

58. Under Congress auspices "National Week" was celebrated throughout the province from the 6th to 13th April to commemorate the Jallianwalla Bagh incident. Processions and meetings were held at which the usual speeches were made exhorting the people to strive for the freedom of India by joining the Congress and ousting British Imperialism, and extolling the Congress as the only body which could "deliver the goods".[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 24th April  1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of April  1939].

 

59. In pursuance of the appeal made by the ex-President (S.C. Bose) of the All-India Congress Committee, the activities of the local Congress were devoted during the fortnight to the observance of "Anti-War Day" throughout the province on the 23rd April by holding public meetings and processions at which was reiterated the appeal urging India not to render assistance to England in any future war. Condemnation was also expressed of the proposal before Parliament to amend the Government of India Act, 1935, investing the Viceroy with power to taken over the entire control of the administration in India in the event of a war. The general public evinced little or no interest in these activities. ".[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th May 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April  1939]. 

 

60. Congress activities were conducted on the usual lines, the public were urged to oppose the inauguration of Federation, the present Ministry were condemned for their alleged high-handedness and an appeal was made for the strengthening of the local Congress ranks in order to establish a Congress Ministry in this province. A Students' Conference convened under Congress auspices at Sukkur was mainly pro-Wardha scheme propaganda and was hardly a success. The local Congress Forward Bloc have started a daily paper Known as the " Qurbani" whose avowed policy is to create partriotism among Indians. Mr. Bhulabhai J. Desai, M.L.A. (Central), passed through Karachi on the 30th June, en route to Vichy, and during the course of a press interview is reported to have declared that " an irresponsible centre and autonomous provinces would not go together" and that "the present state of affairs must end - Indians wanted real self-government".[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th July 1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of July 1939].

 

61. The fortnight was comparatively quiet. Congress propaganda consisted mainly of the usual exhortations to swell the Congress ranks and thereby achieve the freedom of India. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 11th July 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1939].

 

62. The recently formed Congress Forward Bloc in the Province has been specially active during the fortnight and by means of intensive propaganda is gradually gaining popularity. The Congress Socialist group has joined hands with it against the Congress High Command, accusing the latter of adopting a dictatorial attitude and policy and of displaying facist tendencies. The visit to Sind of Master Motasingh Gopalsing, a Sikh communist of the Punjab, gave a fillip to the activities of the Bloc. His speeches embraced various topics such as prohibition and the Forward Bloc- of both of which causes he seemed to be an ardent advocate - imperialism and capitalism which he denounced in his view the state of unemployment in the country was due to exploitation by British imperialism - and finally he made an appeal to the Sikhs to join the Congress in order to secure their rights and to demand representation in the Karachi Municipality and the local Legislature. During his stay he also discussed with local Congressmen the question of setting up a Congress ministry in Sind, the possibility of such a contingency, however, seems remote at present. He took the opportunity also of addressing the Arya Samajists, urging them to join the Congress and expressing surprise that the Congress had not denouneed the new reforms introduced by the Nizam. A section of the press also urges Indians to hear Bose and follow his programme, which includes the non-participation of India in future wars and the inculcation of a revolutionary spirit in the country. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd August1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of July 1939].

 

63. 'Prohibition Week' was celebrated by the local Congress from the 16th to the 23rd july by the holding of processions and public meetings at which the use of alcohol was condemned, the introduction of prohibition was urged and the picketing of liquor shops was threatened, but not carried out. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd August 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of July 1939].

 

64. There were no political activities of any importance during this fortnight. Congress efforts were mainly seen in speeches delivered to implement the Congress War Resolution drafted by Pandit Jawharlal. This resolution has been circulated among Congress and non-Congress Hindu rank and file to ascertain public opinion on the subject. Extremist Congress leaders have suggested in their speeches that would secede from the parent body if Pandit Jawharlal's resolution is adopted. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].

 

65. The Karachi Congress Socialist Party resolved that no help should be rendered to the British during the present war and that the Congress Working Committee be urged to start civil disobedience. It has also been suggested in Congress ranks that the claim that the British were fighting for the great principal of freedom and democracy was a hollow pretence in view of Britain keeping India in thraldom. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].

 

66. The Karachi District Congress Committee has condemned the Sind Government's action under Ordinance V against two persons, saying that if the Sind Government wanted to follow Congress principles it should not taken action under the Ordinance but follow in the footsteps of Congress Provinces. The League against. War and Imperialism held a meeting on the 18th September at which Anti-British speeches were made, the speakers being labour leaders. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].

 

67. Dr. Choithram P Gidwani, M.L.A., and Mahomed Amin Khoso, M.L.A., were beaten by some Jamalis in South Baluchistan just across the border of the Upper Sind Frontier District at Usto Mohomed village, on the 1st October 1939, when they were addressing a meeting in connection with the visit of khan Abdul Ghafar Khan. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].

 

68. Gramophone records of speeches made by Bose and Nehru condemning federation and asking the people to join the Congress and continue the struggle for freedom have come to notice in Karachi. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].  

 

69. a programme has been drawn up by the local Congress worked for receiving Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan at Hyderabad on the 2nd October 1939. The passing of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan through Sukkur on the 18th September was made the occasion for Congress activity. It was urged that Britain be approached to apply the principal of liberty and demooracy to Indian and give Dominion Status. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of September 1939].

 

70. Political activities during the fortnight under report remained subdued. Two further arrests were made under Ordinance V, viz, Swami Krishnanand and Nur Mahomed Palijo. They have been released on bail. A third, one Ali Makrani, has been remanded to jail custody. Most of the local Ward Congress Committees in Karachi and other Congress Committees in the Province celebrated Gandhi Jayanti Week by holding public meetings, processions, etc Speeches commending Gandhi's services to the Country and in the cause of freedom and disapproving of the arrest of Swami Krishnanand were made. Anti-British speeches continued to be delivered in Karachi under the auspices of the Congress Committee in which the English were called dishonest as they taught Indian how to tell lies, and stating that the Indians were friends of those who were enemies of England, that the end of the British Government was near and that they should utilise the opportunity to free the country from the British. Anti-Congress meetings were held at Jacobabad by Muslims in which the activities of the Congress were denounced and Muslims were asked to boycott it.[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th October 1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of October 1939]. 

