During the fortnight the press paid little attention to the war. Stereotypes views were expressed on the debates in Parliament regarding extension of the Section 93 situation. The ‘Congress’ observed that European vested interest need cause no difficulty in any settlement, as the capital investments of foreigner in India had been repaid many times over. The ‘Sind Observer’ opines that a Civil Disobedience movement on the old lines would be easily suppressed, and the suspects that Mr. Gandhi has a surprise for Government up his sleeve in the shape of some village campaign which might paralyze organized industry. The ‘Qurbani’, Though a Hindu paper, criticizes the press statement of Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, K.C.S.I. , M.L.A, which sang the praises of communal harmony and joint electorates, and taunts the Congress with its failure to respond to the arrests that have been made all over the country under the Defense of India Act.
The “Al-Wahid”, dated 18th April, under the caption: “Muslim League is alive and will remain alive”, observes that despite the opposition of the Congress, the Hindu Mahasbha, the Sikhs and some unpatriotic Muslims to the Pakistan scheme, it is the duty of Sind Muslims to support it. The “Qurbani”, dated 19th April, under the title: “Pakistan, Khalistan and Hindu Raj”, states that the Sikhs are so dissatisfied with the Pakistan scheme of Mr. Jinnah that they are prepared to make great sacrifices for the preservation of the Punjab, which is regarded by them with greater reverence than are Mecca or Medina by Muslims. The paper further says that the Hindu Mahasabha’s demand for Hindu ‘raj’ is a counterblast to the absurd scheme of Pakistan fostered by Muslims, but if sooner or later the Congress and Hindu Mahasabha come to terms new life would be infused into India and freedom would be easily obtained. The deliberations of the Nationalist Muslim Conference at Dehli were received too late to attract notice in press during the fortnight.
The press still gives much space to anti Ministry articles The “Islah”, dated 18th April, under the title: “Tour of Ministers”, says that it is not known what the Ministers have achieved at Sukkur except fishing for entertainment and helping their friends out of trouble. The general trend of criticism is that the Ministry has made too many concession to Hindus on the one hand and on the other hand is anxious to protect it supporters from the consequences of their Manzilgah activity, Much of the Comment is grossly communal and partisan, and based on rumor or deliberate perversion of the facts-a state of affairs which seems likely to continue until the Manzilgah episode passes into history.
[No. P.25 H(S)/40, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, 6th May 1940.]
The Weston Report occupies a prominent place in all the newspaper. It has been quoted extensively and is being commented upon freely. The “Daily Gazette” reviewing the report, ‘blames the attitude of the ex-Premier and remarks: “A Premier without a consistent line of action, he ran from pillar to post courting Hindu member at one time and Muslim members at another. As his political bargains varied so did his orders to the District Magistrate of Sukkur”. The “Sind Observer”, commenting on the report remarks: “Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh richly deserves the stricture passed upon. . . . . . . . . The ex Premiere was attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable; had always an eye on his seat in the Assembly from Sukkur district whether he would be able to retain it in the face of incensed Muslim opposition at the next election; would not arrive at any decision; would spend days and weeks in useless and in fructuous discussions, would not enforce the ordinance specially issued to curb the mischief but allowed it to rust; and never was willing as the Judge said, to give up his Premiership, pretending all the time that he was not enamored of his office. Remarking on the part played by the Muslim League, the paper remarks. “But the Leagues got the minister ships they thirsted for by overthrowing Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh. Here we cannot help remarking that the Governor should himself have guided properly his inexperienced which they did not get from him. It is as if the Governor did not exist in those days, everything being left in the hands of Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh, although it became clear at some stage or other that the Premiere was hopelessly bungling and required the guidance of a mature and firmer brain that of the Governor”. The “Sansar Samachar” remarks that the reporthas connived at the sins of the officials. The “Hindu” writes that although the officials have been exonerated many serious allegations have been admitted against the Police Department and exhorts the Inspector General of Police to take proper steps to remove this blot on the name of the police.
Commenting on the attitude of the Congress towards the present political situation the “Congress” remarks: “According to Pandit Nehru this struggle would be our last fight for freedom. The success of this struggle depends upon strict discipline; therefore all of us should get prepared for this discipline”. remarks : “Lakhs of India Soldiers are anxiously awaiting the order of their Commander. They are waiting for that auspicious moment when they will face death and sacrifice their lives for the sake of the freedom of their country” The “Sind Observer” writing under the caption, ”The coming Indian crisis”, remarks: “ The Government of India, like Hitler, believes that offensive is the best form of defensive. It has gained from the gallop ; but afterwards during the Viceroyalty of Lord Willingdon Government kept the initiative in its own hands by attacking the Congress on all its battlefields and in all directions. Lord Linlithgow is following in the footsteps of Lord Willingdon”.
The “Hindu”, commenting upon the correspondence between His Excellency the Viceroy and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad remarks: “it is evident that the British Government has no mind to satisfy the Congress and is anxious to crush Congress strength with the help of minorities”. The “Daily Gazette”, commenting upon the correspondence, writes: “We regret to have to say that the whole correspondence is notable for the barrenness which underlines every bit of it. The Viceroy appears to be obsessed by prestige. The Congress President is no less jealous of his prestige. Where is India in this picture? She seems to have been relegated to a distant corner, too far away to be visible to lesser mortals.”
The resolution passed by the Working Committee of the All India Muslim League at its Bombay session is adversely commented upon by the Hindu papers, but hailed by the Muslim papers. The “Sind Observer” characterizes the demand of 50 per cent representation on the expanded executive Council of the Viceroy as “preposterous”, and says that the possible abstention of the Congress has made the Islamic stalwarts adopt the old policy of making hay while the sun is shining”. The “Hindu” remarks: “Far-sighted Muslim leaders should oppose the Muslim League and save the country from being divided as India has already suffered a lot owing to civil strife” The “Sansar Samachar”, commenting on the resolution, remarks: “It is evident that the Muslim League has little or no concern with India’s freedom and its leader want to take undue advantage of the critical situation and get more share than is due to them” The daily “Hayat” a Muslim paper remarks: “A little change in the attitude of the British Government towards the Muslims has made Congress and Hindu Sabha weep and wail”. The “Nizam” writes “The enemies of the Muslim League have made an art of stealthily co-operating with Government and being at its beck and call in order to achieve their objective. But when the Muslim League adopts the same means they view it as disgrace to the country. This is the logic and sincerity of the Congress.
All the papers are loud in condemning the air raids which are being made indiscriminately on civilians in London. The “Qurbani” under the caption, “London and Berlin”, remarks: It is a pity that due to greed for grabbing land untold loss of life and property is being caused. Hitler’s greed and obstinacy and the British Government’s desire to keep India and other countries in subjection are responsible for all this misery”. The Anglo-American Naval Treaty has been welcomed by all papers. The “Daily Gazette” under the caption, “Cheering News”, remarks: “The prevention of the defeat of Great Britain if it involved the surrender of her navy, is a matter of grave concern to America. BY the present treaty she not only makes the contingency even more remote than it is at present but strengthen her own coastal defenses to an extent that will make her impregnable to aerial attack from a potential European enemy”.
[No. P.25 H(S)/40, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the first half of September 1940, 21st September 1940.]
The attitude of the Press is friendly on the whole. The Muslim newspaper emphasize the necessity of supporting Britain whole heartedly in view of the critical conditions of Islamic countries like Egypt and Turkey. The papers with Congress sympathies, particularly the “Sind Observer”, protest against the policy adopted by the Government of India in arresting Satyagarha leaders and emphasize that no stone should be left unturned in effecting a settlement between the Congress and Government. The general tone of the press is anti-Nazi. The successor of Greece have been welcomed and splashed in headlines. Italy is universally disliked. The Satyagraha news of the arrests of ex Ministers and members of Legislative Assemblies is reported daily, but on the whole of paper do not give it undue prominence, or do they give propaganda headlines. The news of the arrests of important leader like Pandit Jawaharal Nehru and Mr. Vallahbhai Patel was, however, given in bold headlines. The “Sind Observer” and the “Hindu” published the statement made by Pandit Jawaharal Nehru at his trial and were asked by the Provincial Press Adviser to refrain from publishing such news in the future. The press is generally ready to accept the advice of the Provincial Press Adviser. Communalism, however, continues to be main theme of a large section of this Sind press. The President of the Journalists Association has informed the Provincial Press Adviser that he will submit the names of the Press Advisory Committee in the second week of December.[No. P.25 H(S)/40, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of November 1940, 5th December 1940.]
The attitude of the press continues to be friendly. Success of the British in Africa are not only given due prominence but are also commented upon in leading articles in all the prominent newspaper. The occupation of Sicily by the German troops is regarded as an exhibition of Mussolini’s utter dependence on Hitler as also of Hitler’s anxiety to have a naval base in the Mediterranean. The dismissal of Marshal Grazaiani is regarded as inevitable in view of the Italian reverses in Africa although it is observed that Mussolini’s adventure in Egypt from the very beginning. Much sympathy is shown for Haile Seillasie although it is regarded that the overthrow of the Italian rule in Abyssiania would be a long and arduous task.
Satyagraha news continues to find place in all the important newspapers although it is not prominently displayed. Mr. Gandhi’s advice to the editors to be fearless and independent in presenting the Satyagraha news has appeared in all the newspapers. The local editors are eagerly awaiting the results of the Press Conference at Dehli.
The Provincial Press Adviser had no occasion to pull up any newspaper in Sind on account of the presentation of satyagraha news nor does editor seem to be in a mood to court arrest on this score. Paper with congress sympathy deplore the policy of Government in arresting satyagraha and emphasize the need of an early settlement.
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of January 1941, 8th February 1941.]
