By Brij V Lal
This selection of the writings and speeches of 1 of Fiji's maximum statesmen, the past due Mr advert Patel, issues to another destiny which, if allowed to come back to fruition, may have spared Fiji the destiny it later encountered in its postcolonial trip. As a pace-setter, Mr Patel was once unmatchable in mind and oratorical brilliance, glimpses of which we see during this quantity. Dr Lal merits to be congratulated for his endurance and perseverance in finishing this venture. This publication will locate an honoured position between others on Fiji's advanced and contested smooth background. Harish Sharma Former chief of the nationwide Federation get together and Deputy leading Minister of Fiji** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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Additional info for A Vision for Change: Speeches and Writings of AD Patel, 1929-1969
7 This is a reference to the Salisbury’s Despatch of 1875 which in the end was not accepted by the Government of India but the promise of equality underpinned the broad principle of indentured emigration and reiterated subsequently. 8 The common roll demand was not pursued with any vigour after 1936 when CF Andrews visited Fiji and advised against it. Henry Polak wrote to Andrews on 30 April 1936: ‘I am sure that you will agree that at the present time it would be extremely unwise to press for the common franchise.
A: The common roll principle is adhered to but the suggestion is that the wish of the people be ascertained from their representatives after the next general election. Q: Is it desired by the deputation that the common roll principle should be applied at once? A: If a common roll is not attainable at present, the matter will not be pressed. 12 Part I: Quest for Equality: The Political Struggle Q: On the assumption that the common roll principle at present is unattainable, would you regard the present distribution of seats as equitable?
Well, it was well understood and well appreciated then that we were coming here to play our part in turning this country into a paradise. Indians came here under that promise. They worked here for those people who gobbled up half a million acres of freehold land from the Fijian owners and we came and undertook to work under a system which, thank God, saved the Fijian race from the infamy of coming under—my community worked under that semi-servile state. As a matter of fact, if anything, the coming of my people to this country gave the Fijians their honour, their prestige, nay indeed their very soul.