71. The political situation has been enlivened by the issue of the statement by the Viceroy which has been received with marked disappointment by all sections of the public. An emergent meeting of the Sind Council of the Sind Provincial Congress Committee was convened on the 21st October to which the Presidents of the District Congress Committees in Sind were invited. It seems that district-wide propaganda has been made to refuse help to the British in war. Meetings are being held in different villagers to this end. The Congress workers deliver speeches in which they tell villagers that India should not help the British Government in war until the demand of India is conceded. They also warned people to be ready for the next fight with Government. Even moderate opinion is on the side of the Congress while Bose and his bloc triumphantly say, " We told you so". Feeling on account of the Sukkur Manzilgah affair continued to be fostered by foul propaganda in the press. An anti-British tone is also apparent in some newspapers. The Provincial Press Adviser warned several newspapers for publishing matters contravening the provisions of the various press notices. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd November 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of October 1939]. 

72. At a private meeting held at Karachi on the 24th October jointly by the Executive Committee of the Sind Provincial Congress Committee, the Sind Assembly, Congress Party and the Presidents of the District Congress Committees, a resolution was passed affirming that the Viceregal declaration had shown that the high ideals of the British on entering the war were mere excuses and that the announcement was injurious to the prestige of the Indian nation. One speaker criticizing the Viceregal declaration said that it sprinkled salt on open wounds. There was nothing wise in it, and even a child would not make such a statement. Another speaker said that the Viceroy had invited such a statement. Another speakers said that the Viceroy had invited such persons for interview who if they contested an election would not get 10 votes. Another speaker said that the English Press had started to write that democracy was to remain confined to Europe only and that the people of Asia did not deserve it. One Sikh speaker said that the Ordinance and the speech of the Viceroy were a challenge and that the Sikhs would take up the challenge. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd November 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of October 1939].

73. An emergency council to deal with development as they arose was also formed. This meeting resolved to carry out the instructions received from the All-India Congress Working Committee and that Local Ward Congress Committees should report the number of persons available for civil disobedience and warned them to be prepared. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd November 1939 Fortnightly report for the Second half of October 1939]. 

74. In a congress meeting at Shikarpur, speeches were made praising the Congress Ministry for resigning as a protest against the "Hitler Rule" of the British in India. At a Congress meeting at Nawabshah, Moulvi  Muhammad Mawaz Muhammad Arif stated that it was a lame excuse given by the British Government that without the union of Hindus and Muslims India could not be give freedom, and added that Herr Hitler was perfectly right in saying that he would give up the war if England granted freedom to India. Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madani, of the United Provinces,   said that ever since the Congress had come into power, anti-congress propaganda was started at the instance of the British and that the British were more tyrannical and harmful than the Hindus. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 22nd December 1939 Fortnightly report for the First half of December 1939]. 

75. Congress propaganda during the period under review included, inter alia, a denunciation of the Anglo- Soviet Agreement as unfavourable to India "because Britain would thereby become stronger and India consequently would remain in perpetual enslavement". A pious wish was expressed for the strengthening of Hitler and Musselini " when only the world will have peace"[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 30th  june 1939 Report on the political situation for May/June 15th.

76. The annual elections to the Sind Provincial Congress Committee gave rise to a good deal of excitement and the re-election on the governing body of the previous Honorary Secretary led to the Congress left-wing staging a walk-out from the meeting. These dissensions have caused a split in the local Congress ranks and have resulted in the formation of 'Forward Bloc' in Sind by sympathisers of Bose with Swami Govindanand -who has long been at loggerheads with the local Congress Command - as President of the new 'Bloc'. The formation of this group is not viewed with favour generally among Congress circles as it is felt that the existence of the 'Bloc' as a separate group will be certain to divide and weaken the Congress, and on this account Bose himself has been condemned by some Congressmen for having originated the creation of the 'Forward Bloc' , while at the same time his action in resigning the Presidentship of the Congress High Command has been generally praised 'as having saved the situation'. Bose himself is expected to tour Sind for a fortnight in September in connection with the new 'Bloc'. "[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 30th  June 1939 Report on the political situation for May/June 15th].

77. Mirza Nasir Beg and Muhammad Saleh " Ajiz" have been prosecuted under the Defence of India Act, 1939, for their anti-British activities. Barkat Ali Nawabuddin, President, Congress Committee, Jacobabad, in the course of two speeches, demonstrated the merits of military drill and advised his audience to encourage it in that district so that it may be of help to them in an emergency. It has been decided to postpone the Karachi District political Conference, which was to be held at Tatta during the Christmas week.[Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 13th January 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of December 1939].

78. The Bano Congress Committee held a meeting on the 17th December, at which speeches of the usual type were made. one speaker said that the British would not be able to stand against the Germans and that they were the enemies of Islam. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 13th January 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of December 1939].

79. It is understood that the election of delegates from the Karachi District for the Ramgarh Congress Sessions will be held in the Swaraj Bhawan, on 28th January 1940.  [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th January 1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of January 1940].

80. The joint Secretary of the Karachi District Political Conference, Tatta, appealed and labourers of the district to send him their grievances against Government officers, zamindars and others, in orders that measures might be adopted for their redress. Swami Krishnanand and Mr. G.T. Vazirani toured the Karachi District conducting propaganda for the Conference, which was held at Tatta at the close of the period under report. The most considerable speaker at the Conference was the visitor, Khan Abdul Qayoom, M.L.A. (Central), who has been conducting the enquiry on behalf of the Congress into the Sukkur riots. This gentleman scarcely concealed his contempt for the intrigue and lack of political principles which he found in the Province, and said that the atmosphere was such that it was impossible for any Ministry to carry on Apart from this, the main theme of his discourse was that communal difference were the creation of the British Government, and that no settlement with minorities could be expected so long as British power continued. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th January 1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of January 1940].

81. It is learnt that Mr.N.R Malkani, President, Hyderabad District Congress Committee has received instruction to publish a short report on the relief rendered by the Congress to the Thar Parkar famine sufferers. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th January 1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of January 1940].

82. Further reports regarding the appointment of delegates to the Ramgarh Congress Sessions have been received. it is now possible to say definitely that among the delegates orthodox Congressmen predominate. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of March 1940].

83. Meeting were held in district places by the Congress where speeches were made advoeating simplicity, economy, unity and the wearing of Swadeshi clothes, exhorting the audience to act according to the Congress programme and to convey its voice of freedom to all nooks and corners. A speaker remarked that as Britons were waging war to defend their country the people of India also should fight for their country without fire-arms and free themselves from the chains of slavery. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of March 1940].