The tone of the press continues to be friendly. The evacuation of Crete is regarded as damaging to the prestige of the Allies, although the fight which the Imperial troops out up has been applauded generally. The “Daily Gazette” observes that “lovers of Democracy ought not to lose their hearts and put their head together to avert future Crete’s.” The news of the Anglo Iraq armistice has been welcomed generally and has been received with much relief by the Muslim press. The “Sind Observer” remarked that “the dream castle of Rashid Ali has toppled down to its dome”. The “Daily Gazetteer” observes that the reverses in Crete are counterbalanced by the surrender of Iraq and the resumption of Anglo-Iraqi relationship which had temporarily broken up by the machinations of the enemy through Rashid Ali. The Hindu papers remarked that with the signing of the Anglo-Iraq armistice the danger of air raids to Karachi has been considerably removed. The attack on Syria by the British and Free French troops has been welcomed in all the sections of the press. The “Sind Observer” “hailed the news with delight”, So did the “Daily Gazette”. The “Sansar Samachar” remarked that it was a very popular move. The action of the Government of India in imposing a ban on the Khaksars movement has been generally welcomed by the Hindu Press which regards the Khaksars movement as a menace to the tranquility and peace of the country. The “Sind Observer” characteristics the movement as an organized attempt to set up Fascism in India. The Muslim press is reticent on the whole. Only three Muslim papers have written leading articles on the Government of India ban. The “Alwahid”, an old Sindhi paper, remarks that the movement is a peaceful one and appeals to Government to remove the ban. The “Bab-ul-islam”, an organ of the Khaksars published from Hyderabad, in a leading articles under the captions “In obedience to third step of Idarni Illahiya Hindiya” and “Dangerous Demonstration of English Power in Hyderabad city” remarks that Government had kept police and military guard near the mosques of Hyderabad City which are the houses or God in order to stop the activities of the sepoys of God and have thus prevented the slaves of God from worshipping Him. The “Muslim Voice”, is of the opinion that the Khaksars movement has suffered because of its faulty leadership and because of its refusal to come within the fold of the Muslim League and until Allama Mashraqi recognizes the leadership of Mr. Jinnah, he will not win the sympathy and confidence of the Muslims. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, 19th June, 1941.]
The tone of the Press and the presentation of the war news is strongly anti-Nazi. The German invasion of Russia has been condemned in very bitter terms by the entire Press; it is regarded as an exhibition of Nazi lust for territory and materials and a proof of the hollowness of Hitler’s pacts and promises. The attack is regarded as entirely unprovoked. The consensus of opinion seems to be that it is an act of a man in a desperate mood. While papers with loyal tendencies regard this new venture of Nazi Germany as the beginning of its end, quite a number of papers express doubts as to the effectiveness of Russian resistance. It is regarded that Germany’s pre-occupation with Russia will give England the much needed breathing space.
Comments on the Turko-German pact are divided the “Sind Observer” remarks that it has been signed under duress, the “Daily Gazette” attaches no value to it, and the “alwahid”, the only Muslim paper, to comment upon it, regards it as an honorable pact between two sovereign States.
There are some more comments on the banning of the Khaskar Movement. The “Sind Zamindar” States that the movement has been declared unlawful only on suspicion and adds that the activities of the Congress are more harmful than those of the Khaskars. The “Paigham-e-Sulh” and the “Bab-ul-Islam” appeal to the Government to remove the ban. These papers are of the Government to remove the ban. These papers are of the mofussil and are of minor importance. Only one paper indulged in objectionable comments, viz., “Hamdard” a Sindhi vookly of Hale, District Hyderabad, of small circulation. In the course of an article in this paper, it was observed that the Government of India had been misled by false propaganda against the Khaskars and that they wanted to wreak vengeance on the Muslims for the conditions brought about the Germany. The District Magistrate was requested to call the editor and warn him that such writings were actionable and should not be repeated. The paper has not written on the Khaskars after that. The Provincial Press Adviser had explained the attitude of the Government of India towards the movement to the editors of the Muslim dailies of Karachi and they have refrained from writing on this subject.
The resignation of Mr. K.M. Munshi from the Congress has drawn comments from a number of papers. Paper with pro-Congress tendencies foresee in Mr. Munshi’s resignation a revolt against Mr. Gandhi’s leadership, which is characterized as puerile. The “Karachi Daily” which is edited by a Congressman, characterizes the present day Congress as a movement of religious mendicants.
The news about the circulation of the “Talking points on India”, prepared by the British Ministry of Information, was republished by the “Sind Observer” and the “Daily Gazette” from the “Hindu” of Madras. Both the papers condemned the views expressed in the “taking points” and regarded then as an insult to India and calculated to do much harm to the relationship of the two countries.
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, 5th July, 1941.]
The tone of the Press is satisfactory and the presentation of the war news strongly anti-Nazi. The news of the Syrian armistice has been widely welcomed. The usual comments are that Germany left Syria in the lurch after engineering a revolt and making many promise. The “Sind Observer” remarks that with the armistice with Syria, the command of the Eastern Mediterranean by the British navy it’s complete. Russian resistance to Germany is being applauded and the Anglo-Russian pact is regarded as a wise measure which will infuse the Russian with fresh hopes and energy. The “Daily Gazette’s” remark that “the pact opens the final chapter to complete “the Nazi overthrow” is echoed in the vernacular Press.
The appointment of General Sir Archibald Wavell as Commander In chief in India has been favorably commented upon. It is also regarded as a proof of the impending danger to India. No enthusiasm is being shown in the expansion of the Viceroy’s Executive Council or the formation of the War Advisory Committee. The Consensus of opinion is that the expansion will not alter the nature of the nature of the Government of India which is run on bureaucratic lines. The extension of the terms of the Central Legislative Assembly by one year has been depreciated. The “Sind Observer” remarks that Government is afraid of the power the Congress and therefore fights shy of general election. The resignation of Dr. Satyapal from the Congress is taken to be yet another example of the disruption in the Congress ranks and even nationalist papers seem to be tired of the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and demand a new orientation of congress policy.
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, the second half of July 1941 19th July, 1941.]
The announcement of the expansion of the Viceroy’s Executive Council and the formation of the National Defense Council has not been received favorably. The Hindu press as well as the Muslim papers showed dissatisfaction at what they call “belated and perfunctory expansion” The only paper which defended the step was the “Daily Gazette” That paper, however, also referred to the “inherent defect” of the scheme as it dealt with individuals instead of parties, but it emphasized that the features of the majority of Indians and non-officials in the Executive Council of His Excellency the Viceroy. The “Sind Observer” wrote a series of articles condemning the expansions. It characterized the stop as “more eye wash” its main theme being that Swaraj was as distant from India after the announcement as it was before it. The “Hindu” characterized the stop as another attempt on the part of the British Government to Keep India under its meet. The “Hayat” and “Alwahid” two Muslim papers opine that the gentleman selected are not true representatives of the people. The nomination of the Premiere of Sind on the National Defense Council is adversely commented upon in the nationalist press. The “Hindu” observed that this was not consistent with the policy of the Congress whose member are supporting the present Government and even exhorted the Congress M.L.As to resign as a measure of protest.
The proceedings of the Non-Party Conference have received due publicity and its resolutions have been generally welcomed. The “Sind Observer” has been particularly eloquent in paying tributes to the politicians who took part in the Conference. The Muslim papers have not, however, shown any enthusiast and remarks that the Conference was convened by Hindu Leaders to safeguards their own interests.
War news continues to occupy the most prominent place. There is general admiration for the way in which Russia is holding on and there is keen sympathy for the Russian struggle. The news ordering the freezing of the Japanese assets in the United States of America and England has been generally welcomed. The headlines and comments are anti-Japanese, and it is generally stated that if Japan is indiscreet enough to enter the war it will mean her downfall. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of July 1941, 5th August, 1941.]
The “V” Sign has been adopted by the two leading papers of Karachi, the “Sind Observer” and the “Daily Gazette”.
War news is portrayed in headings showing much sympathy with Russia. Japan’s menacing moves in the Far East have been universally condemned. The “Sind Observer” observes that it is impossible for Japan to wage war against ABCD powers, (meaning America, Britain, China, and Dutch East Indies), at this juncture The “Daily Sind News” fools that if Britain and America were to warn Japan, she would come to her senses. The meeting between Mr. Churchchill and President Roosevelt has received much publicity and the joint statement issued on the Allies war aims has been prominently displayed. The “Sind Observer” in a leading article, appeals to Mr. Churchill to “take the earliest opportunity to announce on behalf of “His Majesty’s Government that India, too, will be free “of British domination like the rest of the world as soon as “Hitlerism is crushed” The same paper also remarks that with such liberal peace aims it would be surprising if Hitler does not lay down his arms.
The passage of the India and Burma Postponement of Election Bill has been unfavorably commented upon. The Main line of argument is that if Canada and Australia could hold general elections right in the midst of the war, there should be no excuse to deprive the Indian electorate of this right. The “Sind Observer”, in its “ Shot and Shell” column, remarks that “The talk of communal trouble is only a smoke-screen and that the fact is that Lord linlithgow and Mr. Amery are mortally afraid of Congress coming into power in 8 or 9 province once more.”
Mr. Amery’s recent speech in the Parliament has also been adversely commented upon. The “Daily Gazette” observed that “to those who have been pleading that India should be persuaded at any cost to identify in heart and soul with the cause of war and war effort the orations and perorations of the Secretary of State in the House of Commons will cause deep disappointment.” The “Sind Observer” remarks that although the British Government have emphasized that it is for Indian political parties and other non-parties to frame the future constitution of India after the war there is no undertaking given that such constitution will be necessarily accepted by the British Government. The “Hindu” stated that the only redeeming feature in Mr. Amery’s speech was that he opposed the Pakistan scheme.
Commenting on Mr. Jinnah’s threat of disciplinary action against the League Premiers, the “Daily Gazette” appealed to Mr. Jinnah “to revise his policy and program so as to be in line with the mental working of his followers.” The “Sind Observer” remarked that Mr. Jinnah will dig the grave of Muslim League in Assam, Bengal and the Punjab by the action contemplated against their Premiere. No Muslim paper, except “Zamana” has commented upon this topic. The “Zamana” approves of the independent outlook of Mr. Jinnah.
The instructions of the chief Press Adviser that the news regarding the activities of the allowed to appear were conveyed to all the newspaper. In the Reuters message if the July 31stJuly, mention was made of the activities of the enemy agents in man and North-west Frontier. The “Sind Observer” omitted reference to the North-West Frontier. The “Hindu”, “Sansar Samachar”, “Alwahid”, and “Qurbani”, all daily papers of Karachi, however, included the news in their headlines. They were told not to repeat this in future. It was unfortunate that reference to the North-West Frontier was not excluded from Reuters Message.
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of July 1941, 5th August, 1941.]
The news from Russia has been daily occupying the front pages of newspaper and has been widely commented upon in the additional columns. The situation is prepared as grave for the Russians and the threat to Caucasus is considered to be real and imminent. The ultimate danger to India is generally recognized and the impasses between the Congress and Government is deplored all the more for this. The “Sind Observer” commenting on the question of supply of material to Russia states that India cannot afford to be charitable at the expense of its own safety.
