CONGRATULATIONS TO THE HINDUS OF NELLORE

1st October, 1941

“I CONGRATULATE the Hindus in general and the Hindu Sabhaites in particular at Nellore on the boldness in asserting their civic and religious rights which were held up even by the law-courts, in spite of the high-handed and iniquitous ban put on their exercise by the local authorities there. Instead of suppressing Moslem goondaism for their alleged threatening to break peace in case the Hindus took out their customary procession and observed their rites and ritual publicly, the local authorities prohibited the Hindus from exercising their civic liberty and when the Hindus refused to do so and wanted to take out their procession by customary routes, ordered lathi-charges again and again on the Hindu public. Leaders of the local Hindu Sabha are arrested, several Hindu men and even women are wounded and yet the local authorities are not called to book by the Provincial Government forth-with. If the police and the Governmental forces were strong enough to attack thousands of Hindu processionists in which even ladies in their hundreds had bravely participated to defend the Hindu Honor, could it be said that those very Governmental forces were not powerful enough to control and even chastise the threatened goondaism of a few hundred Moslems, in time?

“The highest law-courts have laid it down again and again that it is the duty of the Government to apply section 144 against those who threaten to commit criminal assaults and break the peace to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their civic rights. But today all over India it is the law-abiding Hindus who are being prevented under this 144 and similar other sections everywhere from observing their civic, religious and legitimate rights under an excuse, which is more humiliating and discreditable to the Government Itself, that otherwise the Moslem fanaticism would be provoked to criminal rioting. Such a policy amounts to putting a premium on goondaism. The Governmental forces are there to maintain the exercise by the public of their legitimate rights and to punish those who hold out criminal intimidation against that exercise.
3
“But when and if the Government fails to act up to this basic principle of giving effect to legal rights and even clear decision of the law-courts, it is the inevitable duty of the Hindu public to come out boldly to assert their legitimate rights as best as they can. The Hindu-Sanghatanists all over India are, therefore, thankful to the Hindu public in Nellore for facing untold suffering, lathi-charges, prosecutions and persecutions to defend the honour of the Pan-Hindu Flag.

“I urge the Government of Madras, in the interest of public order and peace, to call to book the local authorities responsible for these iniquitous and preposterous steps they have taken against the Hindus at Nellore, allow the Hindus to exercise their legitimate rights unmolested by any criminal aggression on the part of the Moslems and use the Governmental forces to suppress goondaism which intimidates the exercise of civic liberty and rights sanctioned even by High-Courts, instead of suppressing these rights to placate-goondaism.”

V.D. SAVARKAR

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