84. At a private meeting of the Karachi District Congress Committee a resolution blaming the Muslim League for the Sukkur riots, condemning the Sind Ministry and urging the Congress Assembly Party to from a suitable Ministry to protect life and property and safeguard the interests of the minority community was adopted. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Sind Hindu Panchayats' Federation help at Karachi deprecated attempts on the part of the pro-ministerial party to invite messages from persons outside Sind on the recent ministerial crises. The meeting condemned the Ministry, and favoured the idea of a Hindu coalition with the Muslim League Party in the Assembly. This suggestion has been accepted by the Provincial Muslim League. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of March 1940].

85. The members of the District Congress Committee at Hyderabad along with other Associations and institutes, have decided to carry out a rural uplift programme by delivering speeches, arranging magic lantern shows and exhibitions, starting night schools and libraries reviving village industries, giving medical relief and organizing village Panchayats and Jamaits. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of March 1940].

86. The Tilak Bal Mandal, Karachi observed "Kamla Nehru Day", and passed a resolution urging the Congress High Command to lift the ban imposed on Subhas Chandra Bose. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March1940 Fortnightly report for the First half of March 1940].

87. The Congress Socialist Jayprakash Narayan was recommended to the All-India Congress Committee for the Presidentship of the Ramgarh Congress Session by the Sind Provincial Congress Committee: and manes of delegates have been published by the various District Congress Committees, but the Sind Provincial Congress Committee have approached. the Sind Congress Tribunal to set aside the election of these delegates on the ground that there have been several irregularities. Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

 88. The Karachi District Congress Committee held two private meetings at which resolutions were passed deprecating any move towards bringing the Muslim League into power, and condemning Government for refusing permission to the Karachi Corporation to run its own bus service and deciding to organize a boycott of the  East India Tramways Company's trams and buses. The Karachi District Muslim League Conference has been postponed to the 3rd March 1940. The Hindu trading classes were greatly agitated over the Sind Marketing Bill and observed partial 'hartals' in most towns in Sind. At a public meeting in Sukkur held to protest against the Bill, it was urged that it had been introduced at the instance of the Muslim Leagues, and Hindu feelings were stirred up by speakers who alleged that the Bill would injure 'gaushallas' and other charitable institution dear to Hindus. 'Hartals' were also held to protest against the Excess profits tax. Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

89. At a meeting of the Forward Bloc, Ratodero, a resolution was passed urging that Mr. S.C. Bose should tour in Sind and give a fillip to the movement, which has few supporters here. A meeting attended by about 2,000 persons was held at Samaro, Thar Parker District, under the auspices of the Harijan Samellan, where resolution were passed and speeches made advocating the uplift of the depressed classes. Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

90. It is reported that a sum of about Rs. 40,000 has been collected for the Congress Sukkur. Relief Fund, mainly from Bombay, but also from placed so far away as Coimbatore. Government, in addition to the grant of Rs. 25,000 already sanctioned, have decided to allot Rs.50,000 for loans at low rates of interest to those who were rendered destitute by the riots. Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of February 1940].

91. The tone of the Congress meetings held during the fortnight has definitely worsened. The speeches delivered were not only anti-British but also contained anti-war propaganda. Feeling is gaining ground that a Civil Disobedience Movement is imminent. The following are samples of the statements made:-

 "It is better to die in the cause of the freedom of India than on the battle fields of France in the cause of the freedom of India than on the battle fields of France in the cause of British Imperialism. India in a state of slavery cannot offer any assistance to the British". Another speaker suggested the formation of Revolutionary Committee in villages to end British rule. " The history of England is full of gory wars which have been fought by England every twenty years. These were fought not for the good of any country but for the strengthening of her Empire." "If Hitler is fifty per cent badmash, the British are cent-per-cent badmashes. The present war is a war between dacoits, and the British have looted the whole world. If a revolution occurred in India and the British Government opened fire on Indians, Russia would surely come to the rescue." [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th April 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of March 1940].

92. The Congress was comparatively quiet during the fortnight under review. Three meetings were held at New Chor, Thar Parkar district, Tando Adam, Nawabshah district and Jacobabad. The audience at these meetings varied from 80 to 1,000 persons. The meeting at Jacobabad was held on the 22nd June and was addressed among others by the ex-Premier, Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh, O.B.E., who urged the people to throw off the yoke of the foreign Government as soon as possible. Dr Muhammad Ashraf of the United Provinces also spoke and emphasized that India could not be free till Hindu-Muslim unity was achieved. He advised his listeners not to depend on war committees or the police, but t rely upon their own volunteer organizations for safety and protection. A meeting of the Forward Bloc was held on 19th June at Tando Adam, Nawabshah district, which was attended by about 200 persons, including some 50 Muslims. Speeches were made on the war situation, and it was stressed that the present was the most opportune time to achieve freedom. Swami Govindanand, President of the Sind Forward Bloc, approached the local Panchayat for financial help but it was not forthcoming. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th July 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1940].

93. At a meeting of the Sind Provincial Trade Union Congress Karachi, Mr. N.A.Bechar, M.L.A, was elected president for the new years. Mr. Gopal. P. Sipahimalani was proposed for Secretaryship, but was not elected owing to the influence of Mr. Bechar. The Secretaryship has been kept in abeyance, in the hope that Mr. Bechar and Mr. Sipahimalani will shortly make up their differences. This however, seems hardly likely, and as mentioned in previous reports Mr. Bechar is evidently losing ground in the struggle for control of the various Unions in Karachi. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10th July 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of June 1940].

 

94. A public meeting was held in Karachi on the 26th July 1940 in connection with the Tilak Day under the presidentship of Dr. Tarachand Lalwani. Only about 50 persons were present. Dr. Lalwani and Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar spoke at length on the services rendered by Tilak in the cause of Indian freedom Dr.Popatlal remarked inter alia, "they say that the British was a big lion, that lion has become old. We believe that it does not possess so much strength as the cat does but it does not like to give up its hold on India". [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th August 1940 Fortnightly report for the Second half of July 1940].