The letter of Sir Francis Young husband to the “Times” had an excellent press. It clicted very appreciative comments in all the important papers. The “Daily Gazette” remarked. “There is little doubt that were Indian given the right to choose for them, they would unhesitatingly vote for the line that the wise counsel of Sir Francis Young husband will be cry in the wilderness.
The summary (as wired by the “Associated Press”) of the letter written by Mr. Jaiprakash Narain was published in all the papers. The press on the whole regarded it as propaganda stunt. The “Daily Gazette” remarked that the matter was very trivial and that the issue of a communicate on the subject by the Government of India showed that they had lost their sense of proportions.
Mr. Jinnah’s decision to withdraw from the current session of the Assembly has been welcomed. There are no comments on the resolutions passed at the recent session of the Muslim League. The “Zamana” has made ironical comments on Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan’s speech on Iran in the League Session.
The Pir Pagaro has been in the news lately. The “Sansar Samachaar” regarded him as a dangerous man who was scheming to form parallel Government and dreaming to become the ruler of Sind. The “Hindu”, referring to the Congress sympathy of the Pir, urged for the opportunities of the impartial tribunal to enquire into the allegations against him. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of October 1941, 7th November, 1941.]
The tendency to throw the war news into the background in favor of matters of local or Indian interest was prominently marked when the Legislative Assembly was in session. There were two adjournment motions, one relating to an incident in a small village in Karachi district in which a military officer was involved and another concerning the appointment of the Revenue Officer, Lloyd Barrage. Both received banner headline and were commented on the constitutional issue involved in connection with the letter motion in both the leading English dailies, the “Sind Observer” and the “Daily Gazette”. The Papers, both English and vernacular, supported the stand and the “Muslim Voice”, both organs of the Muslim League. These two papers were of the opinion that it was not necessary for His Excellency to accept all the advice given by the Ministers.
The capture of Benghazi and Bardia has been hailed with enthusiasm. The “Sind Observer” remarked that Mussolini’s African Empire has appeared and the days are not for them the Allied forces will reach the borders of Tunisia. It paid a great compliment to the efficiency of the British navy in the Mediterranean. The loss of Hong Kong is regretted although it is realized that it could not hold out any longer.
The ”Sind Observer” criticized the attitude adopted by the Australian Premiere and Remarked that India, Burma and Singapore need the help of the British forces much more than Australia.
The nationalist press endorses the resolution passed by the Working committee of the Congress at Bardoli and hopes that the next move will come from to an understanding with the Congress and ponder over the fact that the Muslim League has been defeated in three Muslim provinces, viz., Sind, Assam and Bengal. The banning of the Mahasabha session provided a good deal of material to the Hindu papers to attack the Advisors regime. The Muslim papers have regarded the matter. The Muslim paper continue to ask for the release of Allama Mashriqi.
The demand for the control of prices still continue in the local press. It is emphasized that the measurement far adopted are not sufficient.[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of December 1941, 6th January , 1942.]
The news of the proposed withdrawal of the Allied troops from Tehran has been prominently displayed. There have been no editorial comments so far. The Russe-German struggle continues to absorb the interest of the entire press and every move is commented upon in most of the editorials. The general view is that the situation is dangerous and that a Russian collapse will not come as a surprise. It is, however, being emphasized that the German losses in men and material and that the acquisition of Russian territory does not compensate the Nazis for these losses.
The replies broadcast by the Secretary of State for India to the American public on some of the Indian questions have come in for a good deal of criticism and are characterized as a deliberate attempt to mislead the American public. The “Karachi Daily” suggests that the All-India Radio should invite Mahatma Gandhi or M.C. Rajagopalacharier to reply to the points raised by the Secretary of State for India. The Indo-Burma Agreement continues to be condemned and characterized as the act of a Government which is neither responsive nor responsible to the people. The “Sind Observer” calls for intensification of air raid precautions work in Karachi. Extracts from the address of His Excellency the Viceroy to the National Defense Council were displayed prominently in all the papers. The comments take the line that the National Defense Council cannot take India nearer to Swaraj and that its sphere of activity is very restricted.
The suggestion of Sir Sikander Hayat Khan that the Prime Minister should give a fresh declarations on India to bring it within the orbit of the Atlantic Charter has been commended, although it is added that any change in the British policy towards India is unlikely.
The news relating to the British demand from the Afghan Government to expel Germans living in Afghanistan appeared in the issue of the “Hindu”, dated the 7th October 1941, and the “Alwahid” and the “Hindu Sansar”, who was asked to give the sources of his information, replied that he copied it from the “Bombay Chronicle” and forwarded the relevant cutting, which has been sent to the Chief Press Adviser. The “Alwahid” and “Hindu”. The news in question was contradicted by an Associated Press message from Peshawar, which appeared in all newspapers, including the “Hindu”, on 9th October 1941. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of October 1941, 17thOctober, 1941.]
The news of the abdication of Raza Shah was displayed in banner headlines in all the newspapers. The “Sind Observer” in its leading article of September 19, under the caption “ A Great King Falls” eulogized the services of Raza Shah, calling him “the only great Sovereign that Iran has thrown up “For generations” and remarked that the events resulting in his abdication were due to his “independent policies on account “of which he excluded British influence from the South and the “Bolshevik influence from the north of Iran.” In the same leader there appeared a bitter criticism of the way in which Reuters had handled the news of the abdication carrying on “one sided propaganda against a fallen man by painting his “defects in lurid colors”. The article contained some objectionable remarks and this was pointed out by the Provincial Press Adviser to the editor who, on the following day, wrote another article under the caption “The New Shah Requires Support” in the course of which it was emphasized that the “Sind Observer” had extended support to the steps taken by the Allies in Iran “to save Iramn from Nazi machinations and invasion because when the Nazis enter a country the beled it white economically and subject it to slavery “politically”. The “Alwahid “ and “Hayat” also regarded the abdication as a very unfortunate and sad event. The “Hindu” observed that the reasons advanced for the abdication were not “weighty”. The “Sansar Samachar” remarked that the excuse of ill health given by the Shah of Iran was eyewash and that the ex-Shah who was in league with the Nazis wanted to bring about a revolution in order to extirpate the British and the Russian from Iran. No comments have appeared on the Iran situation in the papers during last week.
The resistance of Russia continues to evoke sympathy and admiration and publicity has been given to the aid which is being given to Russia by the Allies.
There is little comment on the extension of the term of office of His Excellency the Viceroy. The “Sind Observer” wrote that the matter was of no interest to the people of India. The “Muslim Voice”, the only English journal of the Muslim League in Sind in its leading article of the 27th September, under the caption “The Sind League” deplores the phase of “stupor and inactivity” through which the League organization in Sind has of late been passing and while commending the extensive Congress work in the Sind villages, exhorts the League authorities “either to go forward or to go out.”
[No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of September 1941, 6th October, 1941.]
The Prime Minister’s Statement on India evoked much hostile criticism. While some papers admired Mr. Churchill for his freakiness, nearly all took the attitude of ‘did I not tell you before’ in observing that the Atlantic Charter did not include India within its orbit and that Mr. Attlee’s statement as a “challenge to the present generation of Indians to answer the simple question whether they want Swaraj and if so whether they are prepared to take it. “The Karachi Daily” appeals to the congress and the Muslim League to sacrifice their pet theories and to come closer together and to emulate Britain which prepared to sacrifice all to preserve its freedom.
The recent broadcast of President Roosevelt had a very good press. The rumor of an imminent attack on Turkey by Germany was regarded to be very serious. The Muslim papers expressed the hope that Turkey will take a decision after considerable thought and will give a lead to other Muslim countries. The “Zamana” in a leading article under the caption “Narrow Minded Attitude of Britain against Afghanistan” expressed apprehension at the mention of the existence of a few Germans in Afghanistan and arrival of Amir Amanullah Khan in Berlin and hoped that the attention paid to this did not mean the taking of military steps against Afghanistan.
The Provincial Press Adviser convened a Conference of Muslim editors on the 4th instant, in which the editor of “Zamana” was also present. The Provincial Press Adviser discussed the Iranian situation with the editors and explained the circumstances which necessitated British precautionary measures in Iran. After the 4th September no comments on the Iranian situation have appeared in any local Muslim paper. The statement of the Secretary of State for India in the House of commons on the postponement of Election Bill was not favorably received. It was argued that the plea of communal tension was not tenable for there were no communal riots in the last elections to the Provincial Assemblies. The “Hindu” in a leading articles has drawn the attention of the authorities to the large number of Sindhi merchants doing business in foreign countries and suggested that they should be repatriated. It also requested Government to warn Indians living in foreign countries to return to their homes and to arrange for their safe departure before it is too late. The “Hayat” has expressed dissatisfaction at the orders of Government removing the former restriction on the length of “Kirpans” and urged that if Government do not wish to withdraw these orders they should at least permits Muslims in Sind to carry swords for self-defense. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of September 1941, 22nd September, 1941.]
The Roosevelt-Churchill meeting and joint declaration was published in banner headlines in all the newspaper. It was hailed as a historic statement giving in a nut-shell and precise language the allied war arms. The declaration has been criticized in one aspect only that it did not contain any reference to India. The “Daily Gazette” remarked that the “Roosevelt-Churchill statement is about the finest piece of news the world has had since the beginning of the War.” The “Hindu” remarked that the oppressed and tyrannized countries of the world would find solace in the eight points of the declaration. The “Hindu Sansar” appealed to the British Government to concede immediately the Congress demand in respect of the Constituent Assembly. The “Qurbani” failed to understand why British Government was so solicitous of the rights and freedom of the small European countries when its paid no head whatsoever to the demand of 40 millions of India’s inhabitants. The “Daily Gazette” characterized. Mr. Churchill again missed the opportunity of pacifying Indian opinion.
