years ago Mira Ben, Admiral Slater's daughter, came
to India and was attracted by the teachings of Gandhiji.
She became his disciple, not with a view to grab power
and position as many sojourners to Sabarmathi aimed
at, but with a view to serve with single-minded devotion,
a cause. Hence this lady has attained nobility of thought
and action and all right-thinking persons here and elsewhere
have got the greatest respect for her.
With a keen sense of perception, untarnished by either
selfishness or prejudice, Mira Ben has noticed a remarkable
change that is taking place—and terms it aptly, as re-dawning!
This noble lady has seen the awakening, the upsurge,
during those days of struggle against the alien domination.
She has heard the message herself, and has seen how
it gave a new hope and vigour, an ideal and an aspiration.
And today Mira Ben finds a "redawning self-expression"—she
finds a re-awakening in different parts of India—and
as one refusing to mis-interpret and misunderstand things,
this noble lady, probes into the problem, unbiassed.
Others whose mental horizon is being clouded by thoughts
of aggrandisement, are infuriated at the new awakening,
and instead of bestowing their sincere thoughts in a
sympathetic way, rush forward to condemn this new awakening
vehemently, employing the imperialist's diction and
the dictator's contempt for the people's claim. Mira
Ben, of course, is not advocating 'Separation', but
she has nobility enough to analyse the situation for
finding out the best and soothing solution for the problem
that has sprung up. To brush it aside by saying that
it is all tribal—childish—and nonsensical, is Pandit
Nehru's way, not that of this noble lady's.
Why should there be this new thought—so different from
the one to which men and women all over India paid due
respect? Is this a natural phenomenon? If so what is
the cause? And what possibly could be the result? And
what are the methods to be pursued for 'reclamation'?
Mira Ben poses these questions before herself and arrives
at the truth. Says this noble lady,
"At the time of shaking off the British yoke there
was a natural passion for emphasising the oneness of
India. It was good and necessary, but perhaps the North
is rather overdoing it today."
This idea, oneness of India, was emphasised, during
the struggle against the Britisher for, to shake off
the alien hold, all the available forces had to be mobilished.
And that was exactly what Gandhiji did. And the response
to that call was spontaneous, for, all knew why they
were called upon to come under a single banner, and
all were happy at the thought that this combined strength
was needed to thwart the attempts of the alien.
But, after the advent of freedom, this same idea, 'oneness
of India', is being utilised, for subjugating the South.
'The North is rather overdoing it today' points out
Mira Ben. Yes! Those at the North, have taken up themselves
the role of masters and sometimes in a menacing way
and at othertimes, in a professorial manner, and are
talking about the idea, oneness of India. They clothe
it with sanctity, and threaten all who dare to question
the utility and logicality of that idea, with dire consequences.
But, Mira Ben, points out the philosophic approach to
political problems. She is not shocked or surprised
at the new awakening. The different areas do today express
their desire for self-determination, for, these parts
find to their dismay that the idea of oneness of India,
forged as a mighty weapon against the British Imperialism,
is being brandished by those in the North against anybody
who stands up to demand self-determination. The idea
has become an engine of tyranny, a mode of exploitation,
a subtle way for subjugation.
"As I see it, India having obtained her freedom
from Western domination is now beginning to feel the
re-awakening of her many different areas. This is realy
a healthy sign of re-dawning self-expression and the
Centre would do well to humble its pride and remember
that this is only the beginning of the re-dawning which
unless accepted as a natural phenomenon, and handled
sympathetically will end in breaking up the very unity
Mira Ben, terms it as a natural phenomenon. Any analyst
would agree, but not those who have tasted power in
much the same way as a tiger has tasted human blood.
Those who are intent upon 'trading' on the name and
idea of oneness of India, are naturally infuriated whenever
an attempt is made to expose them and put an end to
'Humble your pride' advises Mira Ben. It speaks well
of this noble lady, but those who are on the saddle,
refuse to hear the voice of reason. They are puffed
up so much that they are able only to emit epithets
unworthy of the high stations they happen to occupy.
