contrast that speech with the policy. The speech, how
noble, how generous, how sympathetic ; the policy, how
narrow, how illiberal, how un-P]nglish.
Mr, Bannerji then went on to speak words as true
to-day as they were time then, words of wise warning:
Sir, who are the men who are bitterly disloyal â€” the
men who say ditto to every measure of Government, who
in season and out of season sing the praise of Govern-
ment, who suffer and suffer in the silence of bitterness of
unknown and unknowable sorrow, or those who, like
myself, give expression, frank expression, to our grievan-
ces, raise the danger signal, and call the attention of
Government and press for remedy ? Sir, in these days
I am perfectly sure the greatest bulwark of all the
Governments, be they indigenous or be they foreign,
is the contentment, the gratitude and the affection of
the people. How is the affection of the people to be won
except by the removal of grievances, and how are the
people to remove their grievances except by the adoption
of constitutional means or the adoption of revolutionary
measures ? We are the friends of Reform because we are
the enemies of Revolution. We have made our choice ;
let our enemies make theirs. Do they wish to belong to
our camp, or do they wish to belong to the camp of
revolutionists P There is no intermediary step between
Reform and Revolution. For you must enlist yourselves
under the banner of Reform, or you must take your place
behind tlie standard of Revolt and Revolution.
True loyalty to the P]mpire now, as then, consists
in open speech on dangerous grievances, for Govern-
ments, flattered into error by sycophants â€” who
secretly hate them the more bitterly for their
own degradaticm in the flattery â€” sleep until the
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS 299
accumulation of hatred rises in furious anger and
awakes them, too late. In frank and open speech no
danger lurks. Surendranath Babn analysed the Act,
and showed Iioav the civic rights of Calcutta had been
destroyed. The gulf between rulers and ruled was
There is reaction iu their policy, reaction in opinion,
reaction along the entii'e line, reaction is the order of the
day They would fain undo the past. They would
fain roll Imck the tide of prog-ress which has set in with
such irresistible force. Shall we let them, shall we per-
mit them, to prove false to the noblest traditions of their
own race "r*
Mr. Nazir-ud-din Kamur-ud-din seconded the Re-
solution, audit was carried.
Resolution VIII protested against the prohibition
imposed on managers and teachers in aided Institu-
tions, forbidding them from taking part in political
movements or attending political meetings without the
consent of the Director of Public Instruction. It was
moved by Mr. Kalicharan Bannerji, seconded by
Dr. T. M. Nair, supported by three other speakers,
Mr. G. C. Mitra moved Resolution IX, on the well-
worn subject of Local Option. Mr. A. C. Partha-
sarathi Naidu seconded, and it was supported by Miss
Garland, Pandit Ratannath, and Mr. Ram Prasad, and
carried, closing the work of the third day.
On the fourth day, the President put from the
Chair the Rules of the Congress Constitution, as
follows, forming Resolution X :
300 HOW INDIA WROUGHT FOR FREEDOM
( 1 ) The object of the Indian National Congress shall be to
promote by constitutional means the interests and the well-being
of the people of the Indian Empire.
(2) It shall ordinarily meet once a year at such time and in
such place as shall have been resolved on by the last preceding
Congress. Pi-ovided that the Indian Congress Committee, as here-
inafter provided for, may, in case of necessity, change the place or
time of the Congress, provided also that in case of emergency the
Indian Congress Committee unaj^ convene an extraordinary session
of the Congress at such time and place as may be determined
(3) It shall consist of delegates elected b}' political associa-
tions or other bodies, and by public meetings.
(4) Its affairs shall be managed by a Committee, styled the
Indian Congress Committee, consisting of 45 members elected by
the Congress, 40 of whom shall be elected upon the recommenda-
tions of the different Provincial Congress Committees, and, in the
absence of such Committees, by the delegates of the respective
Provinces in Congress assembled, in the manner hei-einbelow laid
down, that is to say :
For Bengal including Assam ... ... ... 8
For Bombay including Sind ... ... ... 8
For Madras including Secundei-abad ... ... 8
For N. AVestern Provinces including Oudh ... 6
For Panjab ... ... ... ... ... ... 4
For Berar ... 3
For Central Provinces ... ... ... ... 3
The term of office of the members of the Committee shall be
the period intervening between two ordinary meetings of the
(5) 'J'hc Iiiilian Coiigx'ess Committee shall meet at least
three times a year, once immediately after the Congress, once
during tlie year between the months of June and October, as may be
detijrmined upon by the Committee, and once immediately before
the Congress, at such place as the Committee may find convenient.