 

95.There was not much political activity during the fortnight under report. The main Congress activities were connected with the observance of Tilak Week. In all 22 meeting were organized by the Congress and the Forward Bloc and they were generally well attended. The Karachi District Satyagraha Committee held a public meeting in the Khalikdina Hall on the 1st August which was attended by nearly 600 persons and was presided over by Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopstkar. M.L.A. The meeting began with the usual shouting of sologans, “Long Live Revolution”, “May India be free”, “Down with the Bureaucracy”, etc. A youth was heard shouting “Up up the National Flag. Down, down the Union jack”. Dr. Popatlal  A. Bhoopatkar took strong exception to the presence of the C.I.D. reporters. He said that the C.I.D. men would be better employed if they concentrated on the task of catching dacoits and murderers. Sind spent lakhs of rupees on the C.I.D. It was a matter of sorrow that even after the introduction of provincial autonomy conditions had not improved in Sind. He then explained at length the sacrifices made by Tilak in the cause of Indian freedom and ended by saying “You have not unfurled the Congress flag to-day as free Indians. I hope when we celebrate the Taiak Week next year, we will unfurl the flag as free Indians.” At other places, speeches were made in a similar strain. A meeting of the Shikarpur Satyagraha Committee resolved to appoint a Congress Volunteer. Board of nine persons consisting of four members of the Satyagraha Committee, two representatives of the Hindu Pachayat and three members representing the Majlis-i-Ahrar, students and volunteers. Khan Bahadur. Allah Bakhsh, O.B.E., ex-Premier of Sind, has agreed to work on the Board. As it is necessary that a member of the Board must belong to some Congress Committee Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh is reported to have consented to join the Shikarpur Congress Satyagraha Committee. The Board proposes to enroll and train volunteers in accordance with instructions issued form the Provincial and All-India Congress Committees. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S) 40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th August 1940. Fortnightly Report for the first half of August 1940].

96.The main feature of the Congress activities during the Fortnight under report was the holding of a number of meetings to protest against the arrest of Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose. Such meeting were held at Karachi, Sukkur and Tando Adam in Nawabshah district, the latter being convened by the Forward Bloc and the two former by the local Congress Committees. The audience varied from 25 to 250 persons. The meeting at Karachi was held on the 6th July at the Khalikdina Hall. Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., presided. The meeting started with the usual slogans of “Long live revolution, Down with bureaucracy”, etc. etc. Resolution were passed condemning the action of the Bengal Government in arresting Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose and protesting against the arrest of Abdul Qadir Mewakhan, a labour worker, under the Defence of India. Act and the externment of Mr. Fatehraj Jethmal Prohit from Sind under the Foreigners’ Act. Addressing the audience, Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar remarked that the present ministry in Bengal was continuing as it supported European interests. British was fighting to preserve her prestige. Indians made great sacrifices in the last war and all that they got was Jallianwalla Bagh. British Imperialism was on its last legs and yet Britain would not free India. Mr. Gandhi called on the Viceroy four times and no decision has been arrived at. He remarked that the Congress workers were being put in jails. Many Indians are prepared to fill the jails, but there are not enough jails for them. Swami Govindanand, leader of the Sind Forward Bloc, spoke in the same strain. Mr. R.K. Sidhwa, M.L.A., ex-Mayor of Karachi remarked that it was the duty of the Bengal Government to remove the Holwell monument from its present site at Calcutta. He argued that the history of Black Hole was a fiction and quoted with approbation the example of the Punjab Government which had removed the sword from the Lawrence statue at Lahore, and that of the Madras Government which had removed a similar monument to a museum. Mr. Aziz-ur-Rehman Habib-ur-Rehman of Ludhiana that they should make India free. If they are given unconditional freedom they will uproot Nazism and Facism. The revolution which was destined to come and it cannot be stopped. Kazi Muhammad Mujtaba said that it was not merely the question of the arrest of Mr.Bose, but of numerousleaders in other provinces. Mr. Bose was opposed to compromise, He did not want any compromise with British Imperialism. The Sind Trade Union Congress and the Forward Bloc held a joint meeting in Karachi on the 10th instant, which was attended by about 300 persons and presided over by Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A. Resolutions were passed condemning the arrest of Mr. Bose and the crushing of civil liberties in India and congratulating the Chinese on their struggle. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S) 40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 22nd July 1940. Fortnightly Report for the first half of July 1940].

97. The main efforts of the Congress have been directed towards the consolidation of the Satyagraha Committees which have been formed in various places. The Secretary of the Sind Supreme Satyagrah Council, Karachi, Mr. Parsram Vishansingh Tahilramani, has called for reports from the various Congress Committees before 31st May, to ascertain the numbers of volunteers who have signed the Satyagraha pledge, the progress made in the sale of ‘Khadi’ and the preparations for Satyagraha, and the reactions of Muslims to the Satyagraha sheme. It was mentioned in my last report that Government had suspended the Municipal resolution sanctioning the lease of a site for a Satyagraha camp. The Mayor of Karachi, who is President of the local Congress Committee, requested Government to re-consider this decision: but on this being refused, the order was obeyed and one camp has since been opened on another site, after several vain attempts to persuade one of the All-India Congress leaders to come and perform the opening ceremony.[Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th June 1940. Fortnightly Report for the second half of May1940].

98. A public meeting of the Satyagraha Committee was held at Larkana and attended by about eight hundred persons. Prof. Ghanshyam Jethanand, M.L.A., presided, and there were speakers from the neighbouring districts. The meeting condemned the Pakistan scheme sponsored by the Muslim League and criticised the British Government for adopting an anti-democratic attitude in India. The meeting reiterated the resolutions of the Ramgarh Congress session,while condemning Germany for her aggression against European countries. Congress meeting were held at Kandhkot, upper Sind frontier, Sukkur and Mahbat Dero Jatoi in Nawabshah district, but the audiences were small. The main trend of discussion at these meeting was that the policy of England towards India was inconsistent with her war aims.[Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th June 1940. Fortnightly Report for the second half of May1940]. 

99. The speeches delivered at Congress meeting during the fortnight under review were, if anything, worse than those delivered during the last fortnight, and it seems that very serious preparations are being made by Congressmen to enrol volunteers, to form War Councils and in general to keep themselves in readiness for a mass Civil Disobedience Movement. A Satyagraha Committee of sixteen members has been formed under instruction received from the General Secretary of the All -India Congress Committee. The main object of this so called War Council is to enlist volunteers who are ready to go jail. A weekly progress report of the War Council will be submitted to the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee. It has been decided to organize volunteer Satyagrah camp in various part of Karachi to enlist volunteers and to carry on propaganda. It is learnt that Congress leaders are preparing to tour Sind in order enrol volunteers for a Satyagraha movement, if started. Having their hands full with for the coming struggle the local Congress Committee have decided not to put up candidates for the ensuring Karachi Municipal Corporation elections. On the other hand, the response at public meetings to the call for volunteers seems to have been very poor, while meetings organised by the Forward Bloc aroused no interest whatever. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of April 1940].       

