அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


The 'Cow-dung Age' co-exists with the 'Atomic Age'; — curious sight!—and the cartoonist got his cue, of course from an exhibition of Nehru's attitude towards the problem of the day, during the Southern tour.

As head of a State, none expects him to countenance violence or an incitement to it—no—there are here as elsewhere men who are level-headed enough—but the South did expect something definite from Pandit Nehru—an exposition of his idea—policy—programme about caste. For, none even of Nehru's stature could keep on postponing—a way-out ought to be found out—caste should be annihilated. There can be no difference of opinion about it at all. We have allowed this 'dead-weight' to exist for too long a time.

There hence, arose a rare opportunity for Nehru to announce to the people, on which side he stands—is he for annihilation of caste or is he for 'Co-existence' even in this field! Are we to witness a sight akin to the one picturised by the cartoonist? Pandit Nehru, it is announced by his admirers, is liberal, progressive; he is up against all forms of tyranny, and is out to create a new life, a new society, altogether.

There exists what may be termed as the 'Cow-dung Age' said Pandit Nehru once, referring to caste—and Pandit Nehru is found in the company of that very same evil—the cartoonist catches a glimpse of it.

Vehement, vindictive and violent were the words emitted by Pandit Nehru—and all aimed against Periyar, whose object is not shedding of blood but the annihilation of caste. Methods differ certainly—and if Pandit Nehru has got something definite to say, about his method for the annihilation of caste, he would have earned the thanks of millions. Instead, he chose the wrong way—one that leads right up to the gutter—and called names! And has that improved the situation? It could not! People were shocked to find out, that after all Pandit Nehru can descend to dangerously low levels, when irritated. And there are many who say that having lost mental equilibrium, Pandit Nehru was committing a grave error, in talking about a subject, which as before a court at that time—a clear case of sub judice. Pandit Nehru need not have ascended to such a height, to fall in such haste, to such a low level! Many thoughtful men are certainly disgusted and if they have not spoken as yet condemning the attitude, it is just because the eminence of Nehru's position creates an awe in their minds. He was lovable, much respected—but now he is able to kindle nothing but awe!

Some, at any rate, were able to scent this out, even before this outburst. The 'Thought' published an analytical article some months back, on "The Decline of Pandit Nehru".

The point of view presented by the author of that article, is shared by many—and their number is growing steadily. Every act of commission and omission, every harsh and hasty word, do go to swell their number. Perhaps Nehru, from the dizzy height, is not able to, or does not care to hear the rumbling; but the discontent steadily grows.

"Why has Nehru, the hero of yesterday suddenly come down in the world? There are many reasons although none of them taken singly would explain very much.

"In India the poor are getting poorer, the rich richer. The old centres of power, political and economic, have disappeared but new centres have replaced them and Mr. Nehru has been either unwilling or incapable of resisting their insidious power. There is corruption in the administration, hunger on the streets and to an increasingly large section of population the future is bleaker than ever.

"The failure of his foreign policy is almost a disaster.

"What has he achieved—people ask. He has given the country neither a sense of direction nor a faith to replace the old one of Gandhism. Consequently India today is very much an ideological no-man's land!".

This is what 'Thought' has to say about Nehru. Congressmen would be infuriated on reading this, but have they got any defence? No! Hence they denounce anybody who calls a spade a spade.

"But, have you seen the latest Information Film?" —Asks the Congress devotee, "and what sayest thou, for that tumultuous reception given by the masses at Madras—Bhilai—Bombay—Calcutta anywhere?"

That is offered as a mighty reply to the critics—Nehru's popularity has not declined, they assert.

We know, how these tumultuous receptions happen to take place—and know too how fast this 'mania' is melting away.

Flames of vengeance
During his recent Southern tour, even the over-enthusiastic reporters could speak about "thousands of people thronged". On previous occasions these reporters wrote about "half a million people came to hear Pandit Nehru"!

And we know here that these "thousands of people" were sent to the rally, by factories, workshops and business places, by their respective owners, because 'the government issued an appeal to that effect.

There are ever so many 'symptoms' to be found, about this decline—but the devotees refuse to face the truth—for, to do so means getting a shock!!

