Damu : Ah! The globe-trotter, at last. We missed you
very much, Sir! We are much honoured by your presence
...... thank you...
Gopal : Doctor! The pleasure is mine. I would not have
missed your sweet company last week, but for the fact
that I was suddenly called up.......a board meeting
at Calcutta......had to rush to.
Prof. Pandu : A globe-trotter in a gallop - that perhaps
should be the caption, I think, speaking in the language
of the Journalist.
Advocate Ansari : And in what language these board meetings
are conducted, Mr. Gopal.....
Gopal : Why.......in English of course...that is the
link language, is it not...?
Prof. Pandu : Be careful Mr. Gopal, lest Doctor Ram
Manohar Lohia pulls you up. He is out to annihilate
English, you know......?
Doctor Damu : For all practical purposes, English is
the link language today......
Prof. Pandu : ........and it shall remain so, says the
Prime Minister so long as the Non-Hindi states decide
Advocate Ansari : The professor is making a reference
to the Bill to be presented to the Parliament, I think.
But it seems a hundred M.P.s of the Congress party have
issued a note to the P.M, expressing their disapproval
of that measure.....
Prof. Pandu : But Sir! Surely the P.M. will not fall
a prey to such machinations......
Doctor Damu : Why not the P.M. exercise some control
over her partymen? One speaks of internationalism, another
talks about Janma Bhoomi, one thunders forth that Banks
will be nationalised and...all as Congressmen....all
in all sincerity they say. Why not attempt at a symphony....or
as an alternative the P.M. may declare that policy making
should be strictly a 'solo'.
Prof. Pandu : Sir! It is not so easy as you seem to
imagine. This art of carrying along all on your path.....it
becomes more and more difficult as your majority gets
reduced ...... which is what is to be found in the Congress
party in the Parliament....
Doctor Damu : But the issue at stake is all-important.
The entire South will be inflamed if Hindi is imposed
...... I don't think the P.M. will take the risk of
insulting the people of the South....
Prof. Pandu : Sir! I do not minimise the risks involved
in the issue. But what I was attempting to explain was,
that the art of making others conform to your point
of view is extremely difficult. The most delicate art
I should say. I am reminded....
Doctor Damu : .......of an anecdote, Professor!
Prof. Pandu : of an illustration from history, Sir.
When Charles V, one of the greatest of monarchs in Europe
retired in weariness from the throne to a monastery,
he occupied his leisure time in trying to regulate two
clocks. It proved very difficult. But he went on attempting.
One day he said, "Ah! I have succeeded......"
Advocate Ansari : ......in regulating the two clocks?
Prof. Pandu : No, Sir! No! The clocks refused to obey
the Royal Command and went their own way. Charles did
not succeed in his attempt.....
Advocate Ansari : But Professor you were just now telling
us that the king declared about his success......
Prof. Pandu : Success, in this sense, Sir! The monarch
declared that he has succeeded in realising a great
truth that was eluding his grasp for a long number of
years. The monarch turned to his assistant and declared,
"Now I realise that I have been deluding myself
in thinking that I can regulate the reason and conscience
of the masses of my country, but now what do I find?
I cannot make two clocks agree......"
Doctor Damu : That is a thought-provoking statement......
Advocate Ansari : But these dictators attempt, not merely
regulation, but regimentation of thought......
Prof. Pandu : ......and how well they have succeeded
is amply portrayed by the chaos and confusion inside
China, to-day. They say, each leader there has got a
battalion around him....and even heads of state are
Doctor Damu : The Chinese affair? It is becoming increasingly
disgusting. But one by one those countries where their
influence was mighty, have risen up to kick out that
hold.....the latest being Burma.
Prof. Pandu : And Sir! The Chinese hold over Indonesia
was the strongest. Dr. Sukarno, himself fond of the
cross-belt and the bugle-call, the parade and the paraphernalia,
has had to pay heavily for having nurtured the Chinese
Doctor Damu : Yes! Yes! Palace revolutions followed
by street-fighting. Conspiracy followed by chaos and
confusion .... the whole political set up was destroyed......
Prof. Pandu : And more than that, Sir, the economic
situation in Indonesia became precarious.
Advocate Ansari : Inspite of the fact that that country
is very very fertile.....
Prof. Pandu : It was exactly because of the fact that
'Indonesia' is basically strong on the economic front
that we find today that with careful handling, the distortions
in the economic sphere has been rectified, and from
the brink, Indonesia has now been placed on the right
road of recovery and reconstruction. A news item from
Hague says that the donor countries, Japan, Australia,
Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Britain and the United States were satisfied with the
recovery efforts undertaken by Indonesia. They are satisfied
that the aid they have 'injected' has had good effect
and Indonesia is on the path of recovery.
Doctor Damu : You have used the correct word Sir! 'injection'.
We as Doctors know that there should be a basic strength
in the body, if injection is to be successfully attempted.....
Prof. Pandu : That is quite true, Sir! And there is
another aspect too.....An individual or a country should
not dissipate the energy that is produced by such injections.
Advocate Ansari : It is stated that the Americans forced
it on us....One Mr. Bell insisted on that.....Without
going through the Bell Commission report, I don't think
that we could make any pronouncement on that issue.
Prof. Pandu : Sir! Even when reports are placed on the
table of the Houses of Parliament or Legislature, follow-up
actions rarely follow. For instance I remember to have
read some time ago that the Public Accounts Committee
issued a report about the purchase of a plot of land
by the Electricity Board....at a place called Erukancheri.......
Advocate Ansari : Oh! Yes! I remember it quite well.
There was a lot of controversy about that purchase.
