Guy Aldred & Indian Sedition Trial (1907)

The Indian Sociologist was an Indian nationalist newspaper edited by Shyamji Krishnavarma. When Krishnavarma left London for Paris, fearing repression by the authorities, the printing of the newspaper was first taken over by Arthur Fletcher Horsley. However, he was arrested and tried for printing the May, June and July issues. (He was tried and sentenced on the same day as Madan Lal Dhingra, who was convicted of the assassination of Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie). At Horseley’s prominent trial the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Alverstone, indicated that anyone printing that sort of material would be liable for prosecution. Nevertheless, Aldred, as an advocate of the free press, published it, bearing his own name. The police obtained a warrant and seized 396 copies of the issue. At the trial the prosecution was led by the Attorney General, Sir William Robson, at the Central Criminal Court. Robson highlighted parts of TIS which Aldred had himself written, particularly focussing on a passage which touched on the execution of Dhingra:

In the execution of Dhingra that cloak will be publicly worn, that secret language spoken, that solemn veil employed to conceal the sword of Imperialism by which we are sacrificed to the insatiable idol of modern despotism, whose ministers are Cromer, Curzon and Morley & Co. Murder – which they would represent to us as a horrible crime, when the murdered is a government flunkey – we see practised by them without repugnance or remorse when the murdered is a working man, a Nationalist patriot, an Egyptian fellaheen or half-starved victim of despotic society’s bloodlust. It was so at Featherstone and Denshawai; it has often been so at Newgate: and it was so with Robert Emmett, the Paris communards, and the Chicago martyrs. Who is more reprehensible than the murderers of these martyrs? The police spies who threw the bomb at Chicago; the ad-hoc tribunal which murdered innocent Egyptians at Denshawai; the Asquith who assumed full responsibility for the murder of the workers at Feathersone; the assassins of Robert Emmett? Yet these murderers have not been executed! Why then should Dhingra be executed? Because he is not a time-serving executioner, but a Nationalist patriot, who, though his ideals are not their ideals, is worthy of the admiration of those workers at home, who have as little to gain from the lick-spittle crew of Imperialistic blood-sucking, capitalist parasites at as what the Nationalists have in India.

Aldred also remarked that the Sepoy Mutiny, or Indian Mutiny, would be described as The Indian War of Independence. Aldred received a sentence of twelve months hard labour.[2] His involvement with The Indian Sociologist brought him into contact with Har Dayal.



Retrieved from on August 30, 2011.

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