are assured by our 'Reporter'— that he is but recording
the sentiments of the distinguished personalities, referred
to in this article, about, what he terms as FIVE DAYS'
FURORE—the announcement and subsequent withdrawal of
the intention to retire, by Pandit Nehru. We refuse
to believe the reporter's version; but since he insists,
that we should place it before our readers, and leave
it to their judgement, we publish below an account of
our Reporter's imaginary interview with
1. Jaya Prakash Narayan
2. Pandit Pant
3. Sheik Abdulla
4. President Eisenhower
Though imaginary, the 'report' seems to yield some very
sound lessons; hence we place it before our readers]
Jaya Prakash Narayan
I am sorry, in the din and dust created, you have all
forgotten the crux of the problem. All of you heave
a sigh of relief— though most of you do not show any
sign of happiness, at the latest statement of Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru. The crisis has passed off!-you exclaim.
The country is saved, announce the second-rankers! Pandit
Nehru has been magnanimous, he has placed party above
everything else, say the flatterers. But, none seems
to have got at the crux of the problem.
Pandit Nehru, made a dramatic announcement at the party
meeting—about his intention to retire for some time.
Now the very phrase, 'retire for some time' is a contradiction
in terms. One can speak about retirement; one can also
think about a vacation, long or short. But this talk
about 'retirement for some time' is a paradox. But because
Pandit Nehru was the author of it, none could point
out its absurdity. Anyhow, the announcement caused a
shock and a sensation. There were frantic appeals, feverish
consultations, and hysterical statements. For five days
the storm raged. But Pandit Nehru himself came forward
again, to announce that he, having been pressed by his
intimate friends and colleagues, has determined to give
up the idea of retirement, and would continue to shoulder
the burden. It was on receiving this news, that most
of you heaved a sigh of relief! You feel even happy.
You certainly think that the crisis has been averted
and the country saved. That may be true! 'May', as you
know, implies 'may not' also! But apart from grammar,
there is the other question—'have you found out the
crux of the problem?'
Why is it, that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the unquestioned
leader not only of the Congress, but also of the country,
why should he, being at the pinnacle of glory, suddenly
become despondent, and think about retirement at all?
You remember, that just some hours before this sensational
announcement, Pandit Nehru was in the happiest of moods
and told his countrymen that his tour in Kerala, was
refreshing. There was at that time, no sign of the coming
storm. None doubted that Pandit Nehru would hurl this
statement—and yet, he did it—and why?
Was he tired? He refutes that insinuation.
Did he feel that he has become weak? He is furious at
the very mention of the word, 'weak'. "I am not
weak, Physically or mentally," says Pandit Nehru.
And yet he made the sensational announcement—that he
intended to retire for some time. Why?
To understand the 'why' of it, I would request you to
note, the history behind the problem. And when you note
the history behind the problem, you would find the crux—it
was my suggestion. It was my advice. I asked Pandit
Nehru to retire - to step down. (not temporarily)—and
allow others to carry on the administration, guiding
them from outside. I made that suggestion, in all seriousness—with
no spark of envy or disgust. I thought that the time
has come for Pandit Nehru, to come down to the people!
He has been on the ivory tower for too long a period!
He has become stale, flat, feeble; I found him fumbling—faltering.
He allowed flatterers to surround him! Self-seekers
somehow got his smiles! He began to sneer at those who
demanded loaves and liberty.
Hence I gave the suggestion that Pandit Nehru should
You are offending the big man, said some—but I reiterated
my suggestion, because I was all serious and sincere
when I said it.
Eleven years of continuous power saps anybody's democratic
ideal. That is especially so in a (politically) tropical
country, as ours. So I thought, that Pandit himself
would be only ready enough to welcome my suggestion.
Little did I imagine that Pandit Nehru would be offended
by my suggestion. But the fact seems to be, that he
was mighty well offended.
He thought perhaps that forced retirement is as irritating
He thought perhaps that when I made that suggestion,
I was casting aspersion on his sincerity, sobriety,
ability and character.
Somehow, he got offended.
He was awaiting a chain of reactions.
Pandit Nehru thought that his colleagues in the Cabinet
and in the Congress, would be equally offended at my
suggestion, and begin attacking me for my statement.
Perhaps, he thought that his colleagues would pounce
upon me, hurling hot epithets of contempt and condemnation
at me. But nothing of that sort took place.
There were of course mild protests, genuine doubts—
and the like. But none found my suggestion either repelling
Now, this kindled Pandit Nehru's anger.
How ungrateful these friends are! Here is this Jaya
Prakash, demanding my retirement and this colleagues
of mine allow his statement to go unchallenged. They
seem to be not at all irritated or offended by this
foolish, arrogant idea! Asking me to retire!! How false,
are the smiles, that these friends shower upon me!—Perhaps
Pandit Nehru began thinking is this strain. And in sheer
disgust, he ought to have made the dramatic announcement,
about his retirement.
