அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


Delhi is delightful undoubtedly! Desipite my discontent, almost anguish, the moment I view this 'Imperial city' I am elated considerably. For where else could one be conscious of the fact that much tremendous work is being carried on—work calculated to bring a new life, new vigour.

Beds of bonny flowers washed in dew, mountains on whose barren breast the labouring clouds do often rest, shallow brooks and rivers wide, meadows trim, and whispering winds, all these are delights! But they offer but solace to me. These sonnets sung by Dame Nature are without doubt sweet. But I have to look into other matters. Sweat I should, for having dedicated myself to the noble task of building up a New India, I should not rest on my oars. No! When I wanted a rest and a holiday, my colleagues ought to have reminded me of this sacred duty! But somehow they never thought in that way. In fact they were all very anxious that I should take a holiday. And when I returned to Delhi, I found a sort of cold welcome! For there was a welcome! Palam presented the the usual welcome! But I found a lack of warmth. I wish my impression to be wrong.

There was the usual Namasthes—handshakes—how do you do's —but I noticed absence of something—I term it warmth! I don't know the reason why there was a lot of formality and a complete absence of that 'touch' — that warmth! Perhaps there were some who thought, that I need not have broken my holiday just for a cabinet meeting! Possibly they thought that, I could have allowed one or two cabinet meetings without my presence. I would be immensely pleased if somebody were to disprove my analysis and conclusion.

How could anybody expect me to be enjoying a holiday, when all around I find events and incidents that call for deep consideration and careful analysis. Are not some of your colleagues capable of handling situations? — some are prone to ask. The point is, not whether some of them are capable or not of handling such situations, but the point is this —what am I for, if I am not on the spot to handle these situations. I have not become defunct— No — that can never happen. And it is exactly because, of the fact, that there are some who feel in that way, that I cut short my holiday and hastened from Kulu to preside over the Cabinet meeting.

"Panditji! You look fresh — refreshed" — my friends exclaimed and I thanked them. Had to, you know! Common courtesy demands such sweet nothings.

I had to forthwith issue my comments on various, national and international problems, ranging from the emergence of De Gaulle to power to the debacle at Deviculam. And I am sure, that some of those who were a bit dejected by the defeat at Deviculam, found my statement lifting them up.

And Deviculam was followed up by another defeat-Gurgaon. Well, that worries me a bit — but I should not allow others to get worried. These are small matters, when compared with the stupendous work carried on by us. The face of this ancient country of ours is being changed. I know that even some of my colleagues chuckle when I mention about this. They are interested in the administrative set up — they seem not to have caught the idealism underlying these tremendous changes. Well, one can't blame them all —all cannot be imbued with the spirit of idealism. And when I say that I do not mean that I am not interested in the administrative side at all. In fact, even during my holiday at Kulu, I was in constant touch with even the routine side. And that portion to which I could not pay my immediate attention, had to wait. I have to look into that. So I can't rush back to resume my holiday—I have to stay for sometime at Delhi take decisions and then discuss about them with my colleagues — for they would be naturally interested in discussions. Such discussions, sometimes cloud the issues, but since, decisions are already taken, there is nothing wrong in having delightful discussions. If one is not able to take decisions, before or after discussions, (before, better) then how could he ever claim to be the leader. Some of the foreigners bookish I should call them; though I do not decry books — think that, that is not democracy. May be. But that depends upon the kind of democracy you are building up. Bharath is engaged in the superb task of getting the best out of democracy — applying standards and methods peculiarly her own. There is no meaning is simply swearing by certain theories, or slogans — though one cannot give up theories altogether. And slogans are useful in their own way.

But I find, a sort of hackneyed mind — among even Congress men.

For instance, as soon as I arrived at Delhi, some of them began pestering me about this Punjab affair — as if that is the most important affair on hand.

We, who are engaged in building up a new Bharath — I would say Nav Bharath — for these Hindi fanatics would like me to use 'Nav' — we should not attach too much of importance to petty problems.

Corruption and Mal-adiminstration are bad. None doubts that. And none should encourage that either. But to think that one should, forget all other problems, just for solving this one, is something that appeals, not to me.

But some of my friends, began a tirade against this Kairon affair. Well, there are charges — some of them grave, ugly, but what to do — both the wings happen to be part of the Congress. One should not hasten in such matters. Compromise, is not after all reactionary politics. Hence, I have very strongly advised them to munch their sorrow, and allow Kairon to seek a confidence vote.

This is neither fair nor conducive to the growth of a good standard — argue some. I do not find fault with their argument. I even appreciate their out-spokenness. But they should not rush on.

"Panditji! Much strong charges were levelled against Kairon" — they remind me. As if I have forgotten! I know — I know — but the fact is, I do not know, what future is in store for the Congress in Punjob, if I follow the advice offered, and hasten to unseat Kairon! One should be sure of the future.

True, corruption and mal-administration should not be allowed to exist, flourish and continue — but equally important is the other factor, we should not take action that would flare up antagonism to the Congress in power.

Is it necessary for these people to tell me about these abuses? I have spoken very strongly—but then I had to finally advise the critics, to be patient. Did I not say that loose talk about the weakness that has crept in the Congress is futile and useless?

"Panditji! You are paradoxical!" — some of my friends remark. I do not deny. In fact I have written on that subject myself. But these paradoxes are to be found in plenty all around us. The other day, I had the pleasure of meeting the King of Nepal — and the Queen! They are on their way to Russia! Paradoxical!! But such paradoxes have become necessary. Why for the matter of that my holiday — and the way I have rushed back to work, that too in a way is a paradox.

But should I, for the sake of being logical, allow my holiday to be misconstrued. Already there are foreign journalists drawing dirty lessons! I had to be a bit vehement!

"Alright Sir! I am a mere leader by accident" said I. It ought to have chilled that journalist to the marrows.

If I were to continue my holiday, all sorts of interpretations would be cooked up.

If my holiday is lengthened, and the routine is carried on without any shock or strain, then perhaps there might arise one or two impudent men to ask me, "Well! Panditji! Since things are running smoothly, why not retire and allow others to bear the burden."

It is a dangerous habit of mind, and one should not allow it to grow. Hence my decision to postpone the continuation of my holiday. Remain I shall in Delhi, and in work find strength and solace, for when I am holidaying, I have to bear more troublesome burdens—anxiety above all. So I shall remain at the capital, and those who are desirous of hearing about the beauty that is Kulu, could approach me — for I am now fully equipped with a knowledge about the charm of Kulu.

What is this life if, full of care

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to see, when woods we pass

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass!

The poet is enthusiastic — but he is cautious also. Stand and Stare says the poet—he does not say, Stay and Stare! I have had my delights, but once at Delhi, I realise that there is no greater delight than duty!