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Beschreibung des Verlags
N OPEN LETTER
THE RIGHT HONORABLE
DAVID LLOYD GEORGE
Prime Minister of Great Britain
Sir: I am an Indian who has, by the fear of your Government in India been forced to seek refuge in the United States, at least for the period of the war. In 1907, when Lord Minto's Government decided to put into operation an obsolete Regulation of the East India Company (III of 1818) against me, in order to put me out of the way, for a while, without even the form of a trial, Lord Morley, the then Secretary of State for India, defending his action, gave me the highest testimonial as far as my private character was concerned. You must have heard that speech though it would be presumptuous to imagine that you remember it.
Even my worst enemies have not been able to point out anything in my life which would give any one even the shadow of a reason to say that, in my private life, I have not been as good and honorable a person as any British politician or diplomat or proconsul, is or has been or can be. My record as a wage-earner is as clean and as honorable as that of the best of Britishers engaged in governing India.
Mr. H. W. Nevinson, than whom a more truthful and honorable publicist is not known in British life, has said in his work, "The New Spirit in India," that once when he told a high Anglo-Indian official that I was a good man held in great esteem by my countrymen, the latter remarked, that because I had a high character in private life, I was the more dangerous as an agitator.
I am reciting all this as evidence of my credentials to speak on behalf of my countrymen. Just now I am a mere exile. For the present, I cannot think of returning to India,
unless in course of time I begin to feel that by running the risk of being hanged or imprisoned, I should be doing a greater service to my country, than by remaining outside. I am now in the fifty-third year of my life, out of which more than thirty-four were spent in the limelight of public gaze. I am a man of family with children and grandchildren and have had my share, however small, of the good things of the world. Political freedom for India has been a passion to me ever since I was a boy. However hard the life of an exile or a convict may be, I am prepared to risk everything in the cause of my country.
In the language of that prince of political exiles, Joseph Mazzini, the word "exile," is perhaps the most cursed in the dictionary of man. It dries up the springs of affection; it deprives its victims of the sweet babblings and lispings of his little ones with whom every man of age loves to beguile the evening of his days; it closes the avenues of all comfort that are associated with that sweet word home; it shuts the doors of heaven and makes life a continued
agony, hanging on the slender thread of such pity and hospitality as one may receive from the generous and kind-hearted foreigner.