அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்

Epistles To the eminent [2]

Dr. P. Subbarayan, M. P.
New Delhi

Dear Doctor.
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 judgement.

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.

Yours faithfully,