(EDITORIAL) …When Italians overran Somali­land… it was the valour of Indian troops that cleared up the mess and more of them are today found in Italy than South African malcontents. On the field of battle, the Indian is good apparently as a shield. While there is no objection to dying together, blood mingling, the Indian is not deemed fit to live side by side in peace. Anything in the way of condonation in this matter would be a crime against the spirit of civilisation.

If economic sanctions are applied with strict control of quotas to different countries in order to frustrate recourse to false buying and transshipment, it is possible to awaken vested interests in South Africa that the oppression of Indian settlers is not a paying recreation. There are two lakhs of Indians in Natal, but the war has forced on us the billeting of millions of people as prisoners, soldiers and refugees. Even if General Smuts proceeds from disenfranchisement to deportation, a Free India with a patriotic Government should be able to bear the consequences. Meanwhile it is hardly fair to work up stories of illicit exploitation during wartime and present the charge-sheet as something in extenuation of weakness.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2019