Ethiraj Surendranath Arya, one of the most notorious of the Nationalist preachers in Madras, was arrested early in July on a charge of sedition. The evidence at the preliminary trial showed that the accused was a native of the presidency. Previously he had been known simply as Ethiraj, then, apparently, he had drifted in to Bengal, where after a stay of five years, more or less, he had been completely saturated with the political opinions prevailing in Bengal, and he returned to the Madras Presidency and then styled himself Ethiraj Surendranath. Then he added the title Arya (native of India) to his name. Recently in Madras the so-called Extremists had started a society called the Chennai Jana Sangham, of which Ethiraj was a prominent member. This society began systematically to collect subscriptions and to organise and hold meetings, sometimes daily, at the Moore Market, and on special occasions on the South Beach. Ut was in the course of these meetings that Ethiraj delivered the seditious speeches. The meetings were held openly, and police officers and newspaper reporters were present and took notes.
Two other Madras preachers were arrested in July on charges of sedition, one of them being a Universiy graduate who was expelled from a good training college a year ago for talking treason. During June the Bombay courts were occupied with charges of sedition against Tilak, a native journalist, and there was a case of sedition in connection with the native college at Aligarh. In July one news paper editor was sentenced to three years imprisonment in Bombay, and still another was arrested on charge of publishing seditious matter.
This news item appeared in STAR (CHRISTCHURCH), ISSUE 9318, 19 AUGUST 1908, PAGE 1.
United Press Association- By Electrio Telegraph- Copyright