100. In spite of this activity, squabbles among Congressmen continue. At a private meeting of the District Congress Committee, Karachi, it was proposed to take disciplinary action against Mr. Naraindas Anandji Bechar, M.L.A., for not voting with the Congress in the Sind Legislative Assembly, but it was not proceeded with as it was pointed out by the President that no question of disciplinary action could arise as Mr. Bechar was elected on a non-Congress ticket. Professor Ghashyam Jethanand, M.L.A., having resigned his leadership of the Sind Assembly Congress Party, Mr. R.K. Sidhwa and Dr. Popatlal A Bhoopatkar have been elected as Leader and Secretary respectively. Many protests have been made their election. The Secretary of the Old Town Congress Committee, Karachi, made serious allegations against a member of failure to render account of members enlisted and subscriptions collected. An enquiry committee has been appointed as this person had misappropriated Congress funds on a previous occasion also. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of April 1940].       

101. The National Week was celebrated throughout Sind from 6th to 13th April 1940, and the opportunity thus afforded was taken to make speeches which were strongly anti-British besides being anti-war. At one such meeting a  speaker remarked that National Week had an added significance this year as they were on the brink of a struggle. He deprecated the suggestion that Indians were bargaining with Government =, as what they wanted was only their right and the acknowledgment of the same principle for which Englishmen themselves were fighting the Germans. References to Jallianwala Bagh were of course frequent, and the usual arguments advanced that India was not interested in the war and had nothing to gain out of it. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of April 1940].

102. The Karachi District Congress Committee is interesting itself in the agitation against the increase in the rates of Bus and Tram fares by the East India Tramways Company, Karachi, and has held public meetings on the subject. Mr. Muhammad Amin Khoso, M.L.A., speaking at one of these meetings, said that if the Company did not reduce the fares to pre-war level, the public should boycott the tram services. Mr. Abdul Qayum Khan, M.L.A., (Central), made an anti-British speech at this meeting and siad that he was not prepared to call him a Muslim who was afraid of Hindu dominance, and requested the Muslims not to be afraid of Hindu domination, but to help in creating an atmosphere of goodwill among the various communities. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].

103. Under the auspices of the Lyari Ward Congress Committee, a public meeting was held at Chakiwara, where Mr. Abdul Khaliq deplored the miserable condition of the Lyari Quarter Muslims and eulogised Russia saying that Government on Soviet lines would be benificial for the Indian masses. Another speaker said that the English had now realised that they were to remain in India for only a few days would have to leave the country, and hence they were intensifying their method of "divide and rule" Mr.Abdul Qayum Khan, M.L.A., (Central), also made an anti-British speech at this meeting, remarking that the communal disturbances in this country were due to alien rule and that the British had usurped the freedom of the Muslims in Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Palestine. He exhorted his audience join the Congress and to capture its machinery. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].

104. The Karachi District Political Conference, which ended on the 14th January and was briefly referred to in my last report, was not particularly success full-the local people of Tatta not having attended it in very large numbers. The Muslim Vice-Chairman of the Reception Committee, who had undertaken the arrangements for the boarding and lodging of the Muslim visitors to the Conference, not only failed to make arrangements but also absented himself from the Conference. A majority of influential Hindus and Muslims in Tatta also did not attend. The tone of the speeches was generally anti-British. A Khadi Bhandar was erected, but the proceeds of goods sold did not exceed Rs.10. The Conference, however, did not lack pomp as the presidential chariot was drawn by forty bullocks. No women participated in the procession. A noteworthy feature of the procession was an attempt to give prominence to Muslim leaders, who were made to sit either in the chariot or in cars, in order to attract Muslims to the Conference. This attempt, however, did not succeed as Moulvi Obeidullah Sindhi, who performed the opening ceremony, made several anti-Hindu remarks in his speech which were resented by the Congress leaders sitting on the dais. Many a time he was urged to cut his speech short as he had occupied more time than was allotted to him, and Mr.Abdul Qayum Khan, who was also to address the Conference, had to catch the Punjab Mail that night, but Obeidullah continued his address in spite of protests, indulging in self-praise.Another speaker alleged that India was not to remain in the hands of the British any longer, ad that if the Muslims did not participate in the struggle for freedom, coming generations would curse them. The same speakers said that many Muslims had gone to jail during the Civil Disobedience Movement in the past-the number alleged being 15,000-and that Muslim should not think that they would be swallowed up by the Hindus as it was impossible to do so - the Indian Muslim population being nine crores and their geographical position being safe. The speaker then critimine crores and their geographical position being safe. The speaker then criticised Mr. M.A. Jinnah and the "Deliverance Day" Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, M.L.A., warned the British that if they did not give a clear decision regarding the future of India before the Ramgarh Congress Sessions, the Congress would have to lunch a big satyagraha sruggle, which would end the British dominion in India. In passing, he remarked that 95 per cent. of Muslims in the North-West Frontier Province would lay down their lives for the Congress cause and urged his audiences to be prepared for the call. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].

105. " Independence Day" was celebrated in various placed in Sind and processions were taken out. It appears that the Bose party is daily gaining ground as it promises greater excitement than anything the Rightists have to offer. At several meetings sympathisers with Bose showed their dislike of the new clauses in the Independence pledge relating to spinning, etc. During the celebrations one speaker remarked that after the "Independence Day" all Congressmen should be ready for Civil Disobedience as soon as the Congress issued such a mandate, remarking that he would be the first to go to jail. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].

106. Hindu activity on Khaksar lines continues. Professor N.R.Malkani, a Congress worker of Hyderabad (Sind), has formed a Gothani Fouj (Village Army). Instruction have been give to them in the use of air guns. The Gothani Fouj held a camp at Hyderabad and carried out their usual parades, marching drill and physical exercises. Like the Khaksars, Hindu volunteer bodies also are more active in Hyderabad town than elsewhere. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 2nd  February 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of January 1940].    

107.Fairly well attended Congress meetings were held on the 3rd December at Karachi, Mirpurkhas and Ratodero, that audiences ranging from 120 to 500 persons. Speeches were made in the usual Congress strain congratulating various Satyagrahis on their arrets, apprising the people of the Satyagraha movement in other provinces, exhorting them to be ready for Satyagraha in Sind if and when permitted, accusing the British Government of a divide and rule policy and holding it responsible for the communal tension in India. At Karachi a meeting of the Municipal Corporation fixed for the 3rd December was adjourned as a protest against the arrests. The Indian Merchants Association and the Indian Cotton Merchants Association remained closed on the 2nd an 4th December and the Karachi Brokers Association also remained closed on the 4th idem.  [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th December 1940 Fortnightly report for the first half on December 1940].