He ought to have thought, that at least this announcement
should make his colleagues exhibit their loyalty to
But what actually happened was enough to create a shock,
even for Pandit Nehru!
His announcement did not create any amount of dismay
in the minds of his most intimate colleagues as Pandit
Pant, V.K.Krishna Menon, Morarji Desai and the like.
They received the announcement calmly! There was no
protest! No request!
It was indeed a pity, that it was left to men like Mahaveer
Tyagi, to rise up to request Pandit Nehru, to give up
all ideas about retirement.
Decency demanded, and Pandit Nehru ought to have expected
Pandit Govinda Vallaba Pant, rise up, with tears in
his eyes, and appeal to Nehru to give up this talk about
retirement. But the 'Lion of Kumaon' did not roar out
At least, the Defence Minister ought to have risen to
make an appeal!
But, no, these big men, said not a word, showed not
their surprise or shock, or sorrow!
What Pandit Nehru would have expected at that meeting
was, leader after leader rising up, to say, that they
would beg of him on bended knees, not to retire.
"Panditji! If thou goest, all of us go out! Where
are we, without your leadership? We are but pebbles
polished by your deft hands! We but get light from the
halo of your glory! If you retire, we are undone! Pray,
stay on, and save us! But if due to any reason you decide
to get away, pray, accept, our resignations first!"
Pandit Jawahar had a right to expect, some such dramatic
But, there was no such appeal!
There was a sort of silent approval.
But for the mewings and cooings from those in the 'second
line', there was, no stir, no shock.
This was too much for Pandit Nehru.
He was all along thinking, that his announcement about
retirement would be the signal, for, an onslaught on
me, by his colleagues! For, did not the suggestion about
retirement emanate from me?
Since, he found that those 'next to him' were not prepared
to pounce upon me, he was driven to despair, and demanded
their approval for his retirement.
Even this did not generate the sort of feeling which
Pandit Nehru expected.
In fact, as if approving his suggestion, these leaders,
began to prepare for the next stage, in all seriousness.
As soon as Pandit Nehru left the meeting, the 'leaders'—
those of the Cabinet rank especially—met at the residence
of Pandit Pant!
Note please, the time and place!
Note also the result, Pandit Pant was unanimously elected
as the Deputy Leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party—which
in effect meant, an announcement to the country, that
Pandit Pant, would be at the helm of affairs, if Pandit
At least at this stage, Pandit Pant could have expressed
his sorrow! He culd have stated, that it would be unthinkable
to allow Pandit Nehru to retire.
Common courtesy ought to have taken possession of Pandit
Pant. And he ought to have registered his protest. But
nothing of that sort took place. Pant became the Deputy!
That meant, they were all prepared to bid 'good-bye'
to Pandit Nehru.
A new and a significant lesson was culled out, by Pandit
Nehru, from this sordid story and that was this: most
of his colleagues were but waiting for their chance!
This was enough to bring him back to the reality! And
hence, five days after his dramatic announcement, Pandit
Nehru, announced his determination to renounce his idea
And, when Pandit Nehru chose to stay, Pandit Pant, came
forward to welcome this decision. And when Pandit Pant
spoke about the 'magnanimous' attitude of Pandit Nehru.
I am constrained to say, that there is a tinge of sarcasm
Anyhow, the storm is over now! But it is not without
You would note also this significant fact.
When Pandit Nehru made his announcement he did not express
any condemnation about those in the Congress; but when
he made the other announcement about his determination
to stay on, he was very bitter in his attack on Congress
He denounced the 'jobbery' 'selfishness' and the other
evils to be found in the Congress camp—which is but
another way of saying that he has chosen to remain at
the helm of affairs, to put down with a stern hand the
How he is going to achieve this, is another matter—and
an entirely different problem! But, this much is to
be welcomed; these five days have shown, the real nature
of some of those who happen to be his colleagues.
Yes! Brutus was Caezar's best friend!—before the worst
in him came out, in the shape of an assassin's knife.
Yes! Oh Yes! I am terribly happy! Did I say 'terribly'—forgive
the slip! I meant, only, tremendously! We are happy!
All of us are happy, elated, and thankful! He is to
continue! He will be here to lead us! We can't afford
to lose him, you know!
But, when he made his announcement in such a 'feeling'
way, we had to bow to his wishes. That was why I allowed
the others, to elect me as the Deputy Leader. They said
very many nice things about me! Just to entice me!
"You are the strong man! You alone could shoulder
the heavy-responsibility. As a Parliamentarian, you
shine even more brightly than Pandit Nehru. Your experience
in the field of administration is rish! Your position
in the party is unassailable. And it is but natural
that the mantle should fall on you. We swear loyalty
to you, and we are confident that you would lead the
country along victorious path!!"
