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Young India

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An Interpretation and a History of the Nationalist Movement from Within.
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Item Code: UAD787
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Author: Lajpat Rai
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9788123762814
Pages: 218
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 320 gm
Book Description

In the introduction to the first edition I have explained why, when and under what circumstances, this book was written. The first impression was exhausted in a few months and the publishers issued a second one soon after Mrs Besant's Home Rule League, London branch, issued an English edition with a foreword by Colonel Wedgwood who was then unknown to me. Copies of this edition were given free to members of the British Parliament. The Government for the time, thought it so dangerous to their cause, it being the War time, that they confiscated the book. The entry of the book into British India was prohibited under the Indian Sea Customs Act. It was only last year that this prohibition was cancelled. The book having been out of the print for some time is being published in India for the first time.

India has considerably changed since the book was written in 1915. Some changes have been made in the constitution which have transferred certain amount of power to the representatives of the people. But the real power remains where it was. The economic condition is today even worse. But the greatest and the most noticeable change is to be seen in the mentality of the people. We have passed through a wonderful period of political awakening. The movement for freedom is no longer confined to the intelligentsia but has spread among the masses. Mahatma Gandhi's non-co-operation movement was a unique thing in the history and life of the Indian people.


Englishmen must make up their minds about India. The days when we could lull our principles to sleep with vague talk about our beneficent rule, about a people unfitted for government, about protecting the non-military classes from violence and tyranny, are past. The War, the German example, has shaken us up. We are perforce driven to be frank with ourselves. If we are going to rule India in the future as in the past, in the teeth of the wishes of the people, then we are Prussians. Then we must use force and fraud, cajolery and hate. And then in the long run we shall go down with our good name damned for ever; for nothing can long stand against social, commercial and political boycott, the passive resistance of a people.

At least Liberal Members of Parliament are not content to remain the Prussians of India. The alternative is Colonial Home Rule. Unless Liberalism can do this, and so erase the present feeling towards Englishmen in India, the alternative will be independence. The time is short, and I direct the attention of the readers of this book to Ireland and the Sinn Fein movement²; then to South Africa and General Smuts.

That is my first reason for welcoming this Young India of Lajpat Rai's. It ought to be in the hands of every official who goes to India that he may understand the burning sense of injustice among the people he has to rule. It ought still more to be open before the Liberals of this country who are responsible for British rule, but little know how quickly now the wheels of God are grinding.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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