The reaction to the Anglo-Soviet military action in Iran have been favorable. The “Sind Observer” remarked “the advantage of mobilizing full Russian strength would have been lost had the Allies hesitated without marching into the Iran and made a present of it to Hitler. The “Daily Gazette” hoped that the world of Islam will bless the Anglo-Russian expedition in Iran. All the Hindu papers supported the British move and characterized it as necessary for India’s security. The Muslim papers made no comments for 2 or 3 days. They merely published the news from Iran. Apparently they were watching to see the reactions of the Muslim papers in the Punjab. The “Alwahid”, “Hayat”, and “Zamana” expressed regret o the attack of Iran and opined that it was not necessary. The “Zamana” in a subsequent article, which was strongly worded, expressed similar views taking its due from the “Shahbaz” of Lahore. The “Nizam”, “Hindu Sansar” and “Sansar Samachar” published news to the effect that nearly 250 Iranis living in Karachi will be interned, the hotels of Iranis will be closed and the Iran Censual, residing in Karachi, will be given a passport to Iran. The attention of editors of these papers was draw to this news. They were asked to disclose their “source of information”, which they have not done so far, and also informed then that it was most undesirable that such rumors should be given currency. The resolution passed by the Working Committee of the Muslim League on Iran has not found place in any newspaper. Satisfaction is being expressed at the later development in Iran by all the papers. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of August 1941, 6th September, 1941.]
The tone of the press continuous to be friendly. The news from Iraq and Crete occupies the most prominent place. The Muslim papers have refrained from commenting on the Iraq situation, except the “Alwahid”, which is a very old Muslim paper and is the mouth-piece of the Muslim league. Commenting on the events in Iraq, the paper observed that Rashid Ali Gillani’s activities could not be eulogized nor could his negotiations with the Nazis be in the interest of the Islamic world. The policy of the Vichy Government to allow further concessions to Hitler has been universally condemned. The “Sind Observer” remarked that Marshal Petain was guilty of a gross miscalculation if he has allowed Hitler to have his say in the Middle East. The “Daily Gazette” calls it “a gross betrayal of a former ally”. The “Karachi Daily” observed that Vichy has gone beyond the bounds of decency in hampering the War efforts of its former ally and that no amount of “pettifogger and quisling on Darlan’s part can quieten the qualms of conscience that the Frenchmen all over the world feel.” The statement of President Roosevelt has a good press and is regarded as heartening except by the “Sind Observer” which remarks that “except for a vague declaration of a state of emergency in the United States, there is nothing in Roosevelt’s speech to enthuse about.”
The Hindu press has published bitter comments on the speeches made by the Muslim Leaguers at the recent meeting of the Provincial League Committee at Sultankot in Sukkur district. The “Sind Observer” wrote a strong leading article remarking that the speeches had in them the seed of anarchy and disorder.
Anxiety has been shown by all the papers regarding the inadequacy of the defense measured for the protection of the city of Karachi against possible air raids. The news of the exodus from Karachi has been published in certain papers, but advices have been given to the citizens in the editorial columns to keep calm and not to leave the city in nervousness. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of May 1941, 14th June, 1941.]
The tone of the press continues to be friendly. Events leading to the recapture by the enemy of Benghazi, Derna, and other places have evoked a certain amount of anxiety but the determination of Greeks and Yugoslavs to resist the Axis aggression has been universally applauded. German attacks on Greece and Yugoslavia have been condemned by all the papers, the “Sind Observer” that although the events cannot be looked upon with complacency there is no need to lose confidence. The signing of the Russo-Japanese Pact has come in for a good deal of adverse criticism. The “Daily Gazette” remarked that by signing the Pact, Russia has only “signed her own death warrant, morally speaking”. Other papers do not attach any importance to the Pact; it being observed that Pact have very little value in the present days. Satyagraha news is in the background and the interest in centered in the war news. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of April 1941, 21st April, 1941.]
The tone of the press continues to be friendly. British success in Italian Eriterea and Abysinia are given due prominence . President Roosevelt’s speech has had a very good press and is regarded as a declaration of war against the dictators. The signing of the Axis Pact by Yugolsavia came in for a good deal of adverse criticism, the “Sind Observer” remarking that it was a great blow to the British diplomacy. Later events in Yugoslavia were welcomed. There has been admiration for Turkey in her decision to stand by the Allies. The resolution passed by the non-party leaders in Bombay drew favorable comments, the “Daily Gazette” observing that the acceptance of the Bombay offer will mean giving “Hitler the final shake he is heading for”. Other papers regard the resolution as embodying the just demands of India and express the opinion that it will be very unwise to reject the Indian claim. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of April 1941, 4th May, 1941.]
The general tone of the press continues to be anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist. The capitulation of Yugoslavia and Greece caused much disappointed and handsome tributes were paid to the gallantry of the Greek nation. The statement of the Rt. Honorable Mr. Amery on the Indian situation has had a very cold reception and was dubbed as reactionary in spirit. The “Sind Observer” remarked that the statement disclosed lack of vision and leadership which will prove fatal to the British cause. Other papers also wrote in the same strain and referred to the anomaly of the British fighting for the independence of ‘small nations in Europe while denying self-Government to India. Mahatma Gandhi’s statement on Mr. Amery’s speeches received banner headlines and was given much prominence in all the papers except the Muslims press. Nationalist papers made complimentary references to Mahatama Gandhi’s statement. The press welcomed the decision of Mahatama Gandhi to disallow Congressmen in Sind to observe ‘Satyagraha’. The “Daily Gazette” remarked that by his decision Mahatma Gandhi has placed Sind under a debt of gratitude. . [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of April 1941, 3rd May, 1941.]
The tone of the press continues to be anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist. The situation in Iraq has been commented upon at length by the English newspapers. The “Sind Observer” has drawn the attention of the authorities towards the absence of shelters in Karachi and emphasized the need of constructing several public shelters. All papers agree that the Anglo-Iraq clash is engineered by the Nazi propaganda and the “Daily Gazette” hopes that Iraq’s invaluable experience will not be lost on other nations in the Middle East. Only one paper, the “Sansaar Samachaar”, sounds a British in Iraq at the instigation of Germany by Englishmen cannot escape the responsibility for this rupture and that they are paying for the high-handed treatment they meted out to the Iraqis. The Provincial Press Adviser has taken up the matter with the editor of “Sansar Samachaar”. The Muslim papers do not publish any comments on the Iraq situation.
The war situation is regarded as critical and the “Sind Observer” typifies the general attitude when it remarks that there will be profound flow of sympathy from every part of the world to Great Britain in this hour of her dark trial.
The landing of Rudolph Hess in Scotland gets banner headlines and is regarded as an event full of mystery but is also observed that too much political significance should not be attached to it. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of May 1941, 19th May, 1941.]
There is a greater appreciation of the danger to India in all the sections of the press and the lending articles of rest and the lending articles of rest of the of the papers are mainly devoted to the discussions on the international situation. German prestige has been affected by the continued successes of Russia but the fear of Japanese offer for co-prosperity is treated with contempt. The debate on war in the House of Commons has been reported in full in all the papers and the comments have tended to emphasize the indispensability of Mr. Churchill. The “Daily Gazette” however remarked that the anxiety of Mr. Churchill to get a vote of confidence so that this enemies may have no grounds to say that he was not the accredited representative of the British people was not in in the true Churchillian style. It is generally recognized that Mr. Churchill speaks for the entire British nation and it is this conviction which has elicited unfavorable comments on Mr. Churchilll’s omission to make a reference to India in the war debate. The “Hindu” regards Mr. Churchill’s indifference as “callous”. The “Sind Observer”, commenting on Australia’s anxiety to strengthen the defense in the Far East, remarks that Indian troops should also be mustered at the frontiers of India although it also sunrises that Japan will try to consolidate its newly acquired territories rather than attack India.
Hitler’s bombastic, through somewhat apologetic, speech, as summarized by Router, has been published in most of the papers but without comment. Mr. De Valera’s statement that a Republican army is willing to help the Nazis has caused surprise but is apparently misunderstood. Anxiety is expressed over the recent successes achieved by Rommel in Cyrenaica and doubts have been expressed by some papers whether there will be any finality to the campaign in Libya. There is general sense of frustration at the continued impasse between the Government and the Congress. The Hindu papers commended the ratification of the Bardoli decision by the All India Congress Committee at Wardha and expressed a hope that a gesture of goodwill will soon be made by the British Government. Extracts from the “Daily World”, “Manchester Guardian” and the “Times”, on the Indian problem, have been published in several papers.
The interment of Mr. U. Saw, ex-Premier of Burma, has not been favorably received. The “Sind Observer” remarked that the reasons given for the internment were not convicing. The “Karachi Daily” observed that the speeches of Mr. U. Saw, although frank, did not betray any antagonism towards the British Government.
The news of the release of Allama Mashriqi was welcomed by the Press in general and the Muslim press in particulars.
The “Karachi Daily” and the “Hamdard”, of Mirpurkhas, have published letters condemning the behavior of the military at Fakir-jo-goth in Karachi district, Saburahu in Hyderabad district and at Mirpurkhas railway station. The letter in the “Karachi Daily” is worded in a very strong and objectionable language and the matter is under examination.
The “Tomorrow”, of Karachi, which is a weekly paper edited by Mr. Alim T. Gidwani, a Congressman belonging to the Forward Block has been issuing daily bulletins of late demanding the resignation of the present Ministry.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of January 1942, 4th February, 1942.]
The deterioration of the situation in the Far East and the Pacific in general and the last and critical press of the battle of Singapore in particular have been widely appointed upon, it being freely expressed that Singapore’s fall is imminent. The escape of three German battleship through Straits of Dover is regarded as very unfortunate and “a powerful addition to the German Battle Fleet which this spring is expected to give battle in the North Sea or against Russian in the Battle. (Sind Observer). Interest in the Libyan campaign has dwindled although the possibility of the Rome. In gathering sufficient forces to attack. Egypt is not altogether disregarded. There is little comment on the news from Russia. The assumption of military leadership by Nahas Pasha in Egypt has been welcomed.
The visit of Marshal Chaing-Kai-Shek has been acclaimed as an important event and papers of all shades have extended a hearty welcome to him and Madame Chiang-Kai-Shek. It is stated that the visit will lead to greater co-operation between India and China in their defense measures Japan. The “Daily Gazette” opines that Marshall Chaing-Kai-Shek would place India “under a deep debt of gratitude to him if he succeeds in persuading the Congress leaders to extend a hand of co-operation in this war of aggression even at the risk of having to withdraw all the legitimate and understandable condition imposed on such co-operation”. The “Hindu Sansaar” also prays that the Marshal may succeed in bringing about an honorable settlement of the questions.
