அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


The Bull-Boxers are bellowing out their fury with an energy that surprises even their friends. They are vigorously engaged in what they imagine to be an 'all-out effort' to shatter all opposition and especially that coming from the D.M.K. And they are advancing all sorts of assertions and abuses as arguments. Perhaps they think that the 'stink' that their speeches unleash in enough to annihilate all opposition. But they forget, that the people who expect a straight reply to the pertinent points raised by the opposition, got only, 'gutter-stuff' by way of reply. Vituperation and vilification are the easiest of jobs, especially when those who emit such stuff happen to be in power. Prestige, personal or that pertaining to a party, never gets damaged by such despicable abuses and dictatorial assertions.

Attempting to cloud the issue, side-track the people and mislead the public, is too old a tactic, that has been found out to be of no avail, where the people are alert and intelligent. And simply because the people were cajoled into voting for the Bull-Boxers, one cannot say that they have lost all sense of logic. They demand specific explanation, but find only evasive replies.

'Why should the government ban the meeting?'—Is a very pertinent question that is being put forward not only by the D.M.K., but by all lovers of freedom of speech. The answer is at once rustic and reminiscent of the Rowlatt days.

How dare they ask us permission to hold a meeting for the specific purpose of mobilising the people for staging a black-flag demonstration?—asks the Chief.

Two issues arise out of this pronouncement.

Is the Chief Minister suggesting that staging a black-flag demonstration is such a heinous crime, that he and his government should never even countenance the very idea?

Is the Chief Minister and his colleagues, so impoverished of the ability to influence the public, that he is afraid of allowing the D.M.K. to meet the people?

What would have happened, had there been that meeting, on the third of January? Not a catastrophe! Had they confidence in themselves, the Chief and his colleagues, after that meeting, would have met the masses, the very next evening!

How heroic and democratic would it be for the Chief to call for a gathering, the very next day and advise the people, to dissociate themselves from the programmes of the D.M.K.? That would have been a real measure of his influence—power—and good-will too. But the chef did not attempt at that. Prudence, they say, is the better part of valour. And after harassing the people and hunting down the D.M.K., the chief and his retinue are out emitting sound and fury!! What a pathetic sight indeed! And the Hon'ble ministers vie with one another in this art. But the issues remain unanswered.

(a) Why was the meeting banned?

(b) Why did not the ministers exercise their
influence over the people, asking them to
desist from joining the demonstration?

(c) Why should thousands of D.M.K., men be
'rounded' up and remanded in the moffusil
towns and villages, when the black-flag
demonstration was scheduled to be staged
only at the city?

Unable to face these issues squarely the Hon'ble Ministers are belching out platitudes, bellowing abuses, and blowing forth scorn.

The D.M.K., knows how to bear scorn and sneers, abuse and ugly epithets, with patience and forbearance. The D.M.K., has dedicated itself for the task of supreme importance, and hence has got to bear with patience and even unconcern, any amount of abuse from all and sundry.

'When arguments fail, abuse begins', is an old saying, and the bellowing of the Bull-Boxers goes to show how true is that even today.

Instead of placing before the people explanations for their acts of commission and omission, the ministers try to throw some accusation or other at the D.M.K.

These men are traitors—says one. They are reactionaries, says another. They have bungled all issues, says a third. They have betrayed me, bemoans still another. They are disruptionists, thunders another. But to none of them is ready with a logical, sensible, explanation for their, ill-advised, hasty and rash deeds on that day the 6th of January.

We do not shirk the responsibility of answering some of the charges levelled against the D.M.K. by hon'bles. Answering them would be not only these easy, but also profitable, and perhaps might also be useful in getting some new converts from out of their camp itself. But we want to point this out first—the Congress ministers are now before the bar of public opinion to answer a specific charge—they have acted in the most undemocratic manner and have unleashed unnecessarily, repression of an irritating kind.

That is the charge! To pile up counter-charges, culling them out, off-hand from many a problem, like the language issue, Separation question religion, elections and the like, is not only not called for, but goes to show that they are impoverished.