(6) The Indian Congress Committee shall have an Honorary
S(?cretary and a paid Assistant Secretary, with suitable office stafS,
for which a sum of Rs. 5,000 shall be granted annually, one half of
which shall l)e provided by the Reception Committee of the place
where the last Congress is held, and the other half by the Reception
Committee of I he place where the next succeeding Congress is to
The Secretary to the Indian National Congress shall be the
Honorary Secretary of the Committee.
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS 301
(7) Provincial Congress Committees shall be organised at
the capitals of the different Presidencies and Provinces of India for
the purpose of carrying on the work of political education, on lines
of general appreciation of British rule and of constitutional
action for the removal of its defects, throughout the year by
organising Standing Congress Committees, holding Provincial
Conferences, and by such other means as they may deem proper,
in consultation with the Indian Congress Committee, for
furthering the objects of the Congress. They shall be respon-
sible agents of the Indian Congress Committee for their respective
Provinces, and shall submit annual reports of their work to
(8) The nomination of the President, the drafting of
Resolutions and all other business in connection with the Congress,
shall be done by the Indian Congress Committee. It shall also,
subject to the approval of the Congress, frame rules for the
election of delegates, the election of speakers, and the conduct of
the proceedings of the Congress.
(9) Rules and Bye-laws shall be framed by the Provincial
Congress Committees for the election of members, the conduct of
their own proceedings, and other matters appertaining to their
business. All such rules and bye-laws shall be subject to the
approval of the Indian Congress Committee.
(10) A Committee, styled the British Congi-ess Committee,
shall be maintained in England, which shall represent there the
interests of the Indian National Congress. The amount requisite
for the expenses of the said Committee shall be determined and
voted by the Congress, and the amount so voted shall be raised by
the Indian Congress Committee in sucih manner as niay be
determined tipon by that body from time to time,
(11) The Indian Congress Committee shall take such steps
as they may deem tit to raise a permanent fund for carrying on the
work of the Indian National Congress ; and such fund shall be
invested in the name of 7 trustees, one from each Province in
India, to be appointed by the Congress.
The 45 members of the Committee were then chosen.
Resolution XI, thanking Sir William Wedderburn
and the British Committee, and Resolution XII,
asking, as often before, that the Executive Councils
of Madras and Bombay should consist of three
members instead of two, one of the three to be an
Indian, were also put from the Chair and carried.
802 HOW INDIA WROUGHT FOE TREEDOM
Resolution XIII, moved by Mr. Mudholkar, urged,
as remedies for famine, curtailment of expenditure,
development of industries, and the lessening of land
assessment. He gave the figures of Mr. Dadabhai
Naoroji, and Sir W. Hunter on poverty ; he showed
that the public debt had increased in 60 years from
26 to nearly 270 crores of rupees. Pandit Madan
Mohan Malaviya followed, pleading the cause of
the peasant, and urging that " Government ought to
foster native industries and native arts ". After Haji
Shaik Hussain had spoken in Urdu, Mr. Chintamani
said that that they were firmly convinced that
the costly, extravagant and unnatural system of
administration was the root cause of the recur-
ring famines. The poverty of the people was
beyond challenge; less than half a million per-
sons were assessed to income-tax in 1897, although
every one was assessed who had an annual income of
Rs. 500 (Â£33. 6s). Mr. S. S. Dev supported, and the
Resolution was carried.
Munshi Muhammad Sujjad Hussain drove the
Omnibus this year, and before it was seconded by
Mr. Yatindranath Choudhuri, the President read a
telegram of thanks to the Congress from the Natu
brothers for the sympathy shown to them. Mr. S. K.
Nair, Syed Ali Usat, and Mr. Krishna Badev Varma
supported, and the Resolution was carried.
.Ml', b'aniacliaiidra Pillai moved, and Mr. Mahesh-
vara Pi'asad seconded our familiar friend of gagging
the Press in Indian States as Resolution XV, and
Resolution XVI pressed the necessity for Technical
THE riFTEENTH CONGRESS 303
Education and thanked Mr. Tata for his splendid
Resolutions XVII, Panjab Legislative Council
restrictions ; XVIII, Berar Administration ; XIX,
plague expenditure ; XX, confidence in Mr. Dadabhai
Naoroji ; XXI, re-election of Mr. A. 0. Hume and
Mr, D. E. Wacha as General and Joint General
Secretaries, were all put from the Chair.