These men have got a knack of pleasing the hearers.
Though I was at that time a bit stunned—for Pandit Nehru's
statement caused a jolt, if not a shock—I had to bow
before the unanimous decision—and assure my colleagues,
about my willingness to shoulder the burden, however
But I am glad, that after studying the situation for
five days, Pandit Nehru has thought it fit, to change
his determination. You know him—dear Pandit Nehru—he
is a man of moods! He was in a mood to retire, five
days ago! But then another kind of mood got hold of
him! He has announced his intention to stay!
I am glad, as all are bound to be glad!
I am sorry about only one aspect.
When Pandit Nehru made that dramatic announcement about
a temporary retirement, he need not have betrayed his
colleagues in such a callous manner. He could have stated
something about the ability and capacity of his colleagues.
Mr.V.K.Krishna Menon, is a dazzling personality—he is
respected and welcomed internationally. Pandit Nehru
could have said something nice about him—about his colleagues
"Be not worried my countrymen! I propose to retire—for
a short while—but on that account be not agitated.
"There are strong, able, experienced, and selfless
men to carry on the work.
"You have Pandit Pant; you know of what mettle
he is made of!
"You have Mr.Menon—who is hailed as my outer-ego!
"There is the new Finance Minister, Mr.Morarji
"These stalwarts would be at the helm of affairs.
And you would not be the losers.
"I am a bit worried! I feel I am in a quandary!
I am not in a position to think calmly. Hence I need
some rest—and a temporary retirement alone could give
me that rest. But all is not lost, when once I retire.
Place your faith in, and follow faithfully, Pandit Pant
and his able colleagues!"
If only Pandit Nehru had the courtesy to speak in such
a manner, many of us would have been gratified.
I think that we, after so much of devoted, and loyal
service, deserve this much, from Pandit Nehru.
But, he did not have an iota of gratitude.
He talked about his retirement, and even said, that
there would be difficulties arising out of it—which
meant that he considers everyone of us in the Cabinet,
to be hut dummies, devoid of any independent thought
Is it for getting such an unfair and uncharitable treament
from his hands, that we have been rendering such loyal
service under his leadership?
I was of course much pained at this attitude. But what
is to be done?
Democracy insists upon the formation of many lines of
leaders. But, Pandit Nehru refuses to recognize even
his 'equals'—you know we are his equals, in age, ability,
patriotic service and the like. Some of us are not in
the lime-light! But because of that, Pandit Nehru need
not have insulted us.
Anyhow, these are but, passing thoughts.
We are happy that, what appeared to be a sort of storm
has passed away, and we are again in the same place.
Personally, I am happy, that it took but five days,
for Pandit Nehru, to realise the futility of entertaining
such thoughts as retirement!
Why not, some ask—and they show instances from Britain.
If Churchill could point out an Eden, and circumstance
could bring forth a Macmillan to the front, why not
we place Pandit Pant in power and allow Pandit Nehru
to enjoy retirement—some people ask.
I am told that they are students of politics and devotees
of democracy. They forget, that we here are still in
the grips of the age of hero-worship. Hence it is, that
we think that only a particular leader could deliver
the goods. That's not democracy. All those who are striving
for the success of democracy, should note this fact
and educate the people.
I can't possibly do that—it won't be nice you know—people
are apt to misunderstand my motive. So it is the duty
of those interested in democracy, to tell the people,
that they should not place their entire affection and
confidence in a single leader however eminent he happens
to be. Such an attitude thwarts the growth of the democratic
ideal! Democracy is a system—not a diadem to adorn any
When democracy is allowed to decay, naturally, it leads
Think, calmly now—now that the crisis is over, anybody
can afford to think calmly— what would Pandit Nehru
himself, be forced to think. He is a good democrat—we
all know that. But even such a democrat, when he finds,
such an uproar in the country at the mere mention of
his intention to retire for a temporary period—would
be naturally led to think that he and he alone could
carry on the administration. And what is this, but a
temptation to defy democracy, and order the equipment
necessary for dictatorship. I do not for a moment suggest
that Pandit Nehru would do anything of that sort. He
knows that his colleagues would not allow him to tread
such dangerous path. But the temptation is still there.
Good and honest democrats should place the above mentioned
We can't do that, for, we are apt to be misunderstood.
Well, that apart, I am happy the situation has become
But I would be failing in my duty if I do not thank
those of my colleagues, who on being told of Pandit
Nehru's intention to retire, had the kindness to elect
me as their leader! Forgive me for the slip again—I
ought to have stated 'Deputy Leader!' I am thankful
to them, though there is now no need for such an arrangement.
