THE PUNJAB CONGRESS SITUATION - SARDAR PATEL

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

We have received a communique issued by the Punjab Congress Publicity Bureau-- this time, we are glad to say, in a fairly legible form. It is a review of the situation from the Congress point of view of the province during the week ending 30th June. The number of members of the Congress has again come up to 70000. The campaign against drink has been vigorously pressed forward. The sale of liquor in the whole province, we are told, has decreased considerably and habitual drinkers of intoxicants have become sober and temperate. This is indeed good news though it is attributed to "successful picketing." We are inclined to agree with the view expressed by Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel as to the unsuitableness of picketing in several parts of the country, but in the Punjab where the Araya Samaj the Sikh reform and other movements have prepared the way, the case may be different. We should have much liked some statistical data other than the number of picketers imprisoned, as to the fall in the sale of liquor and drunkenness. We are glad to see an attempt in this direction made as regards Khaddar 'Propaganda. As an instance of steady growth of production of tharka-made yarn and manufacture of Khaddar in Punjab villages, it is noted that "at Akalgarh, a village in Gujranwala, there are 617 charkhas in use daily and the outturn per day is one maund. There is a stock of 51 maunds yarn in the village at present and daring the last two months 18725 yards of khaddar have been made in 6o handlooms worked by 70 weavers." At the rate of a maund a day, 6o maunds of yarn would have been produced in two months, out of which 51 maunds remains In stock. Eighteen thousand yards of khaddar will, we fancy, require much more than 9 maunds of yarn, and where the weavers got the balance from is left to conjecture. Panchayats are said to be working satisfactorily in ll districts, but the best part of this communique is that referring to the abolition of untouchability. A grand dinner at which all castes and untouchables participated was attended by 1500 persons, including 100 ladies. The communique does not refer to the other important item of the Bardoli programme, namely, the promotions of brotherly feelings between all communities. Pandit Motilal Nehru speaking at Lahore last week stated that the Punjab witnesses before the Congress Enquiry Committee, which had just finished sitting at Lahore, deposed that Hindu Mahomedan relations in that province were not of the most harmonious kind, and he emphasised that Hindu-Mahomedan unity was a sine qua non of Swaraj. That definitely rules out the Punjab as regards fitness for civil disobedience. 

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