The debate on India in the House of Lores was resort in all the papers and comments generally took the line the even conservative politicians like Lord Hailey realized the force of Indians demands for freedom. The “Muslim voice” a leading article under the caution “National Settlement” praised the frank statement of the Duke of Devonshire and his appreciation of the position of the Muslim League and expressed a hope that congress will not be appeased at the cost of the Muslim League. Nationalist papers continue to deplore the impasse adding that the absence of a settlement is a handicap to India’s war effort.
There is a general condemnation of outrage committed by the Hurs. The “Alwahid”, a Muslim League organ remarks that if the Ministry unable to cope with the situation it is the duty of His Excellency the Governor to take dramatic steps to check the Hurs.
A reporter of the “Sind Observer” submitted a statement given by Miss Curie, who represents the New Yorks Horald Tribuno Syndicate and Allied Newspaper of London, on the set-backs suffered by Hitler in Russia which was passed for publication.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of February 1942, 19th March, 1942.]
The fall of Singapore has been regarded as a very serious calamity and a severe blow to British prestige. The coastal towns of India are now thought to be liable to attack from Japanese raiders. The papers, however, have avoided undue pessimism. The “Sind Observer” remarked. “All is not lost and the will to revenue remains as firm as ever.” While the general deterioration in the Far Eastern situation is regarded as one of the results of the “unimaginative” policy persued by Britain in regard to her Empire in the East, the implications of British reverses are ally recognized. The “Sind Observer” remarked: “The people of India and hoping and praying for the ultimate success of the Allies because inspite of Mr. Churchill and Mr. Amery, their future is with the “democratic Allies and not with the Totalitarian Axis.” The “Karachi Daily” hopes that Indians will teach a lesson to the Japanese what it means to disturb the peace of any nation. The “Hindu” remarked that Indians should be prepared to face the emergency bravely. Similar exhortations were made by all the important papers. The “Nizam” advocated the setting up of a “Volunteer Corps” and appealed to the rich to give financial in setting it up.
The reshuffling of the British Cabinet has been well received, particularly the appointment of Sir Stafford Cripps. The demand for a change at India Office continues.
The advice given to Britain by Marshal Chiang Kai-Shek in his parting message about the grant of political freedom to India evoked much enthusiasm. The “Sind Observer” regarded the Marshal as a “great ambassador of peace and goodwill.” The “Daily Gazette” remarked that Marshall Chiang Kai-Shek’s impassioned appeal for unity between India and China in fighting the aggressor will find a warm echo throughout the length and breadth of India. The Muslim press also praised the message given by Marshal Chiang Kai-Shek.
Almost all Karachi papers are writing about civil defense measures. The general criticism is that the public does not know what measures Government proposes or has already adopted to meet emergency. It is also stated that there is no co-operation between Government and the Karachi Municipal Corporation in respect of defense measures. The “Karachi Daily” goes to the extent of suggesting that the Karachi Municipal Corporation should be granted complete autonomy to devise measures for the defence of Karachi and that Government should only advise. All papers deprecate any tendency panic. The statement of the Honorable Premier to the effect that those who can leave Karachi conveniently may do so now, received much prominence and most of the papers endorsed the view of the Honorable Premier. The “Daily Gazette” published very prominently the statement of the Honorable Home Minister to the effect that so far there was no danger to Karachi. There is a demand that Government should issue a communicate stating clearly whether it wants people to leave Karachi.
A meeting of the Press Advisory Committee was called on 23rd February, which was attended by the Hon’ble Minister, Home Department, and the Hon’ble Premier. The Hon’ble Minsiter, Home Department addressed the Committee explaining the harm which is done by defeatist writings and appealed for co-operation of the Committee in seeing that such writings were avoided. The members of the Committee stated that no paper deliberately feature defeatist headlines or wrote defeatist editorials, but that most of the news which came recently was in itself depressing and that the constitutional issue in India could not be divorced from the war. The nationalist press in Karachi, comprising mainly of four papers, the “Sind Observer”, “Karachi Daily”, the Hindu” and the “Sansar Samachaar”, takes the same attitude as that taken by the “Hindustan Times” and the editors of these papers put forward the same arguments for the expression of their views as the edit of the “Hindustan Times” did before the Hon’ble Home Member of Government of India. The Government of Sind have decided to take security from the “Sansaar Samachaar” and the “Karachi Daily” has been given final warnings.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of February 1942, 5th March, 1942.]
There has been some improvement in the tone and headlines of the newspapers. There appears to be a greater realization of the danger to India and a greater appreciation of the effect of a negative attitude towards the war.
The attitude of press towards “China Day” was very helpful. Almost all the papers wrote editorials commending the part played by China in resisting Japanese aggression and emphasizing the unity of purpose between India and China. Even an extremist paper like the “Karachi Daily” observed: “The 7th of March 1942 will remain memorable at least in the history of India and China, if not of the world, for an attempt by the British “Government to bring the two peoples of Asia closer “together” The “Sind Observer” and “Daily Gazette” brought out special supplements and the daily “Hayat” (Urdu) issued a China number.
The fall of Rangoon was received in a resigned and philosophical manner. The “Sind Observer” thought that “Japan has swallowed more than she can digest”. The “Daily Gazette” observed that “to depress the national “morale would be to deny the God in man and enthrone Satan.”
Mr. Churchill’s announcement on India has been received very favourably. There was a chorus of approbatior on the choice of Sir Stafford Cripps. The “Sind Observer” appealed to all Indians to make his mission “a resounding success so as to strike terror in the minds of enemies of India, who are proposing to invade the country and “force it into slavery.” The “Daily Gazette” thought that the change of heart for which the Indians have been pleading for so many years has come at last. The “Sansar Samachar” and the “Hindus Sansar” welcomed Sir Stafford Cripps’ Mission.
The daily “Hayat” observed that the appointment of Sir Stafford Cripps was a proof of the sincerity of the British Government in ending the present deadlock.
The central budget came in for a good deal of criticism. It was observed that no bold proposals of taxing monopolies have been put forward. The “Sind Observer” remarked that if a nationalist Government is formed at the center it will have to devise bolder methods of taxation. The “Hindu” remarked that no attempt was made to touch the salaries of High Government officials.
The “Hayat” in a leading article under the caption “Uncivilized Treatment of Indians” commented upon the speech made by Mr. Jumabhoy, President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore, at the meeting of the federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce hold in Dehli and regretted that indiscriminate treatment should have been meted out to Indians at a time when their whole-hearted co-operation is needed in the successful prosecution of the war.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of March 1942, 20th March, 1942.]
The chief topic of interest has been Sir Stafford Cripps and the negotiations in Dehli. Practically all the front page headlines during the fortnight were in connection with his “mission”. The Karachi journalists were much disappointed at not being able to interview Sir Stafford Cripps on his arrival in Karachi. There was a tone of hopefulness in most of the editorials till the 30th March when the Cabinet proposals were publicly announced. The papers are now waiting for a lead from the Congress or the Muslim League, as the case may be, before commenting in detail on the proposals but the immediate reactions to the scheme are unfavorable. Even the “Daily Gazette” in most respects moderate considers the proposals as a “challenge to India’s nationalism”. The “Sind Observer” regards the offer as “clever but clumsy”, although it concedes that the proposals are “liberal and generous”. The main criticism is regarding the reservation of defense and the clause permitting a province to remain outside the Union, if it so desires, “which may result at the Balkanistation of India after the war”. (“Sind Observer”) Muslim League papers have not commented so far.
The fall of the Andamans was expected but it none-the-less considered ominous and Ceylon is considered to be the next objective of the enemy. There is little interest in the news from Russia, Libya, etc.
Some papers have published leaders on the “Scorched earth” policy. The “Hindu” endorsed the view expressed by Mahatama Gandhi against the scorched earth policy in India and stated that the policy if pursued will be suicidal to Indian industries which are still in their infancy and also result in acute unemployment. The “Sansar Samachar” wrote in the same strain. The “Hayat”, a Muslim Daily, while commenting on the scorched earth policy remarked that the opposition to the scorched earth policy came from the capitalists who had already grown fat on the earnings made possible owing to the conditions of war.
There is a general complaint regarding the ineffectiveness of the Government control of prices. It is stated that while the price of the wheat is fixed at Rs 5/8/- a maund it is actually being sold at Rs. 8 or Rs. 9 per maund and that it is difficult even to secure good flour in the market.
Owing to a strike in the “Sind Observer” Press there was no issue of the “Sind Observer” on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th March. The paper has reappeared from the 31st March. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of March 1942, 4th April, 1942.]
The Press has concerned itself with the dangerous position in Burma and the threat of hostile action against India, but politics seem still to be considered more important than war.
M.Laval’s return to power has shown how helpless the Vichy France was. The “Sind Observer” remarked. However had a man Laval may be, it does not simply pay the Allies to make a present of him to Hitler. He and the aged Marshal have to be handled very carefully whatever their aberrations.” The “Daily Gazette” observed: Laval’s return to power has given rise to serious misgivings in Washington and Allied capitals”. The “Hindu” wrote, “The appointment of M.Laval as the French Premiere indicates that France will in all probability enter the war on the side of Germany. The “Hindu Sansar” remarked that the fall of France was indeed regrettable and that it would be difficult to find a parallel for France’s ignoble fall in the history of the world.
The news of the bombing of Japanese cities was favorably received. The “Hindu” Wrote “The bombing of the Japanese cities was only a beginning of an affensive against the Axis powers.”The Daily Gazette” observed: “The raid has been hailed both in America and England”.
Hitlers speech is regarded as apologetic, Commenting upon it the “Sind Observer” remarked “There is no doubt that he is a tight corner. His much published spring offensive is a gambler’s last throw: if it rails, it will mean not only the end of his political career but also the end of war for German. “The Daily Gazette” observed: “Reading between the lines the shrewd observer cannot fail to realize that Hitler is preparing the Germans for a further series of reverses”. It added: “The fact remains that the (Hitler) has seen the writing on the wall and is begginig at long last to lose faith in his own invincibility.”
The action taken by certain Provincial Governments against certain papers without consulting the Press Advisory Committees was severely criticized by newspapers. The “Sind Observer” remarked: “The fact of the matter seems to be that there is an all-in Dehli, not so much because of the fear of foreign invasion but due to the failure of the Cripps Mission.” The “Hindu” wrote that the action against the “Bombay Sentinal” , the “Partap” of Lahore and the “Yugantra” of Calcutta without regard to the Press Advisory Committee constituted a flagrant violation of the Dehli Agreement and advised the Government of India to seek the co-operation of the press rather than gag it. The “Hindu Sansar” remarked: We do not desire that irresponsible journalism should be tolerated but at the same time responsible journalism should not be suppressed. Where is the need of setting up the farce of Press Advisory Committees, when they are not consulted before any action is taken against newspaper?”
