அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


There are certain solemn occasions that by themselves lift up our very souls to a higher and nobler level, without much effort on our part. They generate an aroma of good-will and radiant rays of joy sparkle forth. It is during such happy moments that many or all are made to shed away petty prejudices, narrowness of mind, selfishness and such other foibles, and a sincere desire bordering on determination to serve hunamity gets hold of them. Such events, release tremendous forces, — forces that are effective in breaking barriers of all kinds. Like the rays of the Sun, fogs and mist are melted away; hills and hillocks are powerless to lock up the light; there is a brilliance all around, where once darkness held its sway. One such occasion arises, when a grateful people gather in all sincerity to place their hearts at the feet of a great man, who, by his humility attains nobility, by his service achieves mighty and everlasting results, by his very presence makes others feel, that life is worth living. Lives of great men make our lives sublime. And when such great men are honoured by a grateful people, during their own lifetime, it is an event of historic and ethical importance. We witnessed one such occasion, quite recently—we refer, of course, to the function organised in many places in this Sub-continent, to felicitate Dr. D.K.Karve, the veteran educationist and social reformer, on his completing 100 years.

Dr.Karve has now attained not only a pinnacle of glory, but what is more, he has become an institution by himself. Whoever is beset with poverty and the concomitant difficulties and dangers, whoever is dismayed by the ferocity exhibited by orthodoxy, whoever is beset with the task of ploughing the lonely furrow, has but to mention unto himself the very name of Dr.Karve, to rid himself of all doubts and weakness. A new hope is bound to arise, and strengthen his ardour for service. The tremendous role played by the veteran, in the social revolution in the country, is something stupendous, and considering the ignorance prevalent during that time, his achievement is a marvel.

Social service yields neither rich dividends nor quick results; it is as laborious as it is exacting. To pin his faith and gear his energy, to this field, when all around him, he found men who had their meteoric rise in the political firmament, is proof enough of the fact, that in Dr. Karve we have, not only a good and great man, but a pioneer of rare gifts.

Pandit Nehru,—'a man of moods'—as he was good enough to describe himself, naturally became emotional, on the occasion. He epitomised the wishes of all right thinking men and women, when he paid a glowing tribute to this great man. He said,
"Sir, you are one who inspires. Your life is a tremendous record of what a man can do. You are one of those who have shown what men can do quietly and serenely. That is how real work is done. Not in the way in which people who hold jobs like mine function with all the publicity attending on them".

Pandit Nehru, with a sincerity surging up in his heart, asked for Dr.Karve's blessings.

Lesser men would have been elated to such a degree, that they would immediately mumble forth thanks, and tributes, and bask in the Sun-shine of the occasion, even forgetting, principles and axioms. Like the 'King's touch', tributes from those placed on eminent posts, are today sought after. A nod, and a pat, means so much, in these days of commercialised politics. And Pandit Nehru is an Allauddin's lamp in politics, today.

To get spontaneous and sincere tributes from Pandit Nehru, is no ordinary thing, and the fact that the Pandit came all the way from Delhi, to take part in the function, bears ample testimony to the high regard in which Dr.Karve is held. But what is to be marvelled at, is not the rich tribute paid by Pandit Nehru, but Dr.Karve's reaction to it. That enhances the prestige and nobility of the Doctor, to lofty dimensions.

Dr. Karve could have, and the 'Times of India' says, 'should have', confined himself with paying his thanks to the Pandit, requesting him to carry on the work, and encourage social reformers. But, Dr. Karve, refused to succumb to charms, natural or calculated. He has something to say and is prepared to say that—whether it would cater to the tastes of those highly placed or not. Dr. Karve derived his strength from his robust sincerity of thought and honesty of purpose, and hence would not cut himself away from that source.

We very often find, during such functions, a sort of theatrical declarations, or to be more correct, desertions. Copious homilies, pious platitudes, sweet shibboleths, are mouthed, in the thought that it is fitting for the happy occasion.

