A Vision for Change: Speeches and Writings of AD Patel, by Brij V Lal

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, might have spared Fiji the destiny it later encountered in its postcolonial trip. As a pace-setter, Mr Patel used to be 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 complicated and contested sleek background. Harish Sharma Former chief of the nationwide Federation celebration and Deputy top Minister of Fiji** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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The questions were as follows, the answers having been given by Mr. Patel: Q. Is it the desire of those who have signed the memorandum that there should be a common electoral roll? 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.

Vishnu Deo as interpreter. Mr. Patel read a lengthy memorandum setting out the arguments against nomination. His Excellency stated that he had listened with much interest to the memorandum. Before coming to the details, he desired to correct two erroneous suppositions, the one connecting his forthcoming visit to England with proposed changes in the constitution; the other attributing to himself or the Government the initiative in prompting the proposed alteration. His Excellency stated that his visit to England had no connection with the changes in the constitution; that neither he nor the Government would take the initiative in any proposed change, and that if an amendment is desired it would have to come as a result of some action in the Legislative Council by unofficial members and without any participation of the officials.

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. Otherwise I have no hesitation in saying that the Fijians of this Colony would have met with the same fate that some other indigenous races in parts of Africa met.

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