P. Subbarayan, M. P.
It is with feelings of pleasure and legitimate pride
that I pen this letter, and I am sure, this is but one
amongst the many that you ought to have received by
this time, congratulating you for your courage of conviction
and sincerity of purpose. May be this one is slightly
different, in that, it comes from a lilliput. But there
is this consolation —you have after all raised your
voice of protest to safeguard the interests of smaller
men, not the big ones.
An emaciated and sick doctor, is a pathetic figure to
look at—but perhaps not so pathetic a sight than an
enraged Nationalist, who has to fight against others
in his camp who are instead of being elevated and enervated,
are intoxicated with an over-dose of Nationalism. Your
role seems to we something like this, Doctor Sir ! You
are placed—(or is it mis-placed) in the Congress camp,
and you to your dismay discern that they are prattling
about and practising a kind of Nationalism which is
Bismarkian in outlook. And I am glad you have raised
your voice of protest against this Bismarkian way—one
expects this from a student of History—which you are.
The Kher Commission Report is out—and along with it
your minute of dissent—and let me assure you Sir, that
the minute of dissent is welcomed in this part of the
Indian sub-continent as a "Charter of Right".
That there is a strong feeling against Hindi, in this
part of the sub-continent, not because of a sort of
linguism'—but because of legitimate feeling that the
protagonists of Hindi are out to deprive us here of
our cherished principles of freedom and liberty you
know well—and often times you have tried to cajole the
North and flourish the cudgel against the South in the
fond belief that to be a full-fledged Nationalist and
a devout Congressman, one should not think in terms
of North or South.
Many were amply rewarded, for this exhibition of Nationalism
by those who are today the dispensers of offices big
and small. Fortunately for us, you are not favoured
with any reward—though during the last general elections,
it was freely talked about, that the Home Portfolio
at the Centre is to be your goal! Perhaps, Pandit Nehru
thought that an younger and hence vigourous man than
your goodself is needed to shoulder that heavy burden
and hence chosen Mr. Govind Vallabha Pant! Be that as
it may, you are now unburdened with any office, and
we are fortunate in that. And you have proved your mettle,
by writing a minute of dissent to the Kher Commission
Report—and by this one act, let me say Sir, you have
done yeomen service to Tamil Nad! Knowing full well,
that it is futile to be anything but an yes-man, if
one wants power and position—to raise the voice of protest
especially against the imposition of Hindi, is to rise
not merely equal to the occassion but to actually break
away from one's moorings. As one endowed with a courage
of conviction, I am not surprised at this attitude—though
many in your camp ought to have been mildly shocked.
Sir, permit me to point out that the Kher Commission
Report held up for over a year, is not a stray incident
—it is part of a big scheme aimed at annihilating the
spirit of freedom that is to be found here—and the people
here are mighty conscious of this fact.
Need I point out to your goodself, the force with which
some of us here fought against the imposition of Hindi,
in this State? No less a person than the astute C.R,
was at the helm of affairs at that time and the whole
press was at his beck and call. He was hailed not only
as the great Liberator, but the Raja Rishi! Indeed I
need not dilate—you sat at his feet as a devotee and
you know it better.
More than a thousand people courted imprisonment—and
two youths gave up their lives—in the jail for the cause.
I am of course referring to the Anti-Hindi Agitation
of those days. From that time onwards the protagonists
of Hindi, changed their tactics and tone, and instead
of open aggression they adopted the method of infiltration.
And even here, they have found to their dismay, failure.
Hence this Kher Commission! That seems to be the genesis
behind this new move. And this time, the protagonists
of Hindi, are bolder and louder—and though they are
afraid of promulgating definite policies, they are by
suggestion and hints, planning out the compulsory method!
They are bound to face a volley of protest and stiff
opposition from this part, and your minute of dissent
is but an indication.
Last year, it was, that C.R. convened a conference composed
of men from different walks of life, and of different
political persuasions, to formulate a scheme for retaining
the English Language instead of Hindi. Of course it
was a historic gathering—historic in the sense, that
it was convened by one who introduced Hindi as a compulsory
subject of study and attended by Periyar Ramasamy, who
had risen up against it and courted imprisonment!
The Kher Commission itself is not confident of fullfilling
the tenet of the Constitution of India, as far as the
language question is concerned. But the recommendations
and findings incorporated in the Report are injurious
and dangerous and it is upto men endowed with sincerity
of purpose like your goodself, not merely to write a
minute of dissent, but to educate the country and put
a stop to this onward march of Hindi, over the entire
domain, which unfortunately has come under the sway
of the North.
You have pointed out, pertinently, that the attitude
proposed to be adopted by the protagonists of Hindi,
is certain to be termed as Hindi Imperialism. The vagueness
in which your charge is couched is understandable—you
are today in a place where there is the 'purdha-system'
in vogue. But beauty and truth transcend purdhas, and
people here are able to see, the correctness of your
Not a day passes, doctor Sir, without creating a sort
of infuriation in the minds of the masses here. They
find to their dismay, the tentacles of an Imperialism,
steadily getting hold of them—and it is the realisation
of this truth that has given the D.M.K. its present
place in the public life of this State.
That Hindi to attain the place assigned to it by the
Constitution, many more years should pass—is your reading—ours,
is more fundamental. We are against the attempt at Hindi
Imperialism or a policy of infiltration.
"Language" writes the Swarajya "is pre-eminently
a social product; it is bound up with the heart-beats
of a well-defined community." And, the language
which is yours as well as mine, I refer to our mother-tongue
Tamil, is of such hoary past, with a richness unsurpassed
by most other languages, that the "heart-beatings"
to which the Swarajya refers, is all the more powerful;
and as that weekly points out.
"On a democratic vote, Hindi will any day be found
to have fewer supporters in the country than English"
And yet, this opinion is to be found only in a minute
of dissent—and that too because, you are unable to betray
yourself if I can use such a term.
"Dr. Subbaroyan's stand on the issue has found
many supporters" points out the Mail correspondent
from Delhi. I wish it were true. And if true, pray spare
no effort to mobilise this opinion, for unless something
definite is done to dispel the fears in the minds of
the masses here, there is bound to burst forth an opposition,
the dimensions of which cannot be controlled nor the
velocity curbed by the powers-that-be.
It is painful to read the other remarks of the correapondent.
"Well-informed lobby circles suggest however that
the minute of dissent will not evoke any response from
the Union Government".
I am not anti-North not even anti-Hindi—you may plead.
But the fact that you have chosen to write dissent is
enough. For Union wants only toadies and hirelings not
even those who have the right to dissent and the honesty
to express it.
But, whatever might be the attitude of those there,
let me point out, that the millions here, of all political
persuasions are bound to rally around you, if only,
you raise your banner of revolt against Hindi Imperialism.
You have had, Doctor Sir, long years of tutelage in
the Congress camp—and I wonder if at all you will be
able to fight out the issue. May be, the minute of dissent
is only a spark—but I am told that from out of a spark
a flame will arise.