But though the conservative tent has apparently grown big enough to cover the
long-neglected anti-war, isolationist tendency, anti-war conservatives (like
anti-war liberals) don’t really have a party to call their own, so if they
want to make things happen, they have to step outside the tent.
Which they have: and who did they find outside that tent but some anti-war
liberals and anti-war libertarians extending their hands in greeting.
Three dozen anti-war activists were there, ranging from progressives like
Ralph Nader, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Sam Smith, Kevin Zeese, Bill Greider, Paul
Buhle, Robert Dreyfuss, and Glen Ford; to libertarians like Dennis Lane and
Jesse Walker; to conservatives like Doug Bandow, David R. Henderson, Kara
Hopkins, William S. Lind, and George D. O’Neill. (I don’t have a complete
list, so I’m just piecing this together from the bits and pieces of news about
the conference I’ve been able to find on-line.)
Their goal was to build an anti-war coalition based on what they had in
common: to put ideological differences aside and to talk about tactical
coordination towards the common goal of a post-militarist America.
In , the residents of Guntur jumped the gun,
and, disregarding Gandhi’s pleas to wait, launched a tax resistance campaign
on their own.
Gandhi Urged Calm Should He Be Seized
Ghose Asserts Civil Mass Disobedience Has Begun — Natives Not Paying Taxes.
(Associated Press).— While at Ahmedabad, Mohandas K. Gandhi, writing
in the newspaper New India, said that if he were arrested the people should
remain unmoved. He asked that they fulfill the whole constructive program
framed at Bardoli “with clockwork regularity and speed like the Punjab
An appeal to the public to remain calm, “as we shall show no regard for
Gandhi either by observing a hartal or going mad,” was issued today by the
Congress committee. The committee requests that the natives refrain from
invoking a hartal and maintain “a peaceful, cordial attitude toward all.”
Special to The New York Times
Washington, .— Sailendra N. Ghose, director of the American Commission to
Promote Self-Government in India, said
that reports he had received from
India showed that although Gandhi, the non-co-operation leader, who had just
been arrested, had deferred civil mass disobedience, the Nationalists in
several districts had refused to pay taxes, and in others individual land
owners had taken the same course.
Mr. Ghose gave to the press, as typical of the prevailing conditions, the
following report from the Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee for
the District of Guntur:
“The nonpayment of taxes is very encouraging. The revenue collected from
Bapatla Taluk (taluk means a district somewhat similar to a township in this
country) is 1,400 supees against 200,000 (normal) in the first remittance; in
Narsaravupet Taluk, 1,100 against 150,000; in Sattenapalli Taluk, 1,500
against 150,000; in Rapallo Taluk, 2,000 against 200,000; in Tenali Taluk,
6,000 against 200,000.
“Other taluks are not lagging behind.
“Village officers’ resignations are briskly proceeding. Meetings are
prohibited through Tenali Taluk. Workers are disobeying in batches.
Developments are expected.”
In the rural sections of India, Mr. Ghose explained, taxes are imposed by the
Government, not on individuals, but on communities, the annual levy averaging
between 30 and 45 per cent. of the average gross production of the district
over thirty-year periods. The head man of the village is held accountable for
the tax by the Government, and he is supposed to recover from the villagers.
“The figures for Guntur district are cited as typical of what is going on in
many parts of India,” Mr. Ghose said.
“Although Gandhi has deferred orders for mass civil disobedience, he has
encouraged individual action. In many of the communities, however, mass
action has been taken and in none of those districts has the tax collected
this year exceeded 10 per cent. of normal, and in some cases, as is shown by
the figures for Guntur, the ratio has been less than 2 per cent.
“To counteract this, the Government in some provinces has refused to allow
village officers to resign, dismissing those who refuse to carry out their
duties and thus depriving their heirs of their hereditary rights as village
chiefs. The Madras Government has moved to amend the law to shorten the time
necessary to carry out the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act so that
land or movable property may be brought to sale immediately on failure of tax
payments. Trouble is certain where the police attempt to carry out the
provisions for wholesale seizures of property.
A disclaimer paragraph follows that notes that Ghose “has been an active
propagandist in Washington” who “announced early in
, basing his statements on cable
advices which he said he had received, that on
the Nationalist leaders in India had proclaimed a republic which had a
mobilized force of 1,400,000 men. This information proved to be incorrect.
Subsequently Mr. Ghose announced that the Indian congress had declared against
the Gandhi method of ‘civil disturbance’ and was about to begin active
revolution. This also proved to be an error.”