An un-Indian incident was recently reported from Asansol. It appears two groups of miners, after some strenuous hitting of the bottle, decided to test their respective mettle by the time-honoured means of swapping blows, and the field of battle was soon strewn with men from either faction nursing cracked pates, bruised limbs and sundry injuries. This distressing affair proves that although Indians as a whole have long eschewed violence in favour of Gandhian lenity, there still exist recalcitrants who prefer to place their trust in cave-man tactics. And over what? Incredible as it appears, over a parrot—which one side claimed and the other disputed.
The hot tempered miners of Asansol must learn to stay calm. They should emulate Government in such matters. When the Chinese nibbled away a tiny chunk of the Himalayas did Government get excited? It did not. It began negotiations. Likewise, the honourable course for our miners would have been for one faction to have sent emissaries to the other, armed not with sticks and stones and other crude weapons but with documents, bills of sale and other relevant material. What is good for the Himalayas must be good for parrots.
(EDIT, June 17, 1960.)