Prof. Pandu : And a report was placed before the legislature,
Sir! But I wonder what follow-up-action has taken place.....
Advocate Ansari : Nothing, do you say Sir!
Prof. Pandu : Nothing so far, Sir, as far as my knowledge
Doctor Damu : It is a colossal waste of public money,
to order for some enquiry, call for a certain report,
and then forget all about it.
Gopal : But in most of the countries I visited reports
are not thrown into the lumber-house. They are studied
carefully and the governments take up the follow-up
Prof. Pandu : And it is just because of such an attitude,
that systems get perfected, and results become rich.
A vigilant public taking to task any government that
refuses to act up to the accepted standards of responsibility......
Gopal : That reminds me friends about the purpose of
my sojurn to Calcutta. It was exactly to discuss about
a report that experts of our firm prepared on a particular
Prof. Pandu : If that contains any trade secret, refrain
from further explanation Mr. Gopal. Otherwise we would
feel happy if you become somewhat explanatory......
Gopal : We do not now-a-days believe in trade secrets
at all. And as a matter of fact, the report was not
about any new business venture. It was about the economic
consequences of prohibition.
Prof. Pandu : An interesting subject, indeed and an
Advocate Ansari : And of much importance as far as our
State is concerned.....
Prof. Pandu : And especially, now that our C.M. is facing
a barrage of questions about this prohibition policy.
We find Congressmen emit volleys very often.
Advocate Ansari : Some of them advocate the scrapping
of prohibition....I think just to push the DMK into
the wrong path and then raise a war-cry against it.....
Doctor Damu : It is indeed curious....medical opinion
too is advanced by some in support of scrapping prohibition.....
Advocate Ansari : And are these medical opinions correct,
Doctor Damu : These opinions are half-baked Sir! They
talk about vitamis and protein in today and other stuff
as if protein cannot be found except in intoxicants.
Prof. Pandu : Now that we are talking about intoxicants
I may as well tell you....not an anecdote, but a prose-poem....which
explains the nature of these strong drinks. Upon the
first goblet he read this inscription, Monkey Wine;
upon the second, Lion Wine; upon the third, Sheep Wine;
upon the fourth, Swine Wine. These four inscriptions
expressed the four descending degrees of drunkenness;
the first that which enlivens; the second that which
irritates; the third that which stupefies finally the
last, that which brutalizes....
Gopal : Professor! I did express at the board meeting
this very aspect, but in an uncouth way......
Prof. Pandu : Not in an uncouth way. Sir! But in a way
with which you are familiar, I should say.....
Advocate Ansari : Of course all cannot have the leisure
to study prose and poems....as our professor!
Prof. Pandu : That explains, Sir, your poor performance
at the Court.....
Advocate Ansari : So, Professor Pandu has begun his
attack, I think. Bang on, for that is the only luxury
you have and age gives you the prerogative to taunt
Prof. Pandu : Sir! I do not grudge anyone to point out
the faults they find in my argument. I am prepared to
be guided and corrected......But let us come to the
serious aspect; what was the result of your deliberations
Mr. Gopal, about prohibition?
Gopal : Not final Professor! We decided to discuss it
further....sometime next month.
Prof. Pandu : Just like our planners I presume, who
are now still in the process of finalising the fourth
five year plan, though two out of the five years are
Doctor Damu : And these were the people who criticised
Rajaji when he suggested a holiday for the plan.....
Advocate Ansari : The P.M. stated some days ago, that
a holiday has been forced on them by circumstance.
Prof. Pandu : Madame forgets, I think, that there is
a lot of difference between a fall and a halt. What
Rajaji suggested was a 'Halt'-what the Congress leaders
face today is a 'fall'.
Advocate Ansari : But they seem to be more worried about
not his fall but about the people's agitation .... against
food scarcity, price rise, unemployment and the like.
Prof. Pandu : Sir, don't you think that these are problems
of such an acute intensity that they would whip up the
most docile individual to rise up and demand, justice
Advocate Ansari : But surely Professor! These demands
are to be presented in a responsible manner, in an orderly,
Doctor Damu : That is a pertinent point, Professor!
Agitations if unregulated will naturally degenerate
into anarchy. You will not, I am sure advocate anarchy,
though you are the champion of the distressed......
Prof. Pandu : You may as well add the word, the disdained
..... Yes Sir! The poor are distressed and any measure
they take up for the redressal of the grievances are
dubbed as anarchy. I remember to have read somewhere,
- that when the rich assemble to concern themselves
with the business of the poor it is called charity.
When the poor assemble to concern themselves with the
business of the rich, it is called, anarchy.
Gopal : But the poor should be looked after, help is
to be given; even charity.
Prof. Pandu : I do not repudiate the necessity for all
that, Mr.Gopal. In all your business concerns, there
is a Charity Fund. I am aware of that. But that is only
in the nature of tinkering with the problem......not
even tackling of the problem, you will admit.
Doctor Damu : Professor! Though on a deep analysis,
your dictum is correct, I would request you not to utter
words that would lead to a sort of repudiation of measures
that may give some solace at least to the poor and downtrodden......
Prof. Pandu : Never Sir! Never. I myself have agreed
to be of some assistance to a charitable institution.
But I would request you to read Bernard Shaw's, Major
Advocate Ansari : Major Barbara.....Oh! Yes Major Barbara......I
have a copy.....
Prof. Pandu : May I remind you Mr. Ansari that that
book was lent to you by, poor me......and if you were
to be kind enough to bring it here next time we meet.
Advocate Ansari : Certainly! And so, I think we shall
start going. I am anxious to get home and have a chat
with Major Barbara.
(Home Rule - 9-7-1967)