108. The most important political event of the week was the reshuffling of the Ministry due to the intervention of Moulana Abdul Azad. So far the only result has been the resignation of Mr. G.M. Sayed, a Moslem Leaguer, and his replacement by the Hon'ble Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh. The Hon'ble Khan Bahadur allah Bakhsh belongs to the Azad Muslim Party and his inclusion in the Ministry has been welcomed by the Congress and by some members of the Hindu Party but not in Muslim League circles. Together with the change in the Ministry, an Advisory Committee of sixteen Members of the Legislative Assembly has been formed, including all the Honourable Ministers, to advise the Cabinet on matters of policy and legislation. Mr. G.M, Sayed has been appointed Secretary of this Committee. The Sind Legislative Assembly met on the 27th November for the first time since the last Budget Session and is now in session. It is reported that the Congress leaders of the Province have been instructed by Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad not to Participate in the present Satyagraha movement until such time as condition in the Province improve. A procession of about 300 students was taken out and a meeting was held observe Anti-Repression Day on the 10th November. Resolution were adopted condemning the acts under which persons striving to free India were being sent to prison and also condemning the action taken by the Madras Government in "terrorising the students" No particular political activity was visible elsewhere in the Province. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th  December 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of November 1940].

109. Political activities during the fortnight consisted mainly of the holding of meeting by the Congress at various places Jawharlal Nehru. Indignation was expressed at the imprisonment of Nehru and congratulations were bestowed upon Nehru Vinobha Bhave and Moulana Ahmed sayeed on having been arrested "for working for the liberation of their country". Hartals, not on a large scale, were observed in Karachi on the 1st and 2nd November to protest against the arrest of Nehru. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of November 1940].

110. Congress circle also condemned the present state of lawlessness in Sind which, in their opinion, is due to the party system in the local Assembly and several anti-Ministerial speeches were made at their meetings. The restrictions on the  press imposed by the prohibitory order under Rule 41 (I) (b) of the Defence of India Rules also came in for a good deal of adverse criticism at Congress meetings, it being contended that the lack of news was likely to create a serious situation owing to the possible spread of false rumours. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of November 1940].

111. The reports of these murders threw all other news in the background and the arrest of Vinoba Bhave attracted little attention. The Karachi District Congress Committee held a public meeting on the 24th October, which was attended by about 300 persons and presided over by Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopstkar, M.L.A. Resolutions were passed condemning the murders of Hindus in Sind, particularly the murders in Jahanpur, sympathising with the relative of the victims, showing alarm at the growth of lawlessness and denouncing Government for its failure to maintain law and order. Dr. Popatal in the course of his speech remarked that although the authorities promised to take active steps to maintain peace and order and to call a session of the Legislative Assembly yet neither of the promises had been fulfilled. He stated that the promise give by the Congress Assembly Party not to overthrow the present Ministry should now be considered as null and void. Mr. R.K. Sidhwa, M.L.A., in the course of his speech remarked that he had suggested to the Hon'ble Ministers that they should call the Inspector - General of Police and tell him that he would be removed from office if murders did not stop in Sukkur District within a fortnight, but Minister were not prepared to do that. He referred to the murders in Jahanpur and deplored that the Ministry had issued no 'communique' in the matter. The Hon'ble Premier has, however, issued a statement to the press. Moulana Abul Kalam Azad is expected to visit Sind shortly to decide what course of action should be adopted by the Congress Party. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of October 1940].

112. The Indian Merchants Association and Indian Cotton Merchants Association suspended business on the afternoon of the 21st October as a result of the arrest of Vinoba Bhave. The Karachi Municipal Corporation also passed an adjournment motion. The Sind Provincial Congress Committee met under the chairmanship of Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, M.L.A., to discuss the present political situation in India. The lists of persons who had promised to offer 'satyagraha' were scrutinised. The Committee decided to send volunteers to various districts to prepare the ground for the impending 'satyagraha'. The Satyagraha Committee, Larkana, held a meeting on the 25th October, attended by about 1,000 persons, as a protest against the arrest of four 'satyagrahis' of Larkana under the Defence of India Rules. Dr. Cgoithram P. Gidwani, Chairman of the Provincial Congress Committee, seems to be exercised about the report of Mr. Abdul Qayyum, M.L.A.(Central), who was appointed by the Congress High Commend to enquire into the causes of the Sukkur riots. In a private letter to Mr. Abdul Qayyum, Dr. Choithram has denounced his report in strong terms and protested against his remarks about the Congress in Sind. He states that the report contains "wrong and unjustified conclusions and mis-statements of facts". The report has yet been made public, but it is learnt that it is not complimentary to the Congress in  Sind. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th  November 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of October 1940].                        

113. About a dozen Congress meetings were held in various parts f the Province with audiences numbering from 50 to 500 persons. In all these meetings the speakers condemned the Viceregal statement, accused the British Government of refusing to concede the just demands of Indians and suggested that people should be prepared to court arrest. It was also observed that Indians should not give held to the British Government in this war. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th  October 1940. Fortnightly Report for the Second half of September 1940].

114.  Congress activities consisted mainly of meeting in connection with Gandhi-Jayanti Week. During the week thirty-nine public meetings were held in different parts of the province where the audiences varied from 200 to 1,500 persons. One of the Karachi meetings was addressed by Mr. Asaf Ali, M.L.A.(Central), who, in the course of his speech, observed that in the last war Indians gave 400 crores of rupees, 14 lakhs of Indians were enrolled in the Army and 9 lakhs of animals were supplied by India for transport purposes, and all that India got was the Constitution of 1919, which did not even grant autonomy to the Provinces. He, however, advised the people to respect the law and the police. Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of the Provincial Congress Committee, and Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., President of the Karachi Congress Committee, attended most of these meetings and made speeches in the usual strain. It was stated that India could not help any county in war as it would be helping violence which was contrary to the creed of Mahatma Gandhi. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th  October 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of October 1940].

115.  One of the Congress meeting was attended by the ex-Premier, Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh, O.B.E., M.L.A., who has stated in a recent interview to the press that the only solution for the political ills of the Province would be a union of the Congress and the Nationalist Muslims in the Sind Assembly. Mr. R.K. Sidhwa, M.L.A., leader of the Congress Assembly Party, has ex-pressed his approval of the statement of the ex-Premier, but suggests that the Nationalist Muslims should take the initiative in the matter. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th  October 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of October 1940].

