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ვ84 ་་་་་་ ་་་་་་ 品 ـــــــ ܝ in them tha', would not benefit the Hindu and the Mahomedan alike. He also explained the minority clause in the rules and regulations of the Congress and told the audience that by virtue of that rule the Mahomedans could at any stage get the Oongress to drop all such proposals as they thought would be detrimental to their interests. A packed meeting as it wasthe members having come there prepared what to vote for-the impression created by Mr. Sharfuddin's speech was immense: so much so that some of the principal organizers of the meeting (I am glad to note here that they are now all staunch supporters of the Congress and the names of some of them are coupled with its future Presidentships) were heard to whisper to each other “ All is lost: after this speech it is doubtful if the members will vote as expected.” The party “whips' if I may use the expression, But though the meeting voted against the Mahomedans joining the Congress, the seed sown there has at last borne fruit. indeed that another five before Mr. Sharfuddin is free to again actively take up what he believes is the mission of his life. Mr. Sharfuddin's way of doing things is The numerous riots had a strenuous half-an-hour after that. It is a pity years must pass quiet and without any fuss. that broke out in Behar on the promulgation of the plague Regulations in 1899 and 1900 are a matter of common knowledge. They caused not a little anxiety to the authorities and Sir Alexander Mackenzie and the late Sir John Woodborn visited the province more than once. Under orders from Sir Alexander Mackenzie, a Durbar was held at the Commissioner's Bungalow at Bankipur under the Presidency of Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Bourdillon, the then Commissioner of Patna where the latter explained that the object of the Government in enforcing segregation and house-to-house visitation was for the welfare of the people themselves, and openly told the people ANATH BANDH U. | Volume 1, rur ─___--- that those who opposed the regulations were the enemies of the Government and the people and would be treated as such. There was nobody present on the occasion to say anything against this. But Mr. Sharfuddin rose and pointed out that howsoever good the intentions of the Government might be-and he doubted not that they were good and for the benefit of the people-the effect of enforcing the Regulations would practically interfere with some of the most cherished relegious ideas of the people and would also break their purdah. One of the highest ambitions of the Indian is to die surrounded by the members of his family and the last rites are relegious in their character. Anything therefore that goes to interfere in the least with these is sure to be resented by the people. The institution of the purdah is also looked upon by the people in general with veneration born of long usage and any outsider intruding upon the privacy of the purdah would be roughly handled no matter under what circumtances he did so. Later on the late Sir John Woodliburn visited Behar and the same matter was discussed again and again. At last Mr. Sharfuddin was asked by Government to suggest the necessary alterations in the Regulations aud it was at his suggestion that the Plague Regulations were modified and the sting was taken out of them. Mr. Sharfuddin is an Indian first and then a Behari: he is a man first and then a Mahomedan. He yields to none in his respect for the Prophet or the Al'Koran and though not a strict observer of the outward forms of his religion, he is essentially a religious man. Religion is a matter of practice with him : every action of his life is guided and controlled by his religion : in fact his whole life is permeated with religion. He holds that no education is worth the name unless religion is made the basis of such education. In his presidential address at the All India Mahomedan Education Conference heid at Dacca in 1906, he laid great stress on