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Foreign News: Foreign News, Nov. 2, 1942

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Moslem League, to form a provisional Government which would be responsible to a legislature chosen in a new general election. All power would be transferred to the new Government except control over military operations, to which the formula of Sir Stafford Cripps’s rejected proposals would apply.

Any suggestions of C. R., former Premier of Madras, took great weight from his record. A former member of the Congress party Working Committee, C. R. has steadily urged all-out military effort against Japan. He led the Congress bloc which favored accepting the Cripps proposals; he suggested that Congress leaders try to reach agreement with the Moslem League. He went even further and proposed that Congress recognize the right of India’s Moslem minority to form a separate State if it wished. C. R. is obviously the very reverse of doctrinaire. His eager sincerity is clear from his actions.

While C. R. waited last week for London’s ear or shoulder, the Indian upheaval continued. Courts and jails were jammed with demonstrators. In one Central Indian court alone, 408 persons were on trial for murder, looting, arson. The profound gravity of the Indian impasse for the United Nations’ war effort and spirit was suggested by London News Chronicle Correspondent Stuart Emeny:

“As the sun strikes the tops of the tall mill chimneys at Ahmadabad, India’s leading textile city, a hundred factory whistles shriek and scream the call to work. But there is no response. Doors remain closed and the streets empty. The mills remain idle, as they have been since August 9, the day Gandhi was arrested.

“Today the Manchester of India is paralyzed as a textile center. . . . Neither millowners nor trade unions take responsibility for the strike, although everybody knows they are supporting it, just as everybody knows the strike is for the release of Gandhi and the formation of a national government. . . .

“The Government has authorized the millowners to make advances in pay to the strikers. Congress supporters laugh at this maneuver and at attempts by the Government to persuade the millowners to recall the workers. ‘We can keep the strike going indefinitely,’ one Congressman told me. All known Congress leaders and agitators have been arrested, but . . . youths of twelve to 20 years of age intimidate anybody who attempts to return to work, and play a game of hide & seek with the police in the narrow alleyways of the city.”

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