116. Congress activities during the fortnight were mainly confined to the holding of meeting o the 1st of September in pursuance of the appeal issued by the All-India Congress Committee. A public meeting was organised in Karachi at the Rambagh Recreation Ground which was attended by about six hundred persons. Portraits of Stalin, Marx and Lenin and placards bearing the following inscription were displayed on the dais: "We condemn and reject the Viceroy's announcement". The usual slogans were raised. Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., in his speech observed that the meeting was organised to express disapprobation of the announcement of His Excellency the Viceroy He discussed the various attempts made by Mr. Gandhi to meet the wishes of the Viceroy, which however, did not bear fruit. He said that it was a pity that Indians remained hungry and poorly clad in spite of the immense quantity of grain and cotton produced in the country. The British agreed with Hitler to take a plebiscite in Rhineland. The Viceroy should also take a plebiscite in India. He exhorted the people to show before the Working Committee meets that they were ready and would not be satisfied without attaining Swaraj Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, Mr. Lalji Mahrotra, Mayor of Karachi, and Mr. R.K. Sidhwa, M.L.A., ex-Mayor, also spoke in the same strain. Meetings were also organised by the Satyagraha Committee of Larkana, Ratodero, Kambar and Nasirabad in Larkana district on the 1st of September. At all these places processions of Hindus were taken out attended by about 100 to 300 persons, who sang national songs and shouted slogans. The processions were followed by public meetings which the resolution passed by the All-India Congress Committee was re-affirmed. [Source Government of Sind Home Department (Special) No. P-25-H(S)/40. Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21st  September 1940. Fortnightly Report for the First half of September 1940].

117. On 9th March a rumour was afloat that the political situation in Sind had again undergone a dramatic change following Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s instructions to the Congress Party, to help in maintaining the status quo in Sind until after the Ramgarh Sessions of the Congress, hinting thereby that no attempt should be made to defeat the Allah Bakhsh Ministry in the meantime. Later on it was understood, however, that Sardar Patel telephoned to Dr. Choithram P.Gidvani, M.L.A., countermanding these instructions and giving the Congress Party freedom to act as local conditions demanded. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the first half of March 1940].

     

118. On 11th the March the Congress Party proposed an adjournment of the Assembly in order to enable members to attend the Ramgarh Congress. This could not be agreed to as it might have delayed the passage of the Budget beyond the close of the financial year. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th March 1940 Fortnightly report for the first half of March 1940].

  Part:2

 

1.Congress activities at present are in the main confined to the holding of meetings, but on the whole these meetings are but poorly attended and there is some feeling that it is difficult to maintain public interest in Congress affairs in the absence of permission to indulge in 'satyagraha'. Swami Govindanand, leader of the Forward Bloc, gas stated that the Forward Bloc can no longer function in view of the disappearance of Mr.Subhas Chandra Bose. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th April 1941 Fortnightly report for the Second half of March1941]. 

2.  A deputation of Congressmen is to leave shortly for Wardha to seek permission from Mahatma Gandhi to start 'satyagraha' in this province. A Sind Provincial Azad Muslim Party has been formed by the Hon'ble Illahi Bakhsh, Minister of Education. They party will consist of nationalist Muslims and will oppose the Muslims League. The party proposes to start a Sindhi daily paper. Master Tarasingh, the well known Sikh leader from Amritsar, has been to Karachi to preside over an Akali Conference and the addressed meetings of Sikhs in which he attacked the Muslims League and ridiculed the Pakistan idea. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21st April 1941 Fortnightly report for the First half of April 1941].

3. There have been no Congress activities worthy of notice. The Arya Samaj celebrated their Golden Jubilee at Sukkur. The speeches were more religious than political. A resolution was passed urging upon the Government to introduce schools and to give grants-in-aid to private Schools teaching Hindi. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1941 Fortnightly report for the First half of May 1941]. 

4.The deputation of Congressmen who interviewed Mahatma Gandhi in Wardha were refused permission to start 'satyagraha' in this province. They were advised to concentrate on constructive work. Congress observed Jallianwala Bagh Day on the 13th April. Mass meetings were held in Karachi and Hyderabad, in which anti-British and objectionable speeches were made. At Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, large pictures depicting in a lurid manner the Jallianwala Bagh incident were prominently in processions. Dr. Popatlal A Bhoopatkar, M,L.A., speaking at Karachi, remarked that although Indians were unable to take for the Jallianwala Bagh the death grip in which the British were involved at present was a retribution for the Indian blood that was shed at jallianwala Bagh. Another speaker stated that events like Jaillianwala Bagh are to be welcomed, the Indian people and prepared them for sacrifices. [Source No. P-25-h(s)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd May 1941 Fortnightly report for the Second half of April 1941].

5.Congress propaganda is more or less at a stand-still. The Sind Provincial Congress Committee has decided to abolish the Sind Supreme Satyagraha Council in view of the remote possibility of 'satyagraha' being allowed in Sind. It is expected that other 'satyagraha' committees will similarly be liquidated. It is remoured that Mahatma Gandhi may visit Sind with a view to stimulate propaganda for Hindu-Muslim unity.[Source Government of Sin. Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th June 1941. Fortnightly report for the Second half of May 1941].

6. Congress has not been very  active. The usual Flag Salutation ceremonies were performed at Hyderabad, where an effort is being made to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity and do village uplift work. The Hyderabad Congress Committee Corporation to lend flags and buntings, etc., required for the Karachi War Week Fete free of change. The Congress members or the Legislative Assembly seem to be much concerned with the increasing association of the public in the war effort and there are differences of opinion among them on the question whether they should resign or not from the Legislative Assembly and local bodies. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th September 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of August 1941].

 

7. In a few Congress meetings held in the fortnight under report stress was laid on the Congress constructive programme, particularly Hindu-Muslim unity. Congressmen, as a whole seem to be exercised over the increased war effort in the mofussil. It is understood that Professor Ghanshyam Jethanand, M.L.A., has sent his resignation from the Sind Legislative Assembly through the Sind Provincial Congress Committee as a mark of protest against the action of the Government in permitting local bodies to give contribution to the war funds. It is also understood that Messrs, Parsram Tahilram and Lalji Mehrotra (the latter an ex-Mayor of Karachi) have sent in their resignations from the Corporation to the All-India Congress Committee for approval and transmission to the Mayor of Karachi, as a result of the decision of the Karachi Municipal Corporation to give flags and buntings free for the Karachi War Fet. The Muslim League is jubilant over the resignation of Sir Sikandar Hayat khan and Sir Muhammad Saadullah from the National Defence Council and resolutions were passed at public meetings held in Karachi and Larkana expressing full confidence in Mr. Jinnah and congratulating Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan and Sir Muhammad Saadullah and Nawab of chhatari on their resignations from the National Defence Council. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 22nd September 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of September 1941].