Resolution XXII appointed an Agency in England
to co-operate with the British Committee to dis-
seminate information on Indian subjects, a work that
has not yet been done effectively. It was carried,
and Rs. 3,000 subscribed.
Rai Sahab Lala Murlidhar then invited the Con-
gress to meet in Lahore the following year. Pandit
Bishan Narayana Dhar moved the vote of thanks to
the President, who responded in a few graceful
With these, the Fifteenth National Congress dis-
I. Resolved â€” That this Congress notices with satisfaction the
sui)])ort of public opinion, both in England and in India, which the
question of the separation of the Judicial from the Executive
functions in the administration of justice has received ; and this
Congress, while thanking Lord Hobhouse, Sir Richard Garth, Sir
Richard Couch, Sir Charles Sergeant, Sir William Markby, Sir
John Budd Phear, Sir John Scott, Sir Roland K. Wilson,
Mr. Herbert J. Reynolds, and Sir William Wedderburn for presenting
a petition to the Secretary of State in Council to effect the much-
needed separation, earnestly hopes that the Government of India
will give their earliest attention to the jietition which has been
forwarded to them, and will take practical steps for carrying out
this much-needed reform.
304 HOW INDIA WROUGHT FOR FREEDOM
II. Resolved â€” (Â«) That this Congress regrets the introduc-
tion into the Supreme Legislative Council of a Bill to amend the
Law relating to agricultural land in the Paujab, with a view to
restrict alienation of land as proposed in the Bill by sale or
mortgage, which is calculated (1 to decrease the credit of the
agriculturists and landholders ; (2) to make them more resourceless
on account of their inability to meet the ever increasing State
demands upon their land ; and this Congress is of opinion that the
provision to give retrospective effect to the Bill is inequitable and
(b) That this Congress recommends that real relief be afford-
ed to the cultivating classes in the following way : that whei-e the
Government is the rent-receiver, the rule proposed in 1882,
jDrohibiting any advancement except on the ground of rise in
prices, be enforced, and that where private landlords are the rent-
receivers, some provision to jjrohibit undue enhancement of rent be
(c) This Congress further resolves tliat a Committee con-
sisting of the President, Mr. Jaishi Ram, Mr. N. Gupta, Mr. Wacha,
Muushi Madho Lai, Mr, Mudholkar and Mr. Ikbal Shankar be
appointed and empowered to submit a representation to the
Government, pointing out the unsuitable nature of many of the
j)rovisions of the Bill.
111. Uesolved â€” That whereas it is considered safe and pru-
dent to withdraw large bodies of British troops for service outside the
statutory limits of India, this Congress is of opinion that the time
has come when the Indian tax-payer should be granted some relief
out of the British E.xchequer towards the cost of maintaining in
India so large a force of European soldiers. This Congress sees no
objection to the location of British troops in India as a reserve force
for the whole of the British Empire, but is of oj)inion that the time
has come for the transfer of the cost of 20,000 British troops from
the Indian to the British E.xchequer.
I \'. llesolved â€” (a) That having regard to the fact that the
))rinci))al cause of loss by Exchange is the steady growth of the
demand cm tlie Indian Exchequer for expenditure in England, this
Congress regrets tlie introduction of a gold standard in India on
the recommendation of the Currency Committee for the purpose of
preventing the loss by exchange, and is of opinion that the new
measure is calculated to increase the en\d obligations of India.
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS 305
(h) That this Congress is further of opinion that the
decision accepted by the Government will in effect add to the
indebtedness of the poorer classes in India, depreciate the value of
their savings in the shape of silver ornaments, and virtually add to
their i-ent and taxes.
(c) That this Congress is further of opinion that the
decision accepted by the Government is likely to be prejudicial to
the indigenous manufactures of the country.
V. Resolvedâ€” That this Congress is of opinion that the
union of the Military Tind Civil Medical Services is extravagant,
inconvenient, and prejudicial to the interests of the Government as
well as of the people, and strongly urges the necessity of the
â€¢separation of the two Services, by the creation of a distinct Civil
Medical Department, recruited by open, simultaneous competition
in England and India.
