Recent speeches of some of the leaders of the Congress
Party contain a number of admissions and confessions,
which are very significant in the context of what happened
as a result of the civic elections held sometime ago.
Let us take the speech of Mr. Morarji Desai made at
the Gokhale Hall under the auspices of the Madras District
Congress Committee. It began with a single admission,
and ended with more than one confession;
The admission was a compliment to the people of Madras.
Mr. Desai said, he ‘had no doubt that here the people
were more aware than in other places, of what was happening,
because they had a capacity of understanding things,
which is higher than elsewhere’.
As all the speeches made at the Gokhale Hall meeting
were mainly concerned with the result of the elections
to the Corporation of Madras, in which the Congress
Party met with a resounding defeat, we may take it that
the Finance Minister of the Government of India was
generous and sporting enough to pay a handsome compliment
to the enlightened electorate of Madras. For, they really
“had a capacity of understanding things, which is higher
than elsewhere”. That was why they returned members
of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in a large majority,
and installed a member of this Party in the Mayoral
We referred to the confessions made by Mr. Morarji Desai.
They may broadly be summarized under two heads. One
is corruption, and the other is disunity in Congress
A press report in one of their English dailies says,
“Dealing with the allegations of corruption, Mr. Desai
said that there was corruption, and he did not deny
it.” What a confession from the Finance Minister of
the Indian Union government! No wonder people did not
want to vote for the continuance of corruption.
Mr. Desai’s confession, though sincere, was not whole-hearted.
It was apologetic. He said that “it was not a fact that
corruption today had increased greatly since the days
of the British”. We do not know whether the Finance
Minister’s defence can be substantiated by facts and
figures. On the contrary, there are many things to prove
that corruption and Congress go hand in hand, that they
have not merely been going on like this for many years
in a happy, go-lucky fashion, but they have actually
been progressing with rapid strides in the recent past
towards an intolerable and unbearable extreme of naked
and unashamed gluttonous corruption.
If we can draw up two graphs to indicate the progressive
increase in the extent of corruption, one for the pre-Independence
era, and the other for the post-Independence period,
the rising lines would reveal a state of affairs contrary
to what the Indian Finance Minister would have the public
believe. The pre-Independence graph’s line will end
in the Tilak Swaraj Fund of one crore and twenty-five
lakhs of rupees, the disappearance of which no one could
satisfactorily explain, down to this day! The post-Independence
graph has necessarily to deal with many, many crores.
There are so many dams and so many drains, so many Ministers
and so many Deputy Ministers, so many permits, licenses,
contracts et hoc genus omne, that it is very difficult,
practically impossible, to work out how many crores
have gone down the throat of the Congress ‘Bahasura’.
But Mr. Morarji Desai says that corruption has not increased
greatly since the British left India. It might have
increased, according to him, to a small extent, but
there has been no great increase. We will depute Sherlock
Holmes to check on this limited confession of Mr. Morarji
Desai. Meanwhile, may we offer our congratulations to
the party in power for maintaining the status quo of
The other confession of the Congress leader is that
there is disunity in their ranks. How can there be unity
when there is a regular scramble for office and the
spoils of office? The wonder is, not that there is disunity,
but that there is not more and more of it. Disunity
is an offshoot of corruption, and if Congress wants
unity, it must give up corruption. It cannot have both.
References were made to this problem of corruption,
not only by Mr. Morarji Desai, but also by Mr.C. Rajagopalachariar
and Mr. M. Masani a few days ago. Addressing a public
meeting at the Vivekananda College, Mylapore, under
the auspices of the Indian Council of Public Affiairs,
both these ex-leaders of the Congress Party bewailed
the prevailing state of affairs to such an extent that
they wanted to mend it – by starting a new party!
The Vivekananda College meeting is also significant,
inasmuch as it has underlined the admission and confessions
of the Gokhale Hall meeting, though in an entirely different
way. For, the attempt of former leaders of the Congress
Party to start another party is an open and straightforward
admission that the Congress has failed, and an unmistakable
confession that they are thoroughly helpless to change,
improve, or transform the Congress organisation from
its present state of corrupt rottenness into that of
a clean and healthy political organization working for
the real good of the mass of the people.
Mr. Masani says that after twelve years of Congress
rule, that people have become “disillusioned” – they
“saw Minister and others getting preferential treatment,
a disproportionate growth in the size of the administrative
services and increasing corruption. Hence, people were
looking forward to the coming up of a new leadership
devoid of dogma, which could give a realistic and practical
leadership.” Mr.C.Rajagopachariar lashed Congress policy
and leadership in his own unique and inimitable way.
But the question is ‘will the Conservative Party or
Swatantra Party or whatever old or new name the disappointed
and disgruntled Congress leaders may give to their venture,
solve the problem?’
If the country wants a party devoid of dogma, a party
with a realistic and practical outlook, a party that
wants to conserve all that is best and glorious in South
Indian culture and progress on proper lines, a party
that would oppose the Congress without fear or favour,
a party that has already proved its credentials as an
opposition and has demonstrated its reliability as a
responsible alternative Government of the future, such
a party is Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The city elections have proved that the people look
up to the D.M.K. as the real opposition to the Congress,
and an alternative to it. So far as South India is concerned,
there is no need to waste time or energy in starting
a new party. Wisdom and statesmanship can do no better
than strengthen an organization of this kind, which
stands for ordered progress and advancement of the people.
If admissions and confessions can do any real good,
they must help in a sensible move a consolidate what
has already been achieved. Scratching what will ultimately
prove to be hard serve no real purpose, and do very
little good to anybody.
(Editorial - 07-06-1959)