POLITICAL SITUATION OF SINDH IN 1941-42
(AS REPORTED IN GOVERNMENT’S SECRET REPORTS)
The omission of any reference to the Indian question by Mr. Churchill during the recent debate in the Commons on the conduct of the War has been taken to indicate that there are no hopes of an early solution of the political impasse. The exclusion of India from the proposed enlarged war cabinet is resented and comparisons have been drawn between the political status of India and that of a small country like New Zealand. The Speechless of Congress leaders on the war have tended to deteriorate in tone. “Independence Day” was celebrated in Karachi on the 26th January with considerable enthusiasm in the Congress circles. The celebrations began with a largely attended morning procession terminating at Congress House where Dr. Popatlal A. Bhootpatkar, M.L.A, President of the Karachi District Congress Committee, unfurled the Congress flag. The Forward Bloc had a separate flag hosting ceremony in the Khalikdina Hall in the evening and the celebrations where the independence pledge was read and speeches made by prominent Congress Workers explaining the Wardha decision and emphasizing the demand of the Congress to secure Indian independence.
The Members of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh continue to hold their parades in the premises of the N.H. Academy and Pribhdas Nava Vidayala at Hyderabad with a daily attendance of nearly one hundred and fifty. The question as to the attitude to be adopted in regard to this organization is still under consideration.
The release of Allama Mashriqi has been welcomed by Muslims in general and Khaksars in particular.
The Muslim League branch of Ghatner in Larkana District held a “Pakistan Conference” at Kambar in that district on the 17th January. The main gate of the Conference was styled as the “Mahmud Ghaznavi Gate”. The conference was convened by Khan Bahadur M.A. Khuhro, M.L.A., ex-Minister, and Mr. G.M. Sayed, M.L.A., ex-Minister was also present. About 500 persons attended including 25 Hindus. Two significant resolutions were passed – one demanding that the Pakistan provinces should form part of the British Common wealth, like Burma, and another approving and welcoming the action of His Excellency the Governor in “tightening the control” over the present Ministry. The fewer resolution was moved by Mr. G.M. Sayed, the latter by Khan Bahadur M.A. Khuhro, who accused the Congress of dividing the Muslim M.L. As. In Sind.
Gauhati Students Day was observed in Karachi by the All Sind students Federation on January 14th at protest against the alleged ‘lathi’ and bayonet charges on a peaceful procession of students in Assam. Speeches were made condemning the attitude of the authorities of the Gauhati College. Mr. Alim T. Gidwani of the forwar Bloc exhorted students to take part in politics and to make sacrifices for the freedom of the country. He stated that Indians could not defend themselves as they had been prevented from manufacturing motor cars and aeroplanes and from possessing fire-arms. He also advocated the use of the symbol ‘U’ for Hindu-Muslim unity in preference to “V” as “there could be no victory without unity”. The Congress is carrying on propaganda to population rise the ‘U’ symbol.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of January 1942, 4th February, 1942.]
There was little Congress activity. The usual Flag Salutation Ceremonies were held in Karachi and Hyderabad. At a meeting of the Congress Committee at Hyderabad it was resolved to form a Volunteer Corps to help the citizens in the events of civil disorder and to work for inter-communal harmony.
The Sind Provincial Forward Bloc held a public meeting on the 30th January with Mr. Alim T. Gidwani in the chairmen Resolution were passed protesting against the arrest of Mr. Sarat Chandra Bose and other Forward Bloc workers. Mr. Muhammad Amin Khoso, M.L.A., interrupted the meeting demanding that the meeting should be held under the auspices of the Radical Democratic Party. Mr. Alim T, Gidwani left the meeting but about 125 persons remained and after short speech by Mr. Khoso who said that those who opposed the war effort were enemies of India, a resolution was adopted assuring full support to the Government in their effort. Hashoo T. Kewal ramani, a student leader, who had undergone imprisonment under the Defense on India Rules for making objectionable speech has joined Mr. Khoso in advocating help to the war effort. Mr. Khoso has recently made a contribution to His Excellency’s War purposes Fund on behalf of the Communist workers of Karachi.
The Fidan-I-islam continue to sign the new pledge. An appeal was made recently at Hyderabad to the local Fidian-I-Islam to collect scarp and send it to the Scrap Collection Committee Hyderabad. The members of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangha continue to perform their usual parades in Hyderabad. The Sangha organized a special function in honor of the Hon’ble Rao Sahio Gokaldas Mewaldas Rochlani. Minister Local Self-Government, when three hundred members of the Sangha paraded and gave a salute to the Hon’ble Minister. No decision has, as yet, been come to on the question as to the action to be taken against this Sangha.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of February 1942, 19th March, 1942.]
