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Hindustani Independence

August 21, 1907 — International Socialist Conference, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany


Friends, comrades and socialists, I have come here to speak for the dumb millions of Hindustan, who are going through terrible tyranny under the English capitalists and the British government. You cannot dream of the poverty in that far-distant land, where the average income per head comes to three farthings a day — three farthings a day! Tell me, what other country can you compare with this. In no other part of the world such things exist. You will naturally ask me what is the cause of such poverty. My reply is that it is because thirty-five million pounds sterling are taken out of that land every year. Yes, it is entirely taken out, because it goes to England to make that wealthy country more and more wealthy. While in Hindustan, owing to this poverty, we die by half a million every month, and Hindustan means one-fifth of the human race. Socialists, when I speak to you, I plead at the bar of humanity. You are discussing colonies all the time, but what about dependencies? First of all, let me ask you should there be such a word as dependency in socialism? Is this not the fight between class and class, where the strong are killing the weak and the downtrodden by the millions every year? 

Brother and sister socialists, take up the cause of justice and make it a point to bring India to the front at every socialist Congress. Do not wait for representation from India. People oppressed as much as the Indians cannot do anything of the sort. How can they start representation in the land where liberty does not exist? That land whose very life blood is sucked by England by taking away thirty-five million pounds every year. I beg of you, friends, to read the paper which Comrade Hyndman has written for this Congress. Comrade Hyndman has studied India all his life. Many years ago he prophesied and wrote to John Morley that to take out such a vast sum of money every year would impoverish that country hopelessly. He wrote that such things could not go on, and should not be allowed. Now all this has come true today to the very last letter. Friends, take up this cause, whether or not the Indians are present at your Congress. 

You know everything about what is going on in Russia, but do you ever try to know of our sufferings? We die by the millions every year. I have all sympathy with Russia and Poland, so do not misunderstand me. I know their heroic sufferings, but let me tell you the truth that India’s sufferings are greater. You must pass resolutions for Indians at every Congress. I only ask for moral support. We will fight for our rights ourselves. You socialists must say that you are against the bureaucratic, tyrannical and capitalist English. Say that you are for the suffering millions of Hindustan. One more word. Two of our most enlightened and patriotic men have been deported and, without trial, kept in captivity in some fort in Burma for the last three months after a mock trial. This is only for speaking and writing the truth about tyranny and injustice in the land, and for discussing India’s economic question. I unfold this little Indian national flag before you friends, and I ask you in the name of the Indian nation to fight for justice. I implore you to read and study Comrade Hyndman’s paper written for this Congress. 

I wave this Indian national flag before you once again, and before concluding, let me tell you that I have every hope of seeking the Republic of India established during my lifetime.

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The continuance of British rule in Hindustan is excessively harmful and extremely dangerous for the true benefits of Hindi people. As per any ideal socialistic arrangement there should never be dictatorship or cruel government on any people. Hence all the avengers of democracy from across the world should assist in liberating the people who are staying in this exploited country and are one fifth of the total human population.

[After proposing the resolution she unfurled the tricolour Hindustani flag which she had brought in her blouse.]

This is the Flag of Independent Hindustan. Look, look it is now born. I appeal to all gentlemen to stand and salute the Flag. I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to cooperate with this flag.

Hail Bande Mattaram! Hail Bande Mataram!



Source: Vorwärts: Central Organ der Sozialdemokratie Deutschlands, 1907.