§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
On behalf of the hon. Member for Tower Hamlets, Stepney, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the fact that, on the first occasion on which the Bande Mataram processions were allowed under the new rules to perambulate the streets of Dacca, the people taking part in the procession assembled in front of the English church during service and shouted the song to such an extent that the Commissioner of the division, who was officiating, was unable to proceed with the service; and whether it is intended to take any steps so to regulate these Hindu processions as to prevent persons belonging to other religions being molested.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY FOR INDIA (Mr. JOHN ELLIS,) Nottinghamshire, Rushdiffe
Under existing orders, the cry of " Bande Mataram " may be prohibited where it disturbs public worship, and the Secretary of State has no doubt that the local authorities will take such steps as may be necessary to put a stop to this form of annoyance.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER
On behalf of the hon. Member for Tower Hamlets, Stepney, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the song of Bengal, known as the Bande Mataram, is distasteful to the Mahommedans, who form the majority of the population of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam; and whether, considering that the song was only composed in 1882 and has since then seldom been sung,even during Hindu national festivals, it is intended to adopt any measures to prevent a breach of the peace between Hindus and Mahommedans in Eastern Bengal.
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS
As I stated in reply to a Question on July 4th, the cry of " Bande Mataram " may be prohibited, under existing orders, whore it would cause such feeling in the Mahommedan population as would be likely to lead to a breach of the peace. The Secretary of State does not think that further orders are required.
§ SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)
Has the hon. Gentleman any reason to believe that the song in question is distasteful to the Mahommedan population.
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS
That is a matter of opinion. My hon. friend had better give notice if he desires a reply.