The Sind Provincial congress Committee propose to recruit two thousand volunteers to implement the terms of the Wardha resolution. The volunteers are to be trained in drill and sent out to villages to carry the Congress constructive program among the masses. So far the response has been poor. Lakhmichand N. Kinger, who was previously convicted for the same offence, has made some very anti-British speeches in Karachi recently and the question of his prosecution is under consideration. The anniversary of Swami Dayanand was celebrated by the Arya Samajists at a public meeting on the 15th February which was attended by about three hundred and fifty persons. At a public meeting of the Sind Provincial Hindu Sabha Working Committee at Hyderabad, resolution were passed condemning the Punjab Sales Act and urging the Government to recall forthwith Indian troops serving abroad for the defense of India. The Rashtrya Ghnayam Sewak Sangh, Hyderabad, continues to hold parades and carry out sword and ‘lathi’ exercises. At one of the parades, a speaker exhorted the people to prepare themselves for the protection of the Hindus. He added that as an organization the Sangh endorse the Congress policy of non-voilence. On the contrary, it considered the use of arms and violence necessary and legitimate for the protection and preservation of the Hindus. He added that the internal situation is very grave and that time was not far off when the Muslims will create civil disorders in India, endangering the life and property of the Hindus. Action against the Sangh is still under consideration. The Muslim League and the Khaksars remain inactive. Sir Abdullah Haroon, M.L.A. (Central) has appealed to the Muslim to celebrate the 23rd March as Pakistan Day.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of February 1942, 5th March, 1942.]
There is little political activity to report. The Karachi District Congress Committee convened a public meeting on the 5th instant at the Khalikdina Hall, which was presided over by Dr. Popatlal A. Bhootpatkar, M.L.A. Speakers demanded the unconditional release of all detenues and security prisoners. Mr. N.A. Bechar, M.L.A., made an anti-British speech in which he stated that Indians were being crushed under the heels of the British Government for the last 150 years, that the Prime Minister and the representatives of the British Government in India were no better than Nazis and that there was no difference between a German concentration camp and the Deoli camp. The Congress reactions to the Prime Minister’s announcement were on the whole favourable.
Sir Abdullah Haroon, M.L.A. (Central), President of the Sind Branch of the Muslim League, has sent a cable to the Prime Minister stating that the Hon’ble Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh had been installed as Premiere by the Hindu element of the Legislative Assembly and that he does not represents the Sind Muslims, repudiating on behalf of the Muslim the contents of the cable sent by the Hon’ble Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh and putting that the Sind Muslims were opposed to the proposals made by Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. The Sind Provincial Muslim League has passed a resolution holding the Hindus of Sind Provincial Muslim League has passed a resolution holding the Hindus of Sind responsible for the existing state of discontent and disorder in the province and suggesting the passing of agrarian and economics legislation to improve the condition of the cultivating classes.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of March 1942, 20th March, 1942.]
Sir Stafford Cripps and his discussions with the Indian leaders are the main interest. Opinions, unfortunately, are colored very largely by communal considerations. The Hindus consider that the proposals will lead to the breaking up of the unity of India while the Muslims appear to be more satisfied, not so much because they consider the proposals as a fulfillment of their demands as because they do not seem to find favor with the Hindus. There is no organized public opinion in this provinces and further reactions to the Cabinet proposals will depend upon the decision of the Congress and the Muslim League. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of March 1942, 4th April, 1942.]
There is a feeling of frustration at the unsuccessful results of Sir Stafford Cripps mission and there is little appreciation of the difficulties inherent in the situation. As usual the British accused of lack of sincerity. The Congress celebrated “National Week” by holding meeting and by carrying on street propaganda. References were made to the Jallianwalla Bagh incident and dissatisfaction was expressed at the proposals brought by Sir Stafford Cripps. The Sind Provincial Forward Bloc held a public meeting on the 31st March to rejoice at the contradiction of the news of the death of Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose. The meeting was attended by about 500 persons and the speeches delivered were strongly anti-British and the anti-war. The Sikhs held their annual Diwan in Karachi from the 4th to 6th April. Resolutions were passed requesting Government to grant separate representation to the Sikhs in the Sind Legislative Assembly, on het Karachi Municipal Corporation and in Government services, and to recognize Gumukhi as a medium of instruction for Sikh schools in Sind. At the request of the local Sabha, the military authorities had permitted fifteen Sikhs of the R.I.A.S. and I.A.O.C to attend the Diwan. One of the speakers remarked that the Germans had invented weapons for modern warfare by following the teachings of the Vedas and the Sikhs, who were born to rule, were now selling themselves for 15/- each while a pair of bullocks cost Rs. 300.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of April 1942, 18th April, 1942.]
