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His Imperial Majesty the King-Emperor’s Message to the Indian Legislature

Occasion: Opening Of Indian Legislature : 9th February 1921

Little more than a year has elapsed since I gave my assent to the Act of Parliament which set up a Constitution for British India. The intervening time has been fully occupied in perfecting the necessary machinery, and you are now at the opening of the first session of the Legislatures which the Act established. On this auspicious occasion I desire to send to you, and to the members of the various Provincial Councils, my congratulations and my earnest good wishes for success in your labors and theirs.

For years, it maybe, for generations, patriotic and loyal Indians have dreamed of Swaraj for their Motherland. Today you have the beginnings of Swaraj within my Empire, and widest scope and ample opportunity for progress to the liberty which my other Dominions enjoy.

On you, the first representatives of the people in the new Councils, there rests a very special responsibility. For on you it lies, by the conduct of your business and the justice of your judgments, to convince the world of the wisdom of this great constitutional change. But on you it also lies to remember the many millions of your fellow-countrymen who are not yet qualified for a share in political life, to work for their upliftment and to cherish their interests as your own.

I shall watch your work with unfailing sympathy, and with a resolute faith in your determination to do your duty to India and the Empire.