For, selfishness puts such an amount of savagery in
them, that they begin to roam and roar, employing not
their eyes and ears, but claws and teeth, not with the
intention of arguing a case, but with the determination
to pounce and tear to pieces, the adversaries.
We are however glad that a lady of such a stature as
Mira Ben, has thought it fit to inform the world, that
the desire for self-determination is natural, that the
North today is over-emphasising the idea of oneness
of India, that the Centre is proud and that unless the
situation is handled sympathetically, there will be
a break up of the Unity aimed at.
We are glad also to note, that Mira Ben talks about
the 'North'—though there are any number of Congressmen
ready to ridicule the idea! In fact, Mira Ben says with
"To go from the North right down to the South of
India is like entering another world."
When, any member of the D.M.K., puts forward similar
arguments, any Khadi-clad thinks it his patriotic duty
to jump up clownishly to attack. "Oh! it is absurd,
foolish, reactionary, retrograde," so on and so
forth these Congressmen go on exhibiting their energy
in mouthing absurdities and filth. But, we are glad,
we are in very honoured company, when we put forward
the fact—India is not a country, but a Sub-continent,
for, we find Mira Ben holding that view and placing
the same before the public, undaunted by the fact—that
there is a horde of Congressmen ready to condemn. Noble
souls are always undaunted.
And as if to answer the sneers of those in power, Mira
Ben points out with masterly precision,
"Unity without willing co-operation between the
groups and the central power is worse than open separation,
for it breeds, inhibitions, frustrations, and bitterness."
Those in the North know in their heart of hearts, that
there is a feeling of frustration in the South—and having
realised the truth, they but follow the aggressor's
method of purchasing the weak and harassing the strong.
Mira Ben is aware of the methods being purpsued by the
Centre, and there is a tinge of sarcasm in her statement,
"But unfortunately when a central power feels its
influence waning, it usually tries to tighten its control
and makes itself more and more unpopular"
That there is a growing feeling of antipathy towards
the aggressive North, is becoming more and more evident—and
no day passes without one leader or another from even
the Congress camp expressing his bitterness. Some of
them are attempting to by-pass the issue by putting
on the garb of a gladiator! "We stoop before none
and brook no domination"—some of them thunder forth,
and add "it is only the inferiority complex that
is responsible for the talk about Northern domination".
And having asserted thus, they think that they have
advanced an unassailable argument, and even expect a
pat on the back and a spoonful for the mouth. Those
up in the North, sometimes act in such a patronising
way—they throw crumbs before Alagesans, and what else
could they do except wag their gratitude and wobble
Unfortunately, these men are doping themselves with
the belief that they have successfully duped the public.
But, the truth is not that! There is a twinkle in the
eyes, and a twitch on their lips, and the public awaits
but the appropriate moment for action. Meanwhile they
allow the 'betrayers' to gloat over their dubious success.
But there are still some who refuse to be with the herd
munching, but come out heroically, announcing truth,
and advocating justice and fairplay. Their statements,
based on logic, geography and history, and above all
on sincerity, are so many bomb-shells, capable of shattering
the citadel of cant, studiously built up by the power-grabbers,
and painted with flimsy colour, by the crumb-seekers.
Well, when members of the D.M.K., talk about the domination
of the North, Congressmen, or to be more appropriate,
men in the Congress camp, find it easy to call names—"these
stooges, these boot-lickers, these toadies" and
such other abuses, from out of the abundance of filth
that they laboriously gather and store up in their minds.
But, even they dare not denounce Mira Ben, as a disgruntled
politician, and a diabolical communalist. The thinking
section of the public all over the enlightened world
is bound to take note of what Mira Ben has put forward.
And viewed from that angle, the sentiment expressed
by this noble lady, is of the utmost importance.
Mr. Ashutosh Lahiry develops this theme further and
offers, explanations and illustrations to prove, that
the idea of 'Unity of India' is a cooked up one, and
this idea has become an instrument of exploitation.