The failure of the Cripps mission continued to provide a topic for discussion, but interest mainly centered itself on Mr. Rajagopalacharia. His statement caused a great sensation but while some sections of opinion praised him for his realism, the general feeling of the local Congress has been against him. It was generally expected that he would receive little support at Allahabad.
There have been the usual flag salutation ceremonies and the hackneyed Jallianwalla Bagh speeches, but little other congress activity. The Baluch League Working Committee has decided to raise volunteers and if necessary to co-operate with the Civic Defense Committee and the A.R.P. organization. Small public meetings were held by the Sind Forward Bloc and the speeches delivered were anti British and objectionable. A Sikh Diwan, attended by about 400 people, was held on the 13thApril and speeches were made on “Jallianwalla Bagh” and also on the Cripps proposals. About 100 sikhs military sepoys who were in mufti were present.
The Honorable Khan Bahadur Allahbakhsh, Premier of Sind, has proceeded on a tour of the province to inaugurate and organize the National War Front movement. He has begun his campaign with speeches at Jacobabad and Sukkur which apparently have been well received. It is hoped to make the movement a real live one.
The sudden death of Haji Sri Abdoola Haroon, M.L.A. (Central) is regarded as a serious loss to the Muslim League in Sind.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of April 1942, 5th May, 1942.]
There has been little political activity. Dr. Gopichand Bhargaya, a Congress leader from the Punjab, made a tour of the province and addressed a number of meetings in which he stressed the constructive program of the Congress and the need of treating Hindustani as the lingua franca of the country. In some meetings he made anti-war and anti-British speeches.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of May 1942, 20h May, 1942.]
Congress members in Sind seem to be in a state of considerable confusion. Dr. Choithram the local President and Mr. R. K. Sidhva, the leader of the Congress party in the Assembly, have for a long time been bitter enemies, but at the moment feelings between them are more strained than ever. It appears that Dr. Choithram wishes congress M.L.As. to resign from the Assembly in accordance with Mahatama Gandhi’s advise while Mr. Sidhva and his followers are anxious to cling to their membership as long as possible. At present they are awaiting the promised visit Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who it is known, does not agree with the Mahatma’s advice on the attitude Congressmen should adopt towards the Hurs, and they are hoping he will be able to settle their difference, particularly that regarding the question whether the Congress should continue to support the present Ministry. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of June 1942, June, 1942.]
The Congress Committee, Sukkur, held a meeting to observe an Indian Mutiny Martyrs Day, the firs time such meeting has been held in Sind. It was attended by about 150 persons. Speeches were in the main anti-British and gave a highly colored version of the Mutiny.
Dr. Choithram P. Gidvani, Mr. GHanshyam Jetharand and Mr. Doulatram Jairamdas, three Congress M.L.A.s , have been vehemently condemning Government for its inability to deal with the Hurs but the main feeling among Congress men appears to be one of complete bewilderment owing to Mahatama Gandhi’s solution for the ending of the trouble. The advice tendered has proved far from popular although it is said that one prominent leader is willing to live among the Hurs and attempt to convert them to non-violence if he is given adequate protection. The utterances, however, of the persons referred to above gave rise to some speculations regarding possible changes in the Ministry, but the reply of His Excellency to the Bombay Sindhi Association, which has called upon him to assume responsibility for law and order in the province, characterizing the Association’s proposal as retrograde and stating that there had been throughout complete agreement between him and his Ministers, has set these speculations at rest. It is reported that the Forward Bloc contemplate opening a regular branch office in Karachi. Tickets with some resemblance to one rupee and ten rupee notes and bearing the photograph of Subhas Chandra Bose have been issued by Alim T. Gidwani. They appear to be receipts for contributions to the Forward Bloc Swaraj Fund.
