Tax Resisters Cause Trouble in India

An Associated Press dispatch from on the tax resistance campaign in India:

Tax Resisters Cause Trouble

India Government Seizes Movable Property for Non-Payment

With the coming of the rainy season halting attacks of the Indian Nationalists against the Government salt works, the authorities today strengthened their fight against the non-payment of taxes — which has succeeded the salt raids — in two widely-separated areas.

In the Gujerat, where civil disobedience has been widespread since Mahatma Gandhi opened his campaign there , the Government has begun attaching movable property of those who refuse to pay land taxes. The evaders lock their doors and flee when tax collectors appear or hide in the fields, so attachment was resorted to.

To the northeast, in the Punjab, police arrested 17 tax evaders in a village 20 miles from Delhi.

Non-payment of land revenue has long been preached by civil resistance leaders, but until the monsoon brought the rains they were occupied chiefly with salt raids — and the police likewise were occupied with arresting them.

Now they are concentrating on the tax question despite the Viceroy’s ordinance against inciting to non-payment.

The Government campaign was given vigor last week by plans made at a conference of provincial governors.

The Nationalists in Bombay continued processions and demonstrations . When Pandit Motilal Nehru, acting president of the All-Indian National Congress, reached here he led a parade of Nationalists from the Indian quarter to the Congress House.

He was called, it is understood, by the Bombay Congress Committee, which has been pushing the movement for the picketing of foreign cloth shops and liquor places.

When the procession ended the Pandit addressed a mass meeting and emphasized the need for intensifying the boycott programme. He congratulated Bombay and the Gujerat district on the lead they had given to the civil disobedience movement.

Referring to suggestions that the campaign be called off as a preliminary to peace negotiations, he declared that any negotiations must always precede suspension of the movement.

V.J. Patel, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, appealed to the students to give up their studies for twelve months and devote themselves to congress work.

The Vote

Before British women had the vote or much else in the way of legal equality, the law treated the assets and income of married women very awkwardly. In some circumstances, such things were considered community property, in others, the property of the husband, in others, the property of the wife. For example, the law instituted a surtax on the joint income of the husband and wife, but made the husband exclusively responsible for it. But what happens when the husband is a non-resident alien, or, in the case of George Bernard Shaw, when the wife refuses to reveal her income even to her husband?

From the issue of The Vote:

The Super-Tax on the Super-Man

Mr. George Bernard Shaw has been writing to the Times on grievances connected with the regulations for the imposition of the super-tax. His grievance is that he is asked by the authorities to give a return of his wife’s income as well as his own. But as Mrs. G.B.S. refuses to tell him the amount of it, he writes to the authorities to ask them what he is to do. There is no regulation pointing out how one may insist upon one’s wife divulging her income to her husband, and beyond guessing at it from what she spends, the ingenious G.B.S. declares that he can give the authorities no help. He has pointed out to his wife that he may be put in prison for a faulty return, but instead of softening at the thought she would appear to have told him that numbers of women had gone to prison for the cause, and it was high time a man went. But besides this recalcitrant attitude of Mrs. G.B.S., Mr. Shaw points out that his wife’s income may prove to be greater than his own, and he is expected to pay on both!…