We need not attribute motives to Pandit Nehru's part in the function and it would be uncharitable to find anything other than sincerity in his tributes! But in the Maratta country today there is a group, ever eager and alert to utilise every possible event for their own selfish aggrandisement. Having taken upon themselves the role of 'Betrayers' of their homeland they find that they are looked upon with scorn and contempt, by all who have not become dead to all feelings, that once the greatest of Marattas, Shivaji gave unto this people. Perched on seats of power they have their own cunning plans—plans to placate the people, by just pandering to the vanity of the wary and unlettered. It is with such sly motives, that they took all pains to ask Pandit Nehru, to come and unveil the statue of Shivaji. They might have thought that by getting Nehru to take part in the Karve function, they would be getting some more chance of hoodwinking the public. 'One who has paid such rich tributes to Karve, could not possibly be antagonistic to the legitimate aspirations of the Marattas'—that naturally would be the thought, that these job-seekers could kindle, in the minds of the masses. But, Dr.Karve, shattered all their sinister schemes, by his sincerity.

"Most of the desires of my life have been substantially fulfilled and today I am leading a serene and contented life. May I be allowed to express here, my last desire? I hope I shall be fortunate enough to see in the near future Gujerat and Maharashtra attain their legitimate and natural status which is being enjoyed by all other States in the Indian Union."

This should have acted as a 'bomb-shell' to those who were hoping to utilise this function to further their own ends. If Dr. Karve refrained from making this heart-felt wish of his, those who are fastened on to high posts would say, that 'great minds think alike. Nehru came all the way from Delhi to pay homage to our Karve; and our Maharishi likewise paid his tributes to Nehru. And that great man said not a word about Maratta State; for he is not a narrow minded regionalist; he is a noble patriot, and all noble patriots have accepted Bi-lingual Bombay!'

Probably, Dr.Karve scented some such design, and wanted to undo it. Probably he thought that on such a historic occasion, one should place before his hearers, his innermost thought and desire.

Anyway, the clique which wanted to exploit the situation for their selfish ends, was dismayed and on hearing Dr.Karve, plead for a separate Maratta State, there was spontaneous jubilation and a tremendous ovation. 'Vive La Maratta' thundered forth the hearers.

It is reported that Dr.Karve said this, in a clear and resonant voice. Sincerity has its own strength and it never succumbs to sycophancy.

We are reminded of one such similar instance in our own State.

When the State Government, got up a function to felicitate and honour, the grand old man here, Mr.Pammal Sambandanar, the greatest dramatist, and Dr.M.Varadarajan, a Tamil scholar of rare gifts, those who are attempting to stem the tide of resurgent nationalism here, thought, that they could cull out some useful words from out of the mouth of those two eminent Tamilians. But as true Tamilians, wedded to sincerity, both of them thanked those in power for their 'tributes' - but said in clear and resonant voice, that the State should be renamed as 'Tamil Nad', and they should work for and establish Tamil Arasu. Schemers were naturally shocked; but the Tamilians as a whole thanked the veterans.

Dr. Karve, has done yeoman service— for the past 70 years and more—but his latest service for the cause of Maharashtra, is the boldest.

The Prime Minister, it is reported, who was listening intently, just smiled as the centenarian ended his speech with this remark.

That smile is the greatest of all the tributes paid to Dr. Karve, for in that smile is couched, an admiration and appreciation about Dr. Karve's uprightness and frankness.

Dr. Karve has earned, by this sincerity, not only the thanks of the Marattas, but all those who value sincerity of purpose, and courage of conviction. We join the chorus of tributes placed at his feet, and are even envious of Marattas, for they have amidst them such a stalwart, who was bold enough not only to face dangers, difficulties, taunts, insults, and impediments, but also to withstand the most enticing of all charms, the 'hug and pat' from one placed on the highest political pedestal today.

The Karve spirit is bound to inculcate hope and courage and lead the brave Marattas victoriously, to their goal.

(Editorial - 27-4-1958)