The Working Committee of the Sind Provincial Muslim League met on the 16th May to elect a President in place of the late Sir Abdullah Haroon. There were two candidates, Khan Bahadur M.A. Khuhro. M.L.A., and Mr. Yousuf Haroon, and a split seemed likely in the League ranks. The trouble was tided over by the postponement of the election and it was decided that Khan Bahadur M.A. Khuhro should carry on the affairs of the League meanwhile.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of June 1942, 6th June 1942.]
The visit of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has been postponed. Congressmen are discussing the proposed campaign of Mahatma Gandhi and intend to raise volunteers in Karachi if and when the campaign is inaugurated, although it is generally believed that in the event of a campaign being launched, Sind will be excluded in view of its internal troubles.
The Muslim League Civic Defense Delegation, consisting of Nawab Muhammad Ismail, Mr. Khaliq-uz-zaman and Kazi Muhammad Isa, arrived in Karachi on the 27thJune and left on the 29th June. They addressed a well-attended meetings at the Khalikdina Hall, in which the Congress leaders were attacked and the goal of Pakistan re-affirmed. It is understood that the delegation advised the Muslim League M.L.As to co-operate with the authorities in the measures of Civil Defense. The Working Committee of the Sind Provincial Muslim League passed a lengthy resolution on the promulgation of the Martial Law which is directed more against the Ministry than against Martial Law itself. The Committee was of the opinion that there was no justification whatsoever for the existence for Martial Law in Sind.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of June 1942, 4th July, 1942.]
Interest has been centered round the deliberations of the Congress Working Committee. There is now a growing feeling among Congressmen in Sind that they should be allowed to participate in any movement which may be launched by Mahatma Gandhi Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is expected to reach Karachi on the 18thinstant and there is much speculation as to the attitude he will adopt on the question whether the Congress should continue to support the existing Ministry. The Muslim League is busy making propaganda in support of its candidate for the Central Assembly seat rendered vacant by the death of Sir Abdullah Haroon. Some of the League workers propose to go on a canvassing tour of six weeks, but it has been made clear that no political meetings will be allowed in the Martial Law area.[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of July 1942, 18th July, 1942.]
The fortnight up to the time of the arrests was mainly spent in wondering what Government would do and, since the arrests, in complaining about the action taken. The arrests themselves cannot be said to have occasioned much excitement and protests against them have so far mainly taken the form of rowdy demonstrations in Karachi and Hyderabad by college students who have shown that their college authorities have no control whatsoever over them. In Hyderabad, the Chief Administration of Martial Law made short work of the students’ activities but in Karachi acts of hooliganism lasted for some days and included attempts to burn tram cars, the stoning of buses and attacks on such Government property as telephone booths and letter boxes. Most of the prominent Congress leaders have been arrested, some by request, and for the present normal conditions prevail. Attempts at getting shopkeepers to close their shops met with little success. The Muslim Community has rigidly refrained from taking part in any pro-Congress activity. There has been some slight Khaksars activity in the Thar Parkar District and a number of Khaksars gathered at Jamesabad to hear the new directions issued by Allama Mashriqi to his followers. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of August 1942, 18th August, 1942.]
The fortnight began quietly and in the main Congress activity was confined to the dissemination of unauthorized bulletins and leaflets advocating ‘hartals’, general strikes, interference with all forms of transport, withdrawal of deposits from banks and Pos Offices and the like. There were some small meetings and processions but they were ignored in the hope that non-interference by the Police would result in the public losing interest. To some extent this policy was at first successful, a call for a general ‘hartal’ on the 19th August evoking a poor response which caused no particular inconvenience to anyone except the shop-keepers themselves, but later the Hindu students of the local colleges, who have throughout behaved extremely badly, started rowdly processions again and made another attempts to set fire to a tramcar on the night of the 28th August. They also stoned both English and American troops leaving a cinema on the same night, but fled on the appearance of a handful of Military Police. The colleges re-opened on the 24th but the attendance therein has been low and confined mainly to Muslim students. It would seem that the state of discipline in the colleges throughout Sind calls for enquiry. The principals of the Karachi colleges were summoned and asked what they were doing and what they could do to maintain control over their students. It was obvious from their demeanor that they had no hope of exercising any control and it appeared doubtful whether they had any real desire to do so they considered they had completed their duty which they closed the colleges. In order to test the discipline of the University Officer Training Corps, the District Commanders called a parade one was unable to establish contact with one Kewalraman, the Commanding Officer, he was among the missing. Following considerable agitation from certain sections of the public, Government appointed a special officer to enquire into allegation of ill-treatment by the Police of students arrested and confined in police station in the city on the12th August. His report has not yet been received but the Superintendent of Police are District Magistrate Karachi, state that his appointment has had an extremely bad effects on the morale of the City Police Force. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of August 1942, 7th September, 1942.]
