HC Deb 27 June 1906 vol 159 cc927-8
DR. RUTHERFORD (Middlesex, Brentford)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that, acting under the recent circular of the Government of Eastern Bengal and Assam, which revokes the orders prohibiting the cry of "Bande Materam," but authorises the police to require by general and special notice that licences should be taken for processions in public places, the district superintendent of police of Rungpore has issued a notice that licences are to be taken for every procession and every meeting to be held in a public place; and whether in view of the pledges given to this House restoring to the people of the province the right of public processions and public meetings, subject only to interference to stay actual or imminent breaches of the peace, he proposes to take any action in the matter.


The special restrictions on processions having been withdrawn, the instructions of the Local Government are that licences under the ordinary law should not be withheld unless there is a serious risk of disturbance of public tranquillity. I have no information as to the case described in the Question, but I will take whatever steps may appear to me necessary to ensure that these instructions are not disregarded.


Was not the cry "Bande Mataram" originally assigned as a war cry to the Hindoo Sanyasis who rose against the Government in Bengal, and is not its use therefore likely to induce breaches of the peace between Hindoos and Mahomedans?


I do not know the origin of the phrase, but I will inquire.