Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Before we consider the problems that face us we must

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Before we consider the problems that face us, we must give thought to our comrades those who have left us during these past few months and those who languish year after year, often with no end in prospect, in prison and detention camp. Two well-beloved colleagues have gone Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari and Abbas Tyabji, the bearers of names honored in Congress history, dear to all of us as friends and comrades, brave and wise counselors in times of difficulty. To our comrades in prison or in detention we send greeting. Their travail continues and it grows, and only recently we have heard with horror of the suicide of three detenus who found life intolerable for them in the fair province of Bengal, whose young men and women in such large numbers live in internment without end. We have an anal ogy elsewhere, in Nazi Germany, where concentration camps flourish and suicides are not uncommon. Soon after the last Congress I had to nominate the Working Com mittee, and I included in this our comrade, Subhas Chandra Bose. But you know how he was snatched away from us on arrival at Bombay, 4*3
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and ever since then he has been kept in internment despite failing health. Our Committee has been deprived of his counsel, and I have missed throughout the year this brave comrade on whom we all counted so much. Helplessly we watch this crushing of our men and women, but this helplessness in the present steels our resolve to end this intolerable condition of our people. One who was not with us at Lucknow has come back to us after long internment and prison. We offer cordial welcome to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan for his own brave self as well as for the sake of the people of the Frontier Province, whom he has so effectively and gal lantly led in India's struggle for freedom. But, though he is with us, he may not, so the orders of the British Government in India run, go back home or enter his province or even the Punjab. And in that province of his the Congress organization is still illegal and most politi cal activities prevented. I must also offer on your behalf warm welcome to one who, though young, is an old and well-tried soldier in India's fight for freedom. Comrade M. N. Roy has just come to us after a long and most dis tressing period in prison, but, though shaken up in body, he comes with fresh mind and heart, eager to take his part in that old struggle that knows no end till it ends in success. The elements have been unusually cruel to us during these past few months, and famine and floods and droughts have afflicted many prov inces and brought great suffering to millions of our people. Recently a great cyclone descended on Guntur district in the South, causing tremendous damage and rendering large numbers homeless, with all their belongings destroyed.
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