8. Five public meetings mostly attended by students were held. Speeches eulogising the services of Mahatma Gandhi were made. Dr Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar, M.L.A., speaking at one of the meetings, remarked that the British Government had created Hindu Muslim disorders by introducing separate electorates and communal ratios in the services. A Congress Conference was held at Khanpur, Shaikarpur Taluka, Sukkur district, on the 10th and 11th September under the chairmanship of Dr. Gobindram Punjabi. It was attended by about 500 persons on each day. The main speaker was Mr.C.T.Valecha, M.L.A., who indulged in some anti-British remarks and said that India was being unnecessarily dragged into the war. Resolutions were passed requesting Government to control the abnormal rise in the prices of foodstuffs and other articles and to grant more gun licences to the villagers and deploring the alleged attitude of the British Government in not paying heed to the welfare of the Indian people. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th October 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of September 1941]

10. The Congressmen, who proposed to resign from the Karachi Municipal Corporation as a result of the decision of the Corporation to give flags and bunting free to the Karachi War Fete, have been told that the matter was too trivial to be made an issue for resignation. As a result of the meeting of Mahatma Gandhi and the Honourable Premier, the Congress Party has been directed to continue to give support to the present Ministry. There seems to be no desire on the part of the Congressmen to disregard these instructions most probably because Congress is not prepared to allow the formation of a Muslim League Ministry, the only alternative to the present one. The Honourable Premier left Karachi on the 30th September for Allahabad, where he is to see Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad in the Naini Jail before proceeding to attend the meeting of the National Defence Council. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th October 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of September 1941].

 

11. Which consisted of thirty three Congress meetings, a number of ‘prabhat pheris’ and processions has given an impetus to congress propaganda in the province. The presence at some of the meetings of Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of the Sind Provincial congress committee, Hashoo T. Kewalramani and other Congressmen, who were undergoing sentences under the Defence of India Rules and have been recently released, led to an outburst of anti-British feelings. Dr. Choithram declared that he was anxious to see the end of British rule in the same way as the British wanted to see the and of Hitler, Swami Krishnanand, leader of the Forward Bloc, in one of the public meetings convened the celebrate “Gandhi Jayanti” dubbed all those who gave help to Britain in this war as “Shaitans”. Mr. R.K. Sidhwe remarked that the British had entered Iran with Imperialistic motives. Dr. Choithram P. Gidvani is touring the province addressing public meetings. He has been expressing regret at the decision of Mahatma Gandhi to exclude Sind from the pale of Satyagraha. The students of Karachi held a public meeting to congratulate Hashu T. Kewalramani and Kazi Mujtaba, the former on his premature release and the latter on the removal of the order restricting him to a village in the Karachi District. Speeches were made exhorting the students to line up with anti-Imperialistic forces, and to foster Hindu-Muslim unity. The Sind Assembly Congress Party met recently and approved of the decision of the All-India Congress Parliamentary Board and Mahatma Gandhi to continue support to the present Ministry, in spite of the fact that the Premier continues to be a member of the National Defence Council. It disapproved the action of Mr. R.K.Sidhwa in accompanying the Hon’ble Premier to Wardha without consulting the members of the party and it is understood that Mr. Sidhwa has apologised. It also passed resolutions expressing satisfaction at the application of the Jagirdari Act to the whole of the Province and urging Government to grant immediate relief to the people of Rohri Division whose crops have failed owing to water deficiency. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 17th October 1941, Fortnightly Report for the First Half of October 1941].

 

12. Congress has not been very active. The usual Flag salutation ceremonies were performed at Hyderabad, where an effort is being made to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity and do village uplift work. The Hyderabad Congress Committee Corporation to lend flags and buntings, etc., required for the Karachi War Week Fete free of change. The Congress members of the Legislative Assembly seem to be much concerned with the increasing association of the public in the war effort and there are differences of opinion among them on the question whether they should resign or not from the Legislative Assembly and local bodies. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th September 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of August 1941].

 

13. A number of Congress meetings were held in the province in connection with the Tilak Week, which was observed between the 27th July and 1st August. The audiences were manly composed of Hindus. At some of these meetings the speakers indulged in anti-British and anti-war-remarks. Swami Krishnanand, while speaking in Karachi, deprecated the present inactivity on the part of the leaders and the policy of Mahatma Gandhi. He asserted that India would never obtain Swaraj unless she embarrassed the British Government. He added that non-violence could never bring about the freedom of any country. Another speaker referred to an article of professor Harold Laski in the "National Herald" and commended hid observations that this war was being fought for world domination between two Imperialisms. Tributes were paid to the part played by the late. Mr. Tilak in the cause of Indian freedom and it was observed that he was the first Indian leader to realise that freedom for this country could be achieved only by suffering and not by clamouring for a few jobs and offices. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th  August 1941, Fortnightly Report for the First Half of August 1941].

  

14. Concerning the Congress there is nothing of interest to report. The Sind Muslim League intends to hold a conference at Hyderabad in September 1941, and it is proposed to ask the Honourable Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan to preside. The League received the Government decision to ban the conference at Sakrand in the Nawabshah district with some resentment and Mr. M.A. Jinnah sent a wire to His Excellency the Governor asking for his intervention. In view of the large numbers of cholera cases in the neighbouring districts of Larkana, Dadu, and Sukkur and of the fact that cases were occurring in the Nawabshah district itself, it would have been most inadvisable to allow the conference to be held. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th  July 1941, Fortnightly Report for the First Half of July 1941].

 

15. Congress propaganda included the usual Flag Salutation ceremonies and a few meetings. Mahatma Ganhdi is understood to have issued instructions to the Provincial Congress Committee that the principles of non-violence must be strictly followed even in the event of Congress members being attacked by dacoits, in pursuance of these instructions, peace Brigades have been formed. Apart from the most fervent followers of Mahatma Gandhi, the people of the province, however, are very sceptical of the efficacy of non-violence. The Hindus particularly are insistent in their demands for more gun licences. [Source of Government of Sind Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th  August 1941, Fortnightly Report for the Second Half of July 1941].

 

 

 

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