There have been sporadic attempt in Karachi to hold meeting and to take out processions and two minor effort at arson, one in which was a fire started at High School stairs but was extinguished by the Chowkidar and another was cigarette thrown through a ventilator of an office of a North western Railway Premises. No damage of any account was done in either cases. A student who said he had been enlisted into a Revolutionary gang of Karachi was found in possession of automatic pistol stolen from a Government officer at Sukkur but so far no other member of gang was discovered. The local colleges are open but attendance is low and consists mainly of Muslims students who incidentally are complaining that the Hindu Principle are not making proper arrangements for their lecture. A considerable number of Congress bulletins are in circulation and many of them contain very objectionable anti-British and anti war propaganda.
The situation however is one of uneasy calm and there is no doubt that Hindu population of Karachi including the prominent Hindu businessmen are largely in sympathy with congress movement. The Hindu justices of peace have resigned as a protest against policy adopted by the Government.
The special officer was appointed to enquire into the allegation of the ill treatment of students after arrest by Police has submitted his reports. After recurring the statements of various persons and officers concerned he came to the conclusion that there were no ground for further investigation into the conduct of the Police officers alleged to have concerned. His conclusion was accepted by the Government and Press Note was issued in which the Government took an opportunity to deplore the reckless making of allegations against the Karachi Police Force. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of September 1942, 19th September, 1942.]
The Civil Disobedience movement went its weary way In Karachi students continue to make a nuisance of themselves “prabhat pheries” attempt to create sympathy and small meetings are being held, An order under section 144, Criminal procedure code, prohibiting meetings and procession is still in force but meetings which do not appear likely to create trouble are being ignored. The local colleges have now closed for the vacation s which should normally have begun the 17th October, but arrangement are being made to hold the various examinations. The spate of bulletins, some very voilents in tone, show no sign of diminution. There is little activeity outside Karachi although the railway telegraph and telephone line was cut near Jungshahi about 40 miles from Karachi on the night of 21st.
There is however, on aspect of the movement which may call for action. Pressure is being exerted from Bombay. A deputation of interested person has arrived from that city- to endeavors to prevent the owner of ginning factories from selling cotton, particularly to British owned firms. The Deputation is reported to be promising to compensate the factory owners from Congress Funds for any loss they may suffer. So far little success has attended their efforts but the situation is being carefully watched.
The Muslim community have kept completely aloof from the movement. The Statement of Shaikh Abdul Majid M.L.A ex minister, and Secretary of Sind Provincial Muslim League, criticizing “repression” and advocating release of Indian Leaders was condemned at a meeting of the working Committee of Sind Provincial Muslim League. Shaikh Abdul Majid Explained that the statement was an expression of his personal views and was not made by him as the General Secretary of the Sindh Provicial Muslim League. It was held that the statement was objectionable. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of September 1942, 3rd October, 1942.]
There have been a number of incidents during the period under report. Crude country made bombs have been found, on one of the Chief Court, two in railway carriages, attempts were made to set fire to a record room and an office building in Karachi, there have been two cases of wire cutting and one case is tampering with the railway track in the town of Sukkur. Fortunately no damage worth mention resulted. The fuse of the bomb in the chief Court was nipped by a Peon, neither of the bombs in the railway carriages was ignited, while the person interfering with the railway track were caught in the act. In addition bomb factory was located In the house Karachi and the persons connected with it arrested. But in spite of these incident the impute us given to demonstration by the occasion afforded by the joining of the new Ministry by two former Hindu Ministers, both of whom were promptly picketed and subjected to annoyances in their houses, there is little life in the movement in Sind.
The Karachi Municipal Corporation has continued to make a spectacle of itself by adjourning its meeting on the slightest pretext but there is little hope that it will over do anything else. . [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of October 1942, 4th November, 1942.]
The Indian political still appear to be more interesting than war news. But events in Russia are receiving close attention and Mr. Wendell Wilkie’s statement that it is high time a second front was opened was widely commented upon. There seems to be a little apprehension or an attack on Indian itself.