But there is, we would like to point out to our friends, a method in their illogicality. By raising issues other than the one, for which they are asked to answer, they think, that they could side-track the people, divert their attention and thus escape the necessity for answering the charge levelled against them by the public. That is an old trick and the D.M.K., is fully aware of it. The D.M.K., refuses to fall into the net spread out by the Congress bosses—and it would go on placing its case before the bar of public opinion. And the case is simple and strong. The D.M.K., announced its intention to stage a black-flag demonstration before Pandit Nehru—and the Congress government, to meet this, had resorted to lathi-charge, tear-gas; it has imprisoned 4,700 members of the D.M.K., and during the hectic situation on that day, two persons died.

"There is blood on your hands", we say, "there are tears in our eyes." Answer, Oh! Democrat! Is this the kind of democracy for which the Sage of Sabarmathi gave his all! Is this the kind of freedom, for which thousands sacrificed themselves? Aren't you ashamed of your deeds? Are you not going to heave a sigh, shed a drop of tear in remorse? And as if to add insult to injury, you are mouthing platitudes, hurling accusations, and even issuing challenges!

And, what after all are your wondrous arguments—unconnected as they are from the issue now before the public?

The problem of Separation. Sure, that is our goal! Either we get it, or the guillotine gets us—that is another problem, however. The issue now is, the autocratic methods unleashed by the pseudo-democrats! Answer that charge!! Your charges, placed as you are on high pedestal, you should pardon us, when we say, your charges, are flimsy—the latest additions to the D.M.K. would answer those charges, with an ease and an abundance of facts. So, please do not be under the impression that, you are placing mighty hurdles on our path. Answering your charges would be a sort of amusement for many of the D.M.K. We are not being arrogant, but a bit plain. Your charges, are built upon half-baked and ill-digested knowledge about our issues—whereas we, as the sponsors of a scheme, devotees of a theory, crusaders for a cause, are thorough with the problem and armed with unassailable facts.

Let us, at any rate as a sort of hobby, take up one such accusation.

The Hon'ble Home Minister—(three cheers!!) asked the other day, "What would be the fate of the Southerners who are now in the North when these people here cry hoarse about Separation?"

The Home Minister would have expected a pat on his back from the Chief—for this exhibition of an extraordinary sort of intelligence. But is that charge, unanswerable? And is that a charge at all?

True, there are a great number of Southerners in the North—but should not the Minister inform the public, what is their position there! Not all of them are provided with posts of power,—no cushioned chairs at Calcutta offices or air-conditioned rooms at Bombay, not for all of them.

Poverty and unemployment and the inability of the Congress government here to solve these problems—these are the contributory causes for their emigration.

The Home Minister has no answer to the question, why is it, that his government is not able to provide employment for those people?

And, if the Hon'ble minister refuses to listen to the voice or ordinary folk, like ourselves, let us present him with a pronouncement of very recent origin, and one that comes from very respectable quarters.

Of course, the pronouncement was not made during any political discussion:-
"Ninety-nine percent of the money-lending business in Madras is carried on, by people from Marwar and Rajasthan. The old money-lending Chettiars are gone. The profitable operation of business is from North to South and only the clerical operation is from South to North."

This was the pronouncement made by an eminent Advocate, who is engaged in what is called as the Journalist Act Case—or as is commonly called as Goenka case. Mr. Visvanatha Sastri, Counsel for the Journalists, placed this opinion before their 'Lordships'. What was placed before their 'Lordships', would, we hope, not be spurned away by the Hon'ble Home Minister.

There are any number of instances to show the exact nature of Relationship between the. North and the South—and even teen-agers are proficient today in enumerating them. And yet, the Hon'ble Mr. Bhakthavathsalam thinks that by trotting out this question, the D.M.K., would get itself lost in a maze of arguments, and thereby give up the issue of today. The D.M.K., refuses to be fooled in that way. The issue today is, what justification could the Congress government marshal out to explain their hasty, rash and autocratic acts of commission and omission, when Pandit Nehru visited Madras. Why is it, that they, by their ill-advised acts, created a sickening impression in the minds of the People here? The ministers are not aware, perhaps, of the feelings of the public here—the public asks, is this a visit or a visitation!

As they have not yet ostracised English as commanded by the Chief, we are sure, they would and could find out the difference between the two words Visit—and Visitation.

(Editorial - 09-02-1958)