XII. Resolved â€” That having regard to the policy of appointing
to the Governorships of Madi-as and Bombay statesmen from
England to the exclusion of the Services in India, this Congress is
of opinion that it is desirable that those Provinces should be
administered with the help of Councils of three and not two
members as at present, and that one of the three councillors should
be a Native of India. m,
VT. Resolved â€” That it is the opinion of this Congress that the
principle embodied in the Foreign Telegraphic Press Messages Bill,
now pending before the Supreme Legislative Council, is op2Dosed
to the policy followed by the British Government in India as to the
unrestricted dissemination of useful knowledge and information,
and that no adequate necessity is shown to exist for the passing of
the proposed measvire in India.
VII. Resolved â€” That this Congress expresses its disapproval
of the re-actionary policy, subversive of local Self-Government,
evidenced by the passing of the Calcutta Municipal Act, and bj- the
introduction into the Legislative Council of Bombay of a similar
measure, which will have the effect of seriously jeopardising the
principles of Local Self-Government.
VIII. Resolved â€” That this Congress is of opinion that the
rules prohibiting managers and teachers of aided institutions froni
taking part in political movements or attending political meetings
without the consent of the Director of Public Instruction, or other
authorities, are likely to interfere with the j^ractical and effectual
exei'cise of the rights of British subjects, to withdraw able and
influential men fi-om the cause of education, and to restrict private
306 HOW INDIA WROUGHT FOR FREEDOM
enterprise and orc^anisation for the spread of education in this
country. And this Congress hopes that the Madras and Bombay
(rovernments will take steps to remove from the educational rules
and the grant-in-aid code the i)rovisions to the effect described
IX. Resnhed â€” That this Congress is of opinion that stringent
measures should 1 e taken by the Government in granting licences
to retail liquor shops, and that no such shops should l)e established
anywhere in India witliout taking the sense of the inhabitants of
X. Resolved â€” That this Congress adopts the following rules
regarding the Constitution of the Congress: â€” (See pp. 300, 301.)
MEMBERS OF THE INDIAN CONGRESS COMMITTEE
A])iJointed by tlie Congress under the above Resolution.
G E N K R A L M E M B E RS :
Mr. W. C. Bannerji.
The Hon. Surendranath Hanneiji.
Tlie Hon. P. Ananda Charlu.
The Hon. P. M. Mehta.
Mr. A. M. Bose.
Mr. Kalicharan Rannei-ji.
Mr. Bhupendra Nath Bo.Â«e.
The Hon. Baikunthanath Sen.
Mr. Ambikacharan Moziiiii(hif.
Mr. J. Ghosal.
Mr. Aswini Kumar Dutt.
Mr. Dipnarain Sinha.
N. \V. P. iV Or nil
The Hon. Pandit Bishanibharnal li.
Biibii Ganga Prasafl Varuia.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Mr. A. Nundy.
Mr. Bishan Naravan Dhar.
.Mr. llaliz Alxbii'Haliim.
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS 307
Mr. D. E. Wacha.
The Hon. G. Chandravarkar.
Mr. W. A. Chambers.
Mr. R. M. Sayani.
Mr. Daji Abaji Khare.
Mr. Chinian H. Setahvad.
Mr. R. P. Karandikar.
i\lr. Tahilram Khein Chaiul.
Lala Kaniha Lai.
Sirdar Jhenda Singli
Lala Harkisliaii Lai.
Mr. Jaishi Ram.
Mr. Bapiirao Dada.
Mr. Bhagirath Prast;
Mr. H. V. Kelkar.
Mr. Deorao Vinayak.
Mr. M.V. Joshi.
Mr. G. S. Khaparde.
The Hon. C. Vijiaragliavaehari.
The Hon. C. Jambulingam Mudaliar.
The Hon. G. Venkataratnani.
Mr. C. Sankaran Nair.
Mr. P. Rangia Naidu.
Mr. P. Ramchandra Pillai.
Mr. G. Subramania Iyer.
Mr. V. Ryru Nambier.
XT. Resolved â€” That tliis Congress recognises the valuable
services of the British Committee in the cause of the people of
India, and expresses its unabated confidence in Sir William
Wedderburn and the other members of the Committee.
And the sum of Rs. 54,000 be assigned for the expenses of
the British Committee and the cost of the Congress publication
308 HOW INDIA WEOUGHT FOR FREEDOM
XXII. Resolved â€” That an agency be appointed in England, for
the purpose of organising in concert with the British Congress
Committee, public meetings for the dissemination of information
on Indian matters, and that funds be raised for the purpose.
