Riots, brawls, bribery and fluent profanity have marked Burma's first two years of separation from India and partial self-rule. The new 168-piece Legislature frequently resounds to shouts of "You are descendants of dragons!" "May your bodies be eaten by crocodiles in the Irrawaddy!"
Premier under the new Constitution has been Dr. Ba Maw, artful, unscrupulous, Anglophile barrister of Rangoon. Chief rival to Dr. Ba Maw has been U Saw, artful, unscrupulous, demagogic leader of the Myochit (Patriotic) Party, who finds anti-British slogans the most effective way of rallying opposition to Premier Ba Maw. Late last December U Saw organized a patriotic demonstration in Rangoon, surrounded the Government Secretariat with two thousand students and 600 well-fed, yellow-robed Phongyis (Buddhist priests). Armed with umbrellas, lunch baskets, water bottles and red flags and shouting "Burma for the Burmans" and "Patriotic Fury," the mob took and then held the building against Government clerks, who had been out to lunch. Ba Maw's mounted police charged the crowd, injured 200, carried Leader U Saw off to jail. With his chief rival safely tucked away, the Premier could look forward to a long" and quiet tenure of office.
But riots in Burma are of two kinds, arising from the fact that Burmans hate Indians as much as Englishmen. Fortnight ago native Buddhists put on a real riot against Hindu immigrants, and you could hear police sticks chunking from Rangoon to Mandalay. Twenty-four persons were killed. Last summer there were more serious Burman-Indian riots which killed 200 and wounded nearly 1,000. They were caused by: 1) the rifling by Hindus of a sacred pagoda which contained one of Buddha's teeth; 2) the distribution by Hindus of a pamphlet containing passages insulting to Buddha. Burma's Legislature last week concluded that Premier Ba Maw had failed to solve the prickly problem of Burma's Indian minority, passed a motion of noconfidence. Chosen to succeed Ba Maw and to restore peace between Burmans and Indians was a new Premier, U Pu.