There has been no serious trouble with the Congress movement anywhere in the Province but attempts were made to take advantage of ‘Gandhi Jayanti’ on the 2ndOctober and also on the occasion of the 9th October to whip up enthusiasm for the cause. A number of meetings were held and ‘prabhat pheries’ were taken out. In most cases these activities were ignored but on one or two occasions the police were stoned and a number of arrests were made. The majority of the persons arrested were released the same day but some were prosecuted and fined.
The order under section 144, criminal procedure cOde., issued by the District Magistrate, Karachi, has now been withdrawn and a number of the less important Congress workers arrested early on have been released.Stray incidents however, still continue to occut and will probably continue to do so for some time. The colleges and schools are mainly closed for the usual vacation but the situation particularly in regard to the colleges is by no means satisfactory and the examinations with the exceptions of those of the local engineering college, which were held in Poona, have not been held owing to picketing by students.
Outside the Karachi there has been a little activity except for the issue of unauthorized bulletins which goes in merrily both in the city and elsewhere.
One curious incident is perhaps worth recording. Early in months four business men from Bombay appeared in Mirpurkhas with ostensible reason of preventing the local owners of the cotton ginning factories from making deliveries of cotton. After some parley, negotiation appeared to be breaking down but meanwhile the District Magistrate had served them with an order to quit and they left for Bombay, Before they left they, however, bought 25,000 bales themselves. Whether they were out to stop deliveries or to get cheap cotton for themselves is not yet clear, but anyway the amount purchased is not large enough to have any appreciable effect on the situation. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of October 1942, 19thOctober, 1942.]
Stray incidents connected with the civil disobedience movement persist but to all intents and purposes the movement in this province is dead and such incidents as have occurred of late are not worth reporting. Attendance in the Karachi Colleges has steadily improved and has now reached 80 percent.
Mr. Nihchaldas C. Vazirani an ex-Minister, is still trying to mobilize Hindu opinion against the two Hindu Ministers in the existing Ministry but the recent advice of Mr. Savakar to Sind Hindus to support the present Ministry will make it extremely difficult for him to make much headway. The Honorable Pir Illahi Bakhsh has joined the Muslim League which now claims twenty six M.L.As out of thirty five Muslim M.L.As in a house of sixty members. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of November 1942, 4th December, 1942.]
There is no marked change in the political situation. The present Congress movement persists although its manifestations have more of a nuisance value than anything else. Unauthorized bulletins and leaflets continue to appear but on a somewhat reduced scale and there have been a number of cases of incendiaries. Some 30 bales of loose cotton were set fire to by moans of phosphorus in a railway godown at Sukkur, a second class compartment in a a Railway parcels office at Mirpurkhas and a Railway Booking Office at Nawabshah were also damaged by fire, fortunately very slightly. Post boxes have also been interfered with and section in Karachi. Such scattered incidents are difficult to deal with but it is hoped that steady pressure will gradually bring them to an end.
The colleague in Karachi have re-opened and although there have been attempts to picket, the average attendance is now more than 50 percent.
Picketing at the houses of the two Hindu Ministers has now ceased.
Supporters of the Congress did not celebrate “Divali” and some markets were closed on the 5th instant as a protest against the detention of the Congress leaders.
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of November 1942, 18thNovember, 1942.]
As stated in my last report, the Congress movement is in reality dead but attempts are being made to keep the body from decent burial. Incidents such as the explosion of cracker bombs in two of the Karachi colleges a similar incident in Sukkur, causing no damage in any case, and the partial burning of the contents of two letters boxes in Karachi have occurred. Attempts at speeches, parbhat pheries, and the circulation of bulletins also persist but they seem more for forms sake than anything else. The colleges and schools on the whole are functioning well and there is evidence that a fair number of the students in jail wish to be released in order to continue their studies. The local Cotton, Grain, Cloth and Seeds markets remained closed on the 3rd and 10th of the month for political reasons and the Indian Merchants’ Association, the Cotton Association, the New Cloth Market and other similar bodies have resolved to close on the 9th of each month in future. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of December 1942, 18thDecember, 1942.]
There is little to report. Congress bulletins continue to be circulated through on a reduced scale, some containing poisonous anti-British propaganda based on Axis broadcasts. There was a salt making demonstration by some Karachi Congressites when an attempt was med to prepare salt from sea water. Such ‘parbha pherries’ and processions as have been attempted have been very poorly attended. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of December 1942, 6thJanuary, 1943.]