XIII. Resolved â€” That this Congress while gratefully recog-
nising the endeavours made by the Indian and Provincial Govern-
ments to save human life and relieve distress at the present famine,
ui'ges the adoption of the true i-emedy : to improve the condition of
the cultivating classes and prevent the occurrence of famine, this
Congress recommends the curtailment of public expenditure, the
development of local and indigenous industries and the moderating
of laud assessment.
Confirmation of Previous Resolutions
XIV. Resolved â€” (I) That this Congress concurs with ]jre\aons
Congresses in strongly advocatingâ€” [(1897 (b) â€” (e) and (,g)].
(II) That this Congress concurring with i)revious Congresses
records its protest â€” [(1897 (o) and (b)].
(f) Against the retrograde policy of the Government of
India in nominating a gentleman for the Central Provinces to
the Supreme Council without asking local bodies to make
recommendations for such nomination, entertaining the eai-nest
hope that the Government will be pleased to take early stejjs to
give to the Central Provinces the same kind of representation that
it has already granted to Bengal, Madras, Bombay and tlic North
(d) Against the labour laws of Assam, viz., the Inland
Emigration Act I of 1882, as amended by Act VII of 1893.
(III) This Congress concurring with previous Congresses, ex-
presses its conviction â€”
(a) That having regard to the opinion of the Jury Com-
mission as to the success of the system of trial by jury, and also the
fact that with the progress of education a sufficient number of
educated persons is available in all ]y,\rts of the country, the system
of trial by jury should be extended fo tlie districts and offences, to
which at present it does not apj)ly.
(h) That this Congress is of opinion tliat it is desirable in
the interests of tlie people of this country that the Criminal
Procedure Code should be so amended as to confer upon accused
persons, who are Natives of India, the right of claiming^ in ti-ials by
jury l>efor(! the High Court, and in trials with the aid of assessors,
tliat not less than half the number of the jurors or of the assessors
shall be Natives of India.
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS 309
(c) That the actiou of the Forest Department under the rules
framed by the different Provincial Governments, prejudicially
affects the inhabitants of the rural part of the country by subjecting
them to the annoyance and oppression of Forest subordinates in
various ways ; and these rules should be amended in the interests
of the peoule,
((?) That the minimum income assessable under the Income-
Tax Act, be raised from five hundred to one thousand rupees.
(e) That no satisfactory solution of the question of the
emploj'ment of Natives of India in the Indian Civil Service is
possible, unless effect is given to the resohition of the House of
(Joinmons of June, 1893, in favour of holding the competitive
Examinations for the Indian Civil Service simultaneously in India
XV. Resolved â€” That this Congress is of opinion that the
Government of India Notification of 25th June, 1891, in the Foreign
Department, gagging the Press in Territories under British adminis-
tration in Native States is retrograde, arbitrary and mischievous in
its nature, and opposed to sound statesmanship and to the liberty of
the people and ought to be cancelled.
XVI. Resolved â€” That this Congress places on record its
conviction that the system of Technical Education now in vogiie is
inadequate and unsatisfactory, and prays that, having regard to the
poverty of the people and the decline of indigenous industries, the
Government will introduce a more elaborate and ethcient scheme
of technical instruction, and set apart more funds for the successful
working of the same. And this Congress desires to express its
grateful appreciation of the patriotic and munificent gift of
Mr. Tata for the promotion of the higher scientific education and
Legislative Council (Panjab)
XVII. Resolved â€” That this Congress while thanking the
Government for granting the boon of a Legislative Council to the
Panjab, places on record its regret that they have not extended to
the Councillors the right of interpellation, and to the people the
right of recommending Councillors for nomination, such as are
enjoyed by the Councillors and the people in the other Provinces.
XVIII. Resolved â€” That this Congress is of opinion that so
long as Berar is administered by the Governor-General-in-Council,
310 now INDIA WROUGHT I?OR FREEDOM
all laws and orders having the force of laws intended for Berar
should be enacted by the Supi'erae Legislative Council, in the same
way as those for British India proper.
XTX. Resolvedâ€” That the adoption of measures against the
plague being an Imperial concern and recognised as such, this
Congress is of opinion that the expenditure incurred in connection
therewith should be borne by the Government and not charged to
the fimds of tiie local bodies.
XX. Resolved â€” That this Congress expresses its miabated
confidence in Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji as the representative of the
jieople of India, and hopes that he will l)e re-elected by his
old constituency of Central Finsbury or any other Liberal