Maneckji Byramji Dadabhoy

Dadabhoy, Sir Maneckji Byramji (1865–1953), industrialist and politician in India

Sir Maneckji Byramji Dadabhoy, KCSI, KCIE (30 July 1865 – 14 December 1953) was an Indian lawyer, industrialist, and political figure. He was President of the Council of State from 1933 to 1946.

Quotes edit

Speech in the Council of State (1921) edit

5 September 1921, in the Council of States, Sir Maneckji Dadabhoy moved an adjournment to detail the ‘State of affairs in Malabar’ and the Moplah Outbreak. Here are important extracts from his speech 09-1921.pdf#search=null%20[1921%20TO%201929], p. 88.
Quoted from J. Sai Deepak, India, Bharat and Pakistan - THE CONSTITUTIONAL JOURNEY OF A SANDWICHED CIVILISATION, 2022
  • Sir, we have all read in the newspapers the accounts of the terrible atrocities which are now going on in Malabar with poignant grief. I am representing the sentiments of the Indian nation when I say that the catastrophe which has taken place in Malabar is now pre-eminently occupying the attention of the general public and every news in connection therewith is waited by the general public with great interest and anxiety. It is unfortunate that the Government of the Madras Presidency is having a very anxious time. We have all read the harrowing accounts; we have also seen the fragmentary official and unofficial news and notices; we have read the Madras Government’s Communiqué on the subject; but the Council will agree with me when I say that the whole history of the outbreak has not been presented by the Madras Government in a connected narrative form, and we, therefore, await to-day a most exhaustive statement from the Government of India on the subject. We have read the Chapter of crimes committed in Malabar, of the destruction of public and private property, the looting of Government Treasuries and Sub-Treasuries, the defiling of Hindu temples and also of the forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam, with great horror and real grief.
  • We want to know who is responsible for these acts and atrocities, and was it not within the power of Government to have avoided this catastrophe or minimised the severity of this catastrophe to a certain extent? It is true that the state of affairs in Malabar has been bad for the last six months. It is well known that the preachings of seditionists, that the poisonous doctrines which these seditionists and anarchists were daily pouring into that highly fanatical soil of Malabar was gaining ground. Government was aware of it. Government knew of the danger that was coming. And in this connection I will draw the attention of the House to a statement made by my friend the Honourable Sir William Vincent in February last in the Legislative Assembly. He said: ‘We are now faced in this country with the frequent prospects of disorders here and there. I myself think that we shall be very fortunate if we escape in the next six months without serious outbreaks of sporadic disorder in different places.’
  • I have made it perfectly clear that the Government anticipated danger, and I cannot therefore understand why Government did not take precautionary measures for the suppression of these atrocities in Malabar. As Government knew that the people of Malabar were collecting swords, spears, fire-arms and other instruments, it is difficult to understand why stringent measures of a precautionary character were not adopted in the right time. It might have averted a great deal of blood-shed, it might have averted the sanguinary battles that have taken place there and the loss of innocent lives that has unfortunately occurred. I, therefore, think that in this connection an explanation is due to the country from the Government, which cannot be altogether exonerated from a certain measure of responsibility in this matter.
  • Further, Sir, it is perfectly clear that the Moplahs were prepared for the occasion and that there was a wide-spread organisation behind them; all these pitched battles with three and four thousand people which recently took place clearly demonstrate the existence of a well-conducted and nefarious organisation behind the back of these revolts. It is therefore necessary that the Government should make a complete statement on the point and place before the country any information that may exist on the subject, as I consider the time has now arrived when there is no longer any necessity for keeping the matter secret. I make bold to say in this connection, and I feel I echo the sentiments of all of us here, official and non-official Members, whether they be Europeans or Indians, that in any measures which Government may decide to adopt for the suppression of the revolts, for the promotion of order and the maintenance of peace, this Council will whole-heartedly give its support.
  • Things are going from bad to worse; innocent lives are being lost; the country is almost in a state of consternation; riots are taking place not only in Malabar, but in all parts of India; every where there are seen forces of disruption and disorganisation; law-abiding citizens are not in a position to do their ordinary work; there is a state of havoc and intense anxiety.
  • I think the time has arrived when the Government should adopt strict measures for the suppression of these riots and for the maintenance of peace and order. I would also like the Honourable the Home Member to enlighten the Council, as fully as possible, as to the origin and cause of these disturbances; a history of the genesis of these disturbances will be extremely valuable. I would also like the Honourable the Home Member to distinctly state the total number of casualties, both European and Indian.
  • I would also like the Honourable the Home Member to assure this Council that Government have now taken precautionary measures immediately in the troubled parts of Madras, and within what period he expects peace and order to be fully restored in that troubled country. Government have promulgated the Martial Law Ordinance; a Martial Law Ordinance is always distasteful and unpalatable to the people. It can only be justified in case of absolute necessity, and I have no doubt that the Government was satisfied before the promulgation of the Ordinance in substituting martial law for the common law of the country.
  • Further, I am very pleased, and the country has noticed with great satisfaction, that in the preparation of this Martial Law Ordinance the blunders that were committed at the time of the Punjab affair have been studiously avoided. The power and authority of the civil law has been to a certain extent maintained. Consultations by the military officers with the Civil Department have been rendered obligatory, and prior to the issue of notices and regulations, and the rules for summary trial of cases the necessity of following the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been indicated and enforced.

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