I would have been honoured and happy, had Pandit Nehru
himself, mentioned about the desirability of electing
me as the Deputy! Perhaps, Pandit Nehru was suffering
from sentimental agony and hence did not think it necessary
to speak about that arrangement. In such matters, it
was Mahatma Gandhi, who was an expert. Did not Mahatma
announce to the nation, that Pandit Nehru, was to be
his political 'heir'.
But I forget that such a nobility is to be found only
Another friendly advice, to Pandit Nehru, my leader!
He should not make a fuss about such matters.
Why should he for instance, create an unnecessary stir
and sensation—some term it as a shock even—when after
five days, everything is to evaporate into thin air.
He did this once before—I remember he called it 'shock
treatment' — I am sure about the shock—but not about
the treatment! For, if it had been really a treatment,
Pandit Nehru would not be talking now about the disease
in the body politic.
If another time, Pandit Nehru applies the very same
method, well, the people would be merely amused and
the bolder amongst them would term it as an antic. Well,
Pandit Nehru should not be experimenting with such methods,
for no purpose practically.
Five days of calm and cool thinking, I am sure, would
have brought such and richer lessons to Pandit Nehru
and to that extent, this 'furore' has been effective
and also fruitful!
Not at all, my friend! Not at all! Pandit Nehru was
not at all interested in administering a shock treatment
to the Congress Party. His was a calculated smoke-screen.
He was but perpetrating a heinous crime. He wanted to,
and has succeeded to some extent at any rate, in diverting
the attention of the democratic world, from the problem
directly arising from out of my re-arrest! You do not
undersand the tacties. I know- I know! For, did not
I have the honour of working along with Pandit Nehru
for a long number of years?
You know, they let me out, due to international pressure.
At every Conference, attended by Nehru's men, there
were sneers, condemnations about my arrest. Hence they
let me out! But Bakshi found his position totterring.
So he begged those at Delhi, to put me again in jail!
So I am inside the prison once again. The whole world
is shocked. They are beginning to ask why Nehru is becoming
a dictator. Unable to answer them all, and afraid to
face them, Pandit Nehru, wanted to divert their attention.
Hence he trotted out this 'stunt' about retirement!
He knew, when he made that announcement that all eyes
would be turned on him. All attention would be diverted.
In fact for five days, there was feverish talk about
the pros and cons of this sham retirement. Whoever heard
about a leader asking his partymen to allow him to retire!
Pandit Nehru knew that he would not be allowed to retire.
Hence his announcement. But he has succeeded in cooling
down the temper. Instead of discussing about me, people
began to talk about this retirement question. To that
extent, he did succeed in diverting the attention. United
States of America and Britain, Japan and China and even
Russia, naturally, began talking about this retirement
problem and to that extent the problem connected with
my arrest was pushed to the background.
But, not for all time to come.
I am glad, it is all over now.
Now, the peoples of various countries along with their
leaders, are bound to think and talk about my arrest.
Many are the explanations given about Pandit Nehru's
announcement about retirement, but the one and only
real motive behind that move, is to divert the attention
of the leaders of various countries. But, the move cannot
last for a long time. It is now over, and once again,
I am demanding the attention of the world!
America cannot afford to keep quiet, when India, wherein,
we have sunk so much, is to be thrown into the hands
of leaders, about whom we know next to nothing. We have
in Pandit Nehru a firm ally! He has had the benefit
of witnessing the pomp and pageantry in U.S.A. Applauded
by our audiences, welcomed by our cities, Pandit Nehru,
has got with him rich memories. And he happens to be
the strong man in Asia so far as stemming the tide of
Communism is concerned. It is because of our implicit
confidence in him, that we have sunk a colossal amount
Now, after having had 'dollars' to his heart's content,
how dare he announce—even for the sake of a shake-up
in his party—his intention to retire.
Should he not remember, that he owes such a lot to America,
and he should remain on the saddle, till he is in a
position to repay the huge loan contracted. To attempt
to run away at this stage is nothing short of a betrayal.
I have hence to remind Pandit Nehru about his obligations;
and my note, a bit sharp of course, has had the intended
effects; Pandit Nehru has withdrawn his threat, and
has agreed to carry on the administration again.
He is at liberty to give any explanation he likes, but
the fact remains, we have succeeded in pinning him up
in the seat of power, for a further period.
And by that, the United States of America has thwarted
the secret design of Soviet Russia. Nehru is to be at
the helm of affairs, and we are to be stationed there
as bankers, financiers, industrialists, experts, and
educationists, for a long number of years—which period
we are sure to utilise for scorching Socialistic trends
and Communistic influences in Asia. I am glad to announce
to the American public, that I have not failed in mu
duty, to the American public. Your dollars are safe—they
are not wasted. We have Mr.Nehru there—our ally—who
knows how to be grateful to the benefactors.