The Madras resolution favoring Pakistan had a mixed reception. The “Daily Gazette” and the “Al-wahid” welcomed the lead given by Rajaji. The former wrote: “A public known for its sense of fairness will not take long to realize that Rajaji is not the “Pakistani” his enemies unscrupulously make him out to be, but he is only offering a first class prescription to cure Pakistanis of their suicidal mania. He laughs best who laugh last.” The latter observed that Rajaji had given right lead to the country. The “Sind Observer” did not favor the Madras resolution and remarked: “We say it is more insane to set up a Pakistan which will lead to civil war.”
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of April 1942, 5th May, 1942.]
While the English newspaper continue to feature the war news in their front pages, the vernacular newspaper give more prominence to the news of the outrages committed by the Hurs. The editorial columns of the vernacular press are almost entirely devoted to the question of internal security.
The Mauling of the Japanese navy in the Coral Sea has been greatly welcomed and occupation of Madagascar by the Allies has been hailed as very timely. Hopes have been expressed that the spring offensive of Hitler will be met by the Russians with the same determination and courage as shown by those brave people hitherto. The news of the R.A.F. attacks on Germany and occupied France has been welcomed and it is hoped that the raids will be kept up. The bombing of the eastern towns of Assam has not evoked very much comment.
The controversy regarding the attitude of Mr. Rajagopalacharia towards Pakistan continues, the “Sind Observer” and other Hindu papers strongly deprecating his move and foretelling his doom.
The National War Front scheme has received much publicity during the fortnight and the speeches made by the Honorable Premier and the Provincial Organizer, National War Front, have been reported in most of the papers. The only paper which has commented adversely on the National War Front is the “Sind Observer”, which remarked that there can be no national enthusiasm for the war till India’s political status is improved.
[No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of May 1942, 20h May, 1942.]
The crimes committed by the Hurs continue to be the main news items in this province and news of the war is trained as being of secondary importance. The situation on the China front is regarded with misgiving, although events in Russia are still considered encouraging in spite of the loss of Kerch. Comments on the end the Burman campaign take the view that the army did the best that it could do in the circumstances. Mahatma Gandhi’s advice that the Sind Ministry and Congress M.L.As. should resign and form Peace Brigades was generally criticized and attributed to Mahatma Gandhi’s ignorance of the conditions of Sind. Only two paper’s supported Mahatma Gandhi’s ignorance of the conditions of Sind. Only two papers supported Mahatma Gandhi, the “Hindu” and the “Sansar Samachar”. The “Hindu Sansar” criticized the local Congress for resolving that Government should not have kept the Pir Pagaro in jail without trial. The “Sansar Samachar” published an extract from the “Vir Bharat” of the Punjab which implied that the Muslim League was responsible for encouraging the Hur Menace. The “Al-wahid” made a spirited reply to this charge ridiculing it and remarking that the object of the Hindu press is to make an apology for the inability of the present Ministry to cope with the situation. The “Alwahid” holds the Congress responsible for the breakdown of law and order in the province. The statement of His Excellency the Governor on the Hur menace and his message to the Zamindars of Sind had a very good press and were approvingly quoted in the editorials of several papers. The “Sansar Samachar” criticized the action of the United Province Government in confisticating the security of Rs. 6,000 from the “National Herald” of Lucknow.
At a press Conference on the 31st May, the Provincial Press Adviser explained the implications of Martial Law and exhorted the editors to exercise the utmost caution in dealing with Hur news.
H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of May 1942, 6th June, 1942.]
Some satisfaction has been expressed at the checking of Rommel’s advance into Egypt, but it is realized that the drive in Russia and the threat towards the Suez Canal are very closely co-related. The situation in Russia is considered to be exceedingly grave and the opening of a second land front against Hitler in Europe is being advocated. News from China is published without much comment. The fear of a Japanese attack on India appears to have vanished for the time being.
Opinions are divided on the proposed Congress move. The “Karachi Daily” whole-heartedly supports the stand taken by the Working Committee of the Congress and regards this as a final chance for Britain to settle the Indian question. The “Hindu” and “Hindu Sansar” also support the stand taken by the Congress is of the opinion that the plan and program of “Quit India will prove a Herculean task. The “Daily Gazette” Urges co-operation with the British on the issue of resistance to Japanese aggression and warns that divisions in India can only strengthen the enemy. The “Sansaar Samachar” does not think that the movement will gain the same momentum as the Civil Disobedience Movement launched I 1940 did. The Muslim papers do not attach any importance to the proposed Congress move.
The Further expansion of the Executive Council of His Excellency the Viceroy has not been favorably received. The “Hindu” regards it as an affront to embittered India”. The “Hindu Sansar” thinks that these half-hearted measures cannot satisfy the popular demand. The “Daily Gazette” regards the scheme as “inadequate, disappointing and unsatisfactory”. The general comment is that the expansion has been made more to satisfy opinion in England and America than to satisfy public opinion in India.
Criticism of the inadequacy of the Price Control measures still continues. The imposition of adequate sentences on some of the offenders against the Price Control orders has been welcomed by the press, the only dissenting voice being that of the “Karachi Daily”, which regards these sentences as harsh. The “Mirpurkhas Gazette” appeals to Government to impose a ban on the export of wheat as it is feared that if wheat is continued to be exported to Bombay and Marwar on the present scale there will be scarcity of wheat in Sind. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of July 1942, 18th July, 1942.]
War news has again been relegated to the background; the newspaper have devoted most of their editorials, etc. to discussion on the resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee and to the damage caused by the floods in Upper Sind. The progress made by the German armies in Russia has caused little comment.
The Hindu papers continue to give prominence to the statement of Congress leaders on the resolution of the All-India Congress. Committee. The articles of Mahatma Gandhi published in the “Harijan” have been freely reproduced and there has been very bitter criticism of the attitude of the Government of India and Mr. Amery. The papers have laid great emphasis on the anti-Fascist, was expelled from its ranks. Congress believes that there is much anti-British feelings in India and that this will help the Japanese to conquer the country. India will be a thousand times worse off under Japanese than under British rule, but as she cannot defend herself unless she is made free, she should be made free. But so far there has been no open approval of the proposed mass movement. It seems to be generally recognized that such a movement is fraught with danger and appeals have been made to Britain to avert it. The remarks of the “Daily Herald” of London chastising the Congress leaders for not approving the “Cripps” proposal have been bitterly criticized by the national papers which have also condemned the attitude of the English Labour Party. The broadcast of Sir Stafford Cripps to America met with a very hostile reception. The speeches of local Congress men on the resolution of the Working Committee were not published by any paper. The statement of Mr. Jairamadas Doulatram M.L.A., was the only statement of a local leader published on the subject. The “Muslim Voice” and the “Alwahid”, two organs of the Muslim League, have both vehemently opposed the Congress stand. The two papers characterize the attitude of the Congress as intransigent and emphasize that Congress can do nothing without settling accounts with the Muslims.
Much sympathy is expressed for those who have been rendered homeless by the floods in Upper Sind. The “Hindu Sansar” holds Government partially responsible for not warning the people in time of the impending floods. A letter to the same effect has appeared in the “Daily Gazette” by Mr. Shaikh Abdul Majid, ex-Minister.
A number of articles on price-control have appeared in the “Daily Gazette”, which also published the rejoinder of the Chief Controller of Prices. It is argued that Government should control distribution and introduce a rationing system. The same paper also published some letters complaining that the European community and the military do not set a good example during A.R.P practices. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of July 1942, 4th August, 1942.]
The Press has continued to give greater prominence to political news than to the war and the local papers have devoted most of their space to discussions and forecasts regarding the political situation, to deploring the arrests of the Congress leaders and in attempting to prove that Mr. Gandhi’s plan of campaign is in no way meant to embarrass the war effort of the United Nations. And a pretty hopeless task it has been.
There has been condemnation of the publication of the “Allahabad” papers and certain glee at the publicity given to the “Puckle” circular. But the move towards Civil disobedience has received very little support am the violent outrages which have occurred in many parts of India have been condemned. The local efforts in that direction, carried out by college students, have also been disapproved of although the usual criticism of the Police has been made.
The Provincial Press Adviser held two press conferences at which the implications of the Government of India orders under Rule 41(1) (b) were explained. The “Hindu” and “Hindu Sansar”, which had written some very strong editorials before the arrest of Mr. Gandhi, were severely warned by the Provincial Press Adviser. After the orders under Rule 41(1) (b) were passed, they have ceased writing editorials. The “Hindu” has informed its readers that it will not write editorials on the Congress movement owing to the restrictions imposed upon the press. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of August 1942, 18th August, 1942.]
Political happenings in India continue to be the main concern of the Press and there has been general criticism of the policy of Government in arresting the Congress leaders. The displays of violence and hooliganism which have taken place have been condemned but the Hindu Papers absolve the Congress from all the blame in respect of these outrages. “Government’s decision to appoint a special officer to enquire into the alleged mal-treatment of the boys at one of the police stations after their arrest has been welcomed by the Hindu papers. The Muslim papers have, however, operate the treatment which they have consider to be mere concession to Hindu and which in their opinion, will completely demutualize the police, “The Muslim Voice” the “Alwahid” and the Nusrat praised the executive authority and the police for t handling of the situation in Karachi. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of August 1942, 7th September, 1942.]
Since the 10th August last the various acts of rowdyism and hooliganism which have taken place in Karachi have been almost exclusively the work of the Hindu students of the local colleges and schools. Such acts have followed a definite and clearly pre-arranged plan and have included the holding up of tramcars and motor buses, attempts to damage them by stone throwing and by fire, attempts to set fire on telephone booths and post boxes, and attack on a Police chowki and continued stoning of the city Police engaged in preventing such willful destruction of property and the holding of meetings and processions in defiance of the orders of Government.
Following one such display, a number of students were arrested on the morning of the 12th August last at the Amil Institute in the New Town after the lathi charge in which some of them received injuries. After arrest the boys were first taken in police Lorries to the Soldier Bazaar Police Station and from the thence to the lock up at the Rachore Police Station. Later in the day, they were released.
