Propaganda in India (14 january 1930)
See also his first letter on the same topic: Propaganda in India (29 july 1920).
Propaganda in India
Putting the British Case.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, — An eminent Frenchman remarked that no nation was so bad at defending itself as the British. We usually, out of a misplaced pride put up no defence, and let our case go by default. Those whose memories go back to the Boer War may remember how there was actually at one time a danger of a Continental coalition against us, founded entirely upon false information, and how it was private rather than public propaganda which eased the situation, as many foreign newspapers admitted at the time.
It is a recollection of this which makes one apprehensive lest at this most critical time our case should not be fairly stated to the various very diverse elements of Indian life. We hear of the agitation for independence, but we hear nothing of that counter-agitation which could, one would think, be so easily evoked. For example, have the Mohamedans of India been asked whether they are prepared to obey laws which are passed by a permanent majority of Hindus? If not, why do they not say so? Will the great native Princes of India state definitely whether they wish their lands to be isolated islands in an independent country? Has it been explained to the Punjab that it will be left bare, without British help, to face any invasion from the north? Have the Parsees been asked to state publicly whether they prefer the security of British rule, or the century of chaos which would follow our departure? Have the 60,000,000 "untouchables" been asked whether they would wish to be left to the mercy of the Brahmins? Have the agitators themselves been reminded of the lesson of the Moplah rebellion, where the local Mohamedans, the moment they broke loose, massacred, not the white people, but the Hindus? All of these are cards in our hand, but they are no use unless we play them.
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex, Jan. 10.