Granting that Nehru is still the "ideol of the people", is that explanation enough for the savagery in thought and word, exhibited without shame, by him? None interested in decency and fairplay, would come forward to present such a view.

Granting that Pandit Nehru was irritated to such an extent, that he lost for the time being his 'balance' —is that in any way going to solve the problems? The problem still remains—what is the attitude of Nehru towards this caste system? Is he bent upon a policy of Co-existence, or is he for annihilating this awkward system? What are his methods? These remain to be answered.

"In the context of society today, the caste system and much that goes with it are wholly incompatible, reactionary, restrictive, and barriers to progress. There can be no equality in status and opportunity within its framework nor can there be political democracy. Between these two conceptions conflict is inherent and only one of them can survive".

We have quoted Nehru—and he can't call this as the ravings of a madman.

Caste system is reactionary, says Nehru—and what are his methods for annihilating this reactionary system? Is it by driving away the 'Crusaders' against caste, bag and baggage, from 'Bharath'! No! That is an outburst, not of sanity and sobriety.

The explanation, worthy of the eminence of the position he occupies, is yet to come. There can be no compromise with the 'Cow-dung Age!' —and co-existence with such an evil, is a mockery, and a betrayal of the trust entrusted to him.

"But am I to condescend to express my opinion on this problem, when you plebeians question me?" —this patrician would thunder forth, and let us take along with us, an advocate much respected by Nehru himself, because he has earned a reputation for himself, in countries beyond the seas and mountains—we refer to Sardar K.M.Panikkar.

Says that erudite scholar : —
"India won the battle for political freedom ten years ago. She is now engaged in a more fundamental struggle—that of securing social freedom for her people. It is natural that side by side with our tremendous urge for social emncipation, for liberation from the dead weight of encrusted custom and superstition there should also appear on the same time the dark forces of reaction seeking to defend old institutions and take us back to an imaginary golden age. These forces appear in different forms and speak with different accents. But, their objective, however they may camouflage it, is the same, to uphold the past. They work through intolerance, through an appeal to national pride, and to a sense of exclusive greatness. Unless we win this battle of reaction and obscurantism of Cow-worship and astrology—of Pasu Puja and Panchanga Puja—we will remain for all our vaunted independence, a backward and ineffective nation."

What is Pandit Nehru's answer? On what side should he stand, armoured and determined? Is it on the side of those dark forces which want to retain reaction, or is it on the side of those who—leave aside their methods—are waging a relentless war against reactionary system? Let us again quote Sardar Panikkar—for as yet Pandit Nehru has not expressed his desire to send Sardar to an asylum!

"The future of India, all but a few obscurantists will agree, is dependent on her ability to adjust our social organisation to modern ideas.

"Most people will accept without question that the framework of our society, the customs and usages under which we live, the practices to which we blindly adhere, the social conceptions which subconsciously mould our ideas, are in many cases obsolete, unsuited to modern conditions, and sometimes even at variance with commonsense".

This is a problem for which Pandit Nehru is called upon of offer his solution—but, alas, he but takes pleasure in mouthing slangs and shibboleths.

Perhaps, what Vivekananda said years ago, is true to this day: The only hope is from the masses. The upper classes are physically and morally dead"

And the masses today find, a curious co-existence—the Cow-dung Age and Pandit Nehru secretly gloating over it.

Advocates of the Congress Camp are sure to retort, "Oh No! Pandit Nehru will never support caste; he has expressed, in very strong terms, against it; he is irritated only at the attempt at violence and his strong words are aimed only against the policy of inciting violence".

Well, if this argument is to have any validity at all, Pandit Nehru, at least after his strong and savage attack, should have unfolded the plan that he has, for the annihilation of caste.

But, we had no clue even about that. The only contribution from Pandit Nehru has been the 'billingsgate' language! And, if somebody were now to come forward to say, that Pandit Nehru was infuriated, not because there is a move here for the annihilation of caste, but only because there has been a talk about violence, we would respectfully submit that it is the biggest bluff!

Pandit Nehru's uncharitable remarks, acted only as fuel to the flames of vengeance, already ablaze here—to burn out into dust, any attempt at the annihilation of the caste.