Previous to this incident there had been much criticism of the action taken by the Police in dealing with meetings processions and acts of disorder and the Managing Committee of the Karachi Indian Merchants Association had already on the 11 August passed a resolution in which Government were accused of resorting “to indiscriminate firing” maintaining law and order “with the help of hired goondas” using the civic guards and A.R.P. personnel “for manhandling member of the public whom they are expected to protect”. Lathi-charging small school going children and other inhuman acts. And this was followed by the appointment of a Committee of members of the Association of the Buyers and Shippers Chamber which went even further. This Committee examined certain persons and on the strength of their testimony produces a report in which they made more astounding allegations of a nature which cannot be given in this statement but which in any case should have only been made after the most careful and impartial enquiry. As the more revealing accusations were definitely in regard to the treatment in the Ranchore Police Station of the students arrested on the 12th August, Government decided that an enquiry should be made into the alleged misconduct of the Police at that station and appointed Mr. G.H.K Agha, an officer of very wide magisterial experience, to hold it. It was decided that Mr. Agha should examine the persons who made the complaints of ill-treatment and report whether in his opinion there were grounds for the institution of further proceedings against any of the Police officers against whom allegations might be made. Mr. Agha accordingly examined R.B. Hotchand Chandumal, R.B. Ramchand, their two grandsons and a number of other students; Mr. Parmanand Kindanmal, Mr. Gopaldas Lala, and Dr. Kishinchand who had attended the grandson of R.B. Ramchand. Then as the students examined involved a sub-Inspector named Mr. Hansotia, he also recorded the evidence of Mr. Best, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Karachi, Mr. Sharma, Editor of the “Daily Gazette”, and Mr. Gamadia, Manager of the Daily Gazette Press.
The evidence of the students was generally to the effect that after they were placed in the lock up at the Ranchore Police Station, they were taken out of the lock-up by a constable of whose identity on indication is given, in batches of 3 or 4, taken along the varandan of the Police Station and that then each boy was taken separately into the Sub-Inspector’s room and beaten either on his buttocks or on the Soles of his feet. Some of them stated that they were also asked to touch the shoes of the officer who conducted the beating and in one instance to crawl along the ground none complained or the more serious indecencies as recorded in the report of the Committee referred to above. To begin with, no witness gave any clear indications as to the identity of the Police officer said to have conducted the mishandling of the whom three of the lads said they would be able to recognize. The Enquiry Officer, therefore, asked the District Magistrate to produce before him the police officers who were present on the 12th August. Mr. Hanstotia was produced first he is clean shaven and the three students identified him whole two others did the same.
It being quite clear from the statements made by the various witnesses that the alleged beating etc. must, if the students’ stories were time have begun between 12:45 and 1. P.m. and ended between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. Mr. Hansotia was asked to account for his movement between those times. In denying the allegations he was able to prove conclusively that he was not at the Police Station between the times in question except for a short period between 1:10 and 1:30 pm. Until he returned there in the course of his duties at about 2:45 p.m. He cited as witnesses to this effect the District Magistrate, the District Superintendent of Police, Karachi Camp. Fullerton, D.A. Provost Marshall Sind Dist., the Assistant Superintendent of Police Karachi and also as is mentioned above Mr. Shama and Mr. Gamadia, while a very relevant entry in the situation Telephone Book was also produced.
Mr. Agha did not, after hearing the Assistant Superintendent of Police, think it necessary to hear the first three officers cited, as will be shown below, there was obviously no need to do so. Mr. Best, the Assistant Superintendent of Police, stated that when he left the to do where two tramcars had been burnt near the Mouldino Mussafarkhana about 1 p.m. , Mr. Hansotia was still there and that he met him later at the same site, at about 2:15 p.m. again leaving him there when he left. The Ranchore Police Station Telephone Book, which Mr. Agha states was properly pages containing seriatim therein the calls received at the station, show in proper order and place the following entry:-
Text of Message
Received a phone call from city Police Station that S.I. Hansotia should be informed to reach to “Daily Gazette office with to constables as soon as possible.
To be informed.
The entry shows that the Sub-Inspector was not at the Station at 1:10 p.m. and Mr. Hansotia’ story that he arrived there at about 1:30 p.m. from the site of the burnt tramcars and on receiving the above message collected a party and proceeded to the “Daily Gazette” office and that he did not get back to the Police Station until about 2:45 p.m. is amply corroborated by Mr. Shama, Mr. Gamadia, Mr. Abdul Aziz, Inspector of Police and Mr. Best A.S.P. The story of the students that Mr. Hansotia was present at the station at the time of the alleged beating and personally carried out or supervised it, and the students were very positive on the point is obviously false. This being so, there is no reason to believe the rest of it, more particularly when the evidences of Mr. Panmanand Kundanmal and Mr. Golpaldas Lala is considered. These gentlemen arrived at the Police Station at above 4.p.m., the former to ball out one of his servants and the latter to procure the release of his son none of the students then complained to them of any mal-treatment. The fact Mr. Pramanend says there was nothing suggestive of any ill-will or resentment and Mr. Lala says he found the boys in the lock-up to be in a holiday mood. Mr. Agha has, therefore, reported that it would be to no purpose to order any further enquiry. With this finding Government after a careful examination of the statements recorded are in full agreement. They would only wish to add that they consider it singularly unfortunate to that bodies such as the Karachi Indian Merchants Association and the Karachi Buyers and Shippers Chamber should be so willing to give audience to such scandalous accusations of misconduct on the part of members of the Police Force on whose protection at other times they are so to rely and who have so far undoubtedly behaved with commendable Merchant ain the face of organized rowdyism and of stone throwing which has united so far as injuries some of them united. [Press Note, No. P-308. Karachi, dated 12th September 1942]
There were stock taking articles in several papers on the occasion of the third anniversary of the war. The consensus of opinion was although the position of the Allies had imporved there were at present no signs of the end. Tributes were paid to the magnificent resistance of the Russian Armies to the terrific onslaught of the Germans and it was generally conceded that Rommel was being well held in Egypt. The seriousness of the Japanese threat to Australia and to India was fully recognized. The “Sind Observer” opined that the course of the war could only be changed by the opening of a Second Front in Europe and several papers exhorted the Allies to take the offensive instead of remaining on the defensive. Although the “Daily Gazette” and “Sind Observer” continue to treat the war in its proper perspective by devoting front pages to the war news, and writing editorials on the day-to-day course of the war, the vernacular press gives greater prominence to political happenings in India and publishes whatever hows it can get of the disturbances caused by the Satyagarha campaign.
The nationalist press continues to press for peace with the Congress. The acts of violence though condemned, are regarded largely as spontaneous outbursts of resentment at the interment of the Congress leaders. The “Sind Observer” which holds a brief for the Congress has not been able entirely to exonerate the Congress leaders of blame for plunging the country into disorder.
Mr. Churchill’s statement on India came in for a good deal of spirited criticism. The “Daily Gazette” left its leader column headed “Mr Churchill’s Statemanlike’ Solution to Indian Deadlock” blank. Exclaiming the blank column the same paper remarked next day that the Provincial Press Adviser might have developed “political delirium” if it reproduced. A.G. Gardiner’s assertion that the Mr. Churchill lacked a soul and rounded up by saying that it was not fair to take Mr. Churchill seriously. The “Sind Observer” complained of the “Tory Imperialism” of Mr. Churchill and regarded the appeal of some of the India leaders including the Premieres of Bengal and Sind that India should be declared independent “here and now as the best answer to Mr. Churchill”. The “Azad” a new Muslim daily which is the organ of the nationalist Muslim, questioned the correctness of Mr. Churchill’s assertion that the Muslims were opposed to the Congress and stated that the Momins, the Jamiat-ul-ulema and other Muslim organizations support the Congress stand for independence. The Muslim League papers, the “Al-wahid” and the Muslim Voice have not commented on Mr. Churchill’s speech.
The radio speech of the Commander-in-chief was published without comment.
The “sind Observer” writing under caption “This must stop at once” protested against the rash and negligent driving of some American Negro soldiers which has recently resulted in 5 persons being killed in the streets of Karachi. The Assurance of the district Magistrate, Karachi, that the culprits were being tried by Court Martial was received with satisfaction. The “Daily Gazette” continues to complain of the ineffectiveness of the Price Control measures and the “Sind Observer” views with alarm the shortage of food stuffs and advocates the requisitioning and rationing of such supplies. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of September 1942, 19th September, 1942.]
War news continues to occupy the front pages of the newspapers out editorials have been mainly devoted to the debates in the Central Legislative Assembly and to exhortations for a settlement with the Congress.
Russian tenacity and doggedness have earned repeated praise. The “Sind Observer” losses no occasion to draw a moral from the Russian example to assert that free “India” will oppose Hitler as well as the Russian have done. Operation in Madagascar have been praised and gratification expressed at the British success in that island. The statement of Mr. Wendell Willkie’s expressing the need of second Front has been commented upon with approval by some paper although the “Sind Observer” thought it was badly timed and that it may provide grounds for false and pernicious propaganda may use by the enemy to drive a wedge between the United Nations.
Considerable interest has been shown in comments in the American and the statements of some prominent American showing anxiety over the Indian question.
The move of Mr. Arthur Moore has been hailed with approval The “Daily Gazette” hoped that his lead and that of other Europeans of his group will counteract the effect of Mr. Churchill’s pronouncement which afforded a fertile ground for uncongenial “reactionaries” The “Sind Observer” called it a refreshing move “an opportunity of an Life time for the British in India” The speech of the Honorable Sir Sultan Ahmed and Sir Jogedar Singh has been well received but there has been severe criticism of the statement of the Honorable the Finance Member.
The “Sind News” the Hindu Daily of Hyderabad, in a leading article has denounced mob violence and has appealed for the strengthening of United Front against the enemies of mankind. The “Al-wahid” a Muslim Daily regard the campaign of non-co-operation against the British Government as the war against the Muslim communities and minorities communities.
The renouncing to titles by the Honorable Premier was widely commented upon Both “The Daily Gazette” and “Sind Observer” hoped that the British statesmen would take it as sign of the times and would revise their policy in regard to India.
