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STUDENTS' PROJECTS > THE STORY OF MY LIFE > PART VIII : IN SOUTH AFRICA AGAIN > Imprisonment

 

40. Imprisonment

The officers of the Asiatic Department came to think the strength of the movement could not by any means be broken so long as certain leaders were at large. So they arrested some of us. The community had resolved to fill up the jail after our arrests. We had been in jail for a fortnight, when fresh arrivals brought the news that there were going on some negotiations about a compromise with the Government. The substance of the proposed settlement was that the Indians should register voluntarily and that if the majority of the Indians underwent voluntary registration, Government should repeal the Black Act, as the Asiatic Registration Act came to be called.

I was taken to Pretoria to meet General Smuts and after discussion with him of an amendment I had suggested, the draft settlement was accepted. The prisoners were released and I went about explaining the terms of the settlement to my countrymen.