அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


Forty 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 aimed at."

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 their exploitation.

'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 emphasis,

"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 out thankfulness?

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 disease.

'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 rulers.

"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 altogether?

"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 out solutions.

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.

(Editorial - 13-07-1958)