The Government Press Note on the report of the Special Officer, who was appointed to enquire into the alleged maltreatment of students at one of the Police station in Karachi after their arrest, was welcomed by Muslim papers. The “Al-wahid” blamed the Hindu community for clearing unnecessary trouble and express gratification at the vindication of integrity of the police. The “MIllat and Nusrat both Muslim weeklies, congratulated the Enquiry Officer on his just conclusion. The Hindu papers on the other hand, have criticized the Government Press Note. The “Sind Observer” called it a “whole and corner” enquiry and the “Daily Gazette” opens it to be “labored attempt at eye wash”.
The Hindu Sansar has again drawn the attention of the minorities to the abnormal rise in the prices of foodstuffs and other necessities. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of September 1942, 3rd October, 1942.]
The Resistance put up by the Russian at stalingard has evoked widespread admiration. Editorial comments express a hope of the turning of the tide in favor of the Allies. Hitler’s speech was published with adverse comments but the “Sind Observer “wondered why his reference to India had been omitted in Reuters’ dispatch. Little interest is both shown in other theatres of war.
The dictatorial comments made by the “Times” of London in the Indian political statements were featured with banner headlines were favorably commented upon. Mr. Amery indictment of the congress in the House of Commons evoked bitter criticism. The “Sind Observer” characterized it as voice of the a chorus girl in a Greek tragedy” while the “Daily Gazette” uttered and dictum that “great empires and little minds go ill together” and ended by appealing to Indians to do all to help the fighting men and working men to win the war and win it quickly. The “Sansar Samachar” refused to admit that the present disturbances were the work of Mahatama Gandhi and opined that those who were indulging in acts of violence were out to malign the congress. The effort of the Hindu Mahasabha have not evoked any enthusiasm. The nationalist papers deplore the decision of the Viceroy not to allow interviews with the Congress leaders.
The embargo on the Hajj pilgrimage has since been adversely commented upon by the “Azad” and the “Alwahid” the two Muslim Sindhi dailies, who urge the Government of India reconsider their decision.
Nationalist papers speaks with two voices with one the eulogize the effort of the congress in the advancing the cause of the Indian freedom and the other way condemns two acts of violence committed in the wake of the Congress movement. The “Daily Gazette” ask the misguided people who resort the reckless sabotage and destruction whether they realize what harm they are doing to their countrymen and country’s political advancement and “The Destruction of property”, the paper goes on to say, “involves a waste of public money, additional taxation and additional burdens”.
The topic which has attacked the largest measures or attention during the fortnight has been the removal of Mr. Allah bakhsh the former premiere from his office. All the three English dailies question of the constitutional property of his Excellency the Governor in removing the premier from office when he had not lost the confidence of assembly. The Daily Gazette opined that Mr. Allah bakhsh will now pass for “a hero punished unjustly and unfairly for his political opinion”, “The Azad” foresee in the dismissal great sacrifice in the part of Mr. Allah bakhsh and great future for him. The “Hindu Sansar” and The “Daily Sind News” deplore the action of his Excellency the Governor. The “Alwahid”, on the other hand welcome the removal premier of ex-Governor and adds it has come as a relief to the Muslims. [No. P.25 H(S)/42, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of October 1942, 19th October, 1942.]
The opening of an attack by the Right Army has been welcomed both as a sign that the Allied Forces are taking to the offensive and as a factor likely to have a beneficial effect on opinion in Turkey and Egypt. Admiration for the Russians increases day by day and it is considered quite on the cards that Stalingrad may prove as impossible of capture this year as Chittagong and parts of Assam caused little or no comment.
The abrogation of the extra-territorial rights in China by the British and American Government has been commended as a first step towards the re-orientation of the European policy towards the Asiatic countries. The “Daily Gazette” saw in the abrogation an application of the principles of the Atlantic Charter to Asia. The “Sind Observer”, however, with its usual perverseness remarked that this magnanimous gesture has been dimmed to some extent by the British intentions to continue such rights in Hong Kong and also complained that the recent Ordinance of the Government of India against members of the Military and Naval Forces of the United States amounted to the application of extra-territorial rights in India. Mr. Wendell Willkie’s recent broadcast was given great prominence and was generally hold to be a valuable contribution to the Indian problem.
There is much dissatisfaction at the continuance of the political stalemate and there is now more expression of a desire for settlements coupled with a certain amount of open condemnation of acts of violence.
Local politics continue to be the main interest and the two Hindu Ministers who have joined the new Ministry have come in for much unrestrained criticism. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of October 1942, 4th November, 1942.]
The action taken by the Allied Forces in French North Africa has been greatly acclaimed although there is a tendency to overlook the fact that the moves could not have been made without the British Navy’s command of the sea. The general Press opinion is that the German High Command is faced with a very serious situation and that the German-Italian divisions in Libya are faced with the prospect of surrender or annihilation. Hope is expressed that the operations in North Africa will be a prelude to the opening of a Second Front in Europe. Interest in the battle for Stalingrad has slackened somewhat and less interest has been taken in the struggle in the Solomon.
Comments on the success of the Republicans in the recent United States elections generally take the line that Mr. Roosevelt’s position is not at stake, for all the parties including the Isolationists are solidly behind him for the efficient prosecution of the War. The “Sind Observer” put forward the view that the results of the elections show that President Roosevelt is slipping from the position of vantage he had occupied so far, but hopes that the heat generated by the elections will not deter the U.S.A from the mighty task it has set before itself. The article contributed by Mr. Louis Fischer in the “Nation”, New York, on the Cripps, mission has been reproduced in the “Daily Gazette”, which paper considers that only the intervention of His Majesty the King can bring about the desired effect in India. The refusal of His Excellency the Viceroy to permit Mr. Rajagopalacharia to interview Mahatama Gandhi has been generally deplored.
The “Daily Gazette” commenting on the Ordinance making paper-money defaced with political slogans illegal tender, states that the orders will cause great hardship to illiterate persons who are not likely to understand the significance of political slogans and suggests that the withdrawing of the paper-money and its replacement by coins would be a more satisfactory proposition. Complaints against the rise in prices of foodstuffs and other commodities have reappeared and the “Karachi Daily” protests strongly against the export of rice to Ceylon and of wheat to other parts outside India. The “Azad” is the only Muslim paper to continue its appeal to Government to make arrangements for the transportation of pilgrims to the Haj. The local press was asked not to publish the following items:-
(1) Statement of Mr. Hussain Zaheer on the Goodwill Mission to Russia;
(2) Comments on the arrangements for the repatriation of Indian and British passengers from Japanese occupied countries; and
(3) Draft Resolution before the last session of the Executive Committee of the Muslim League threatening direct action if Pakistan was not conceded and the draft Resolution on Palestine.
The Press in Sind refrained from publishing these items or commenting on them. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of November 1942, 18thNovember, 1942.]
While the continued progress of the Allied Forces in North Africa has received its due need of praise, the prowess of the Russian Armies has been given pride of place by all the provincial newspaper. The general estimates appears to be that Hitler is now in real corner from which he will find it exceedingly difficult to extricate himself. It also seems to be thought that event in the Pacific will to some extent be made to wait upon those in Europe.
France continues to excite alternately pity and respect. The mobilization order in Spain is not considered to be any special significance it is taken to signify a state of preparedness already adopted in neutral countries such as Turkey, Spain, it is though will cling to her neutrality.
The elimination of Sir Stafford Cripps from the Cabinet is regretted and regarded as ominous for India. It is feared that his removal will facility the activities of the more reactionary elements in the Cabinet as far as India is concerned. The Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech in which he expressed his determination not allow the liquidation of the Empire has come in for a good deal of criticism and is regarded as a pointer to his Indian Policy. The “Sind Observer” commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech stated that with every Allied victory there has been a hardening of attitude towards India. The “Daily Gazette” pleading for the release of Mahatma Gandhi opined that he alone can quell the violence which has demoralized the public life of this country.
The shelving of the Grady Report is also regretted and its publication is now demanded by those very papers which had formerly regarded the setting up of the Mission with suspicion.
There is much comment on the scarcity of newsprint and it is suggested that the Indian paper mills should be compelled to manufacture newsprint. The “Sind Observer” makes a plea that the sterling balance at India’s credit should be used to liquidate the foreign capital invested in Indian industries and should not be repaid in the form of goods.
The same paper gave currency to the rumors regarding the suggested trial of the Pir Pagaro and wrote a leading article condemning the Pir but suggesting that he should not be tried as his trial and the infliction of the extreme penalty of death will drive the Hurs mad with vengeance. The “Muslim Voice” suggested that the editor of the “Sind Observer” has been “bought up” by the sympathizers of the Pir.
Interest in the Congress campaign has almost ceased and there is more open condemnation of acts of violence. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the second half of November 1942, 4th December, 1942.]
As a whole the Press does justice to the objective side of the war news but when the various papers have published the contents of the telegrams and communiqués they are more or less finished. Some comment they do make but it is very mixed.
Such pronunciations as the speech made by the Prime Minister by Lord Cranbourne, etc. are eagerly scrutinized and generally deplored as revealing no change in British Imperialism or in the policy of Great Britain towards India. A paper such as the “Sind Observer” might almost be disappointed if such a change became evident. Similarly with speeches made by Mr. Wendell Willkie in America – all such utterances are closely examined for references to India.
Sir William Beveridge’s social reforms scheme also received attention and one paper said it was clear that the Indian Empire would have to continue to be plundered to pay for social reforms in the United Kingdom. The Jam Sahibs’s addressed to the East India Association was generally regards as showing greater regard for the rights of the princes than for liberties of their subjects. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the First half of December 1942, 18thDecember, 1942.]
The attitude of the Press towards the war remains the same, news of it is given adequate presentations but other matters are the main concern. Such subjects as the address of His Excellency the Viceroy to the Associated Chamber of Commerce the Sapru Conference, the Pakistan movement and the like provide the chief topics for discussion and for the continual repetition of the old threadbare arguments, the principal one being that the British Government is solely responsible for the lack of unity among Indians. This argument if it were not so tragic would be comic.
The orders barning the publication of reference to the fast of Professor Bhansali has evoked considerable resentment and the local papers blacked out the Honors Lists and have decided to close down for the 6th.
The food and fuel shortage and what is described as the price control middle continues to receive much attention.
The death of Sir Sikander Hayat Khan has been universally mourned. [No. P.25 H(S)/41, HOME DEPARTMENT (SPECIAL), SIND Secretariat, Karachi, Report for the Second half of December 1942, 6thJanuary, 1943.]