Of course, Lahiry, advises caution, reason, sympathy
and understanding—not separation. But that does not
matter. He differs from the D.M.K. as regards the remedy,
but he is as clear and definite as the D.M.K., as regards
'The last few years of India's self-rule have however
brought this issue conspicuously to the fore, calling
for re-thinking, and an objective reappraisal of the
government's basic stand on unification and solidification
of India's races and cultures.
"As a matter of fact, I cannot help confessing
that the unity and solidarity of the country that the
Britishers helped to build up and left behind, have
suffered a serious impairment within the comparatively
short period of ten years."
"It is time for us to take stock of the situation,
review the basic characteristics of India's national
background and revise the policy in the light of the
experience gained during the last few years, before
the mischief attains a menacing proportion."
There are some in the Congress party who parade themselves
before the public as masters in Geography and History.
And they put forward the argument that India is one
Geographical entity. Mr.Lahiry has got something very
instructive to say on this subject.
"People in the South particularly the Tamilians
entertain strong bonds of kinship with those of their
linguistic group in Ceylon, Malaya and Burma.
"The people of West Bengal can never be reconciled
to look upon East Bengal as a foreign country. A common
tie of language and culture binds them both in a fraternal
relationship in spite of the aberrations of Pakistan
"Nagas, in the North-Eastern India resent imposition
of Assamese domination and are looking beyond their
frontiers in their current struggle for independence.
"Amongst the people inhabiting the Himalayan regions,
from Darjeeling right up to the Simla Hills, there is
a growing consciousness of their affinities with the
Chinese people and China today enjoys amongst them an
amount of sympathy and goodwill hardly realised in India."
What is the meaning of this sentiment? What is the explanation
that Congressmen are going to cook up?
If the idea, 'India one', is real, effective and natural,
why should the Tamilians, the Bengalis, the Nagas, do
express their affinity with those of the same stock,
though they happen to be living in a different damain
"Oh! such fissiparous tendencies persist, because,
we have allowed some amount of regional freedom. Once,
the Centre becomes strong then these units would lose
all consciousness about their original nationality"—is
the answer from the Congress quarters. Mr. Lahiry points
out in a forceful manner, the futility of that policy.
"If the process of centralisation, regimentation
and mechanisation of life continues to the relentlessly
pursued, as is being done, since the attainment of freedom,
the emerging situation far from fulfilling the objective
arrived at will only help to strengthen the forces of
disruption with consequences, nobody can foretell."
Mr. Lahiry is apprehensive of the consequences, and
hence pleads for understanding.
And there are others too of his way of thinking—they
are conscious of the fact, that there is a powerful
movement gathering force, they are apprehensive of the
future, and hence are anxious to 'stem the tide.' They
offer solutions, which are in our humble but sincere
opinion, ineffective. We do strongly feel, that in separation
lies wisdom, prudence, and statesmanship.
The more they analyse the issue, the greater is the
possibility of their accepting 'Separation' as the best
remedy for the malady. We are confident of winning their
approval, for having shown such an amount of analytical
power, logical acumen and political sagacity, they could
not but arrive at the conclusion, to which we have come.
We are perhaps, the first batch—possibly the feeble
ones—but we are awaiting with bated breath, the arrival
of other batches, endowed with greater strength.
The prospect, we make bold to state, is bright. For,
that which was all along ignored as the outcome of a
diseased brain, has become fit subject for discussion
and debate, deliberation and discourse, and we find
men of eminence, scholars and historians, busy finding
The time is sure to come, when this task of attaining
freedom and Independence is to become the joint effort
of the intellectuals and the masses—and as if to announce
the dawn, more and more from the intellectuals, are
coming forward to analyse the present political set
up, not one of them thoroughly satisfied with the system
now in vogue, and each one of them offering some suggestion
or other, based on 'sweet reasonableness.' We shall,
in our subsequent issue, place before our readers, the
views expressed by another scholar of eminence, who
goes a step further to point out, that the idea of United
India, has but resulted in concentrating political power
in Uttar Pradesh. We shall deal about the problem of
Geo-politics, next week.