on the floor of the assembly it was pointed out, on
behalf of the D.M.K., "that there are thousands
of young men and women in Tamil Nad, who, for the sake
of what they sincerely feel an ideal dear to them, would
brave any new legislation and court the consequences"
some of the ministers had nothing but their blank look
as an answer.
They tried to delude themselves by hugging at a comfortable
sentiment. They perhaps thought that, the D.M.K., was
attempting at a piece of rhetoric, when its spokesman
warned the government that by their hasty and ill-advised
measures they are but worsening the situation. Possibly
they, in their heart of hearts, thought that they had
only to show their mailed fist—administer some hard
knocks to floor anybody. It is also possible that they
were led to believe that the moment a new act comes
into force, all the mobilised and marshalled out opposition
would simply melt away.
That they were committing a grave error—that of wishful
thinking—is now proved beyond doubt, for, thousands
of young men and women have defied the law and are cheerfully
courting the consequences—however hard and bitter they
"We have the means at our command", the ministers
might argue, "to deal with Law-breakers."
But the strength of a government rests, not on its power
to put down lawlessness, but in its ability in making
lawlessness unnecessary—prudence is no mean virtue,
especially during trying times, when we have to face
problems bristling with complexities. It is easy to
take the 'big stick'—but it is far more essential, though
hard, to use the head and the heart. The 'fist' is the
easiest of weapons—but that settles nothing, in fact,
it creates new problems.
The State Government has passed a legislation to safeguard
'National Honour'—and what is the spectacle presented?
No sooner than the ink is dry than thousands throughout
Tamil Nad, defy it!
And would this state a affairs enhance the dignity and
status of the party in power? Could they expect the
world to pat them on the back, for the boldness and
quickness with which they were able to deal with the
problem? What has happened, can never be termed as a
feather on their cap! And, to present a list of Law-breakers,
and a recital of the punishment meted out, is no credit.
It will only go to show that there is in the state of
Madras a political climate, which makes it possible
for the otherwise law-abiding citizens to defy the law
in their thousands. And it is mainly the responsibility
of the Ruling party, to crate and keep up a healthy
political climate. That the party in power has woefully
failed, in this, is what all the magisterial pronouncements—9
months R.I., 6 months R.I.—and the like go to prove.
Lawlessness is never and in no place an accepted tenet
of any individual or political party. And certainly
lawlessness on a large scale cannot be engineered all
on a sudden. There can be no such eruption, in any civilised
Lawlessness is never encouraged by any political party
unless it is driven to the wall, by the ruling clan.
And this has also to be understood, no political party
could mobilise thousands of youths to defy law, braving
the consequences, on a flimsy ground or as a costly
sort of hobby. No! Movements are never built up in that
way. Only when honest attempts, civil petitions, sincere
appeals, fail to get a response from the ruling junta,
would any political party launch out what the Congress
party used to term as 'direct action'. And when that
stage has arrived, the mere fact, that their deeds would
be dubbed as lawlessness could not, and would not deter,
men and women with determination to launch a scheme
of action for the realisation of their objective.
The Leader of the D.K., did not spring a surprise—he
would be the last person to do that—he placed all the
cards on the table—has been dinning into the ears of
those at the helm of affairs his 'thesis'—and the point,
raised on the floor of the assembly and reiterated here,
is this, his thesis is not one that could be ignored
or brushed aside—and this thesis has got for its background
intensive propaganda and spadework spread over a period
of more than two decades—and some at least—in fact many—of
those who are in the Congress, Communist or other ranks,
today were at one time or another, actually encouraging,
assisting and serving the cause. And that cause is,
the annihilation of caste, and the reconstruction of
society on a rational basis.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru could afford to assume an attitude
of supreme indifference or pass sweeping statements—he
happens to be in an unassailable position—but we would
respectfully submit, that, that is not the correct way
of approach. There are certain stock phrases, Pandit
Nehru seems to be very fond of them—"Childish nonsense",
"Tribal idea", "Barbarity" "Savagery",
"Foolishness", and the like—but to rely for
ever on these stinging and stinking phrases, is not
statesmanship. But we console ourselves with this thought—perhaps
the great Pandit has got no time to spend over such
"small" matters. But it is the duty of the
Government of Madras, to present the situation in as
clear a manner as is necessary. But no, while Pandit
Nehru has got only some stinking phrases to administer,
those at the helm of affairs here have nothing but vacillation
till the eleventh hour and vindictiveness on the twelfth.
But, it can be argued, one cannot achieve the ideal,
the annihilation of caste, by burning and bullying.
True! But may we turn round and ask the party in power
and Pandit Nehru, how is it possible to put down the
urge for that ideal by putting some thousands of youths
inside the jail? That would be only fanning the flame!
Had those in power taken note of the reality of the
situation and attempted to work towards the ideal, which
theoretically at any rate has been accepted by the progressive
section in this country, much of the rancour could have
been avoided. But that requires a spirit of understanding
the other point of view, a vision, nobility of mind,
an accommodating spirit—but Pandit Nehru unfortunately
reserves all these noble ideals for the export trade—when
here, Pandit Nehru and those who model themselves after
him, are impatient, get themselves infuriated and have
nothing but contempt for the other man's point of view.
And this is exactly because of this one fact—that are
in the possession of unrivalled power, they are entrenched
in positions of vantage, and so long as there is no
challenge to that—in the true democratic sense—they
are bound to be aggressive in their attitude, unyielding,
and would not shudder to use even ugly and unbecoming
methods to put down opposition. It is this thought that
was the foremost reason why the D.M.K. attempted to
challenge the party in power, on the Parliamentary front—but
alas, the motive was misunderstood, and the D.M.K. was
left to meet out the combined strength of the Congress
and the D.K., in this State. But that is by the way—the
main problem that we would like to stress is this, unchecked
political power has gone into their heads, and they
are out hunting with a gusto.
Those at the helm of affairs think that because the
methods adopted by the D.K., are not such as to evoke
public sympathy or support, they could without any fear
of being condemned or criticised, pounce upon thousands
of young men and women and lock them up. The methods
adopted cannot evoke the sympathy or support of the
public—true—but would the leaders of the party in power
argue, that the public would evince no interest at all,
exhibit no sympathy whatsoever, when they do find batch
after batch of young men who till yesterday were law-abiding,
marching towards the prison gates?
They in power today, are by their aggressiveness creating
that atmosphere—public sympathy and support—which the
methods adopted by the D.K., failed to evoke.
But let us hasten to point out, that these 'burnings'
are not adopted the by the D.K., as methods for the
realisation of the ideal—but as only a 'shock-treatment',
just to make the party in power, wake up and be doing,
what is necessary for the realisation of an ideal—for
which they also have shown sympathy—at any rate lip-sympathy.
By no stretch of the imagination could those exalted,
personages now in power, argue, that a leader four-score
years old, would consider it a hobby to take to the
method of fire and the sword!
But, let us concede for the sake of argument that the
party in power are out, out-beating the Britisher, just
for the sake of putting down lawlessness and extreme
sort of actions. What was their attitude when the D.K.
was presenting arguments for the annihilation of caste,
in cool and calm atmosphere? Did those in power, evince
any sympathy? Did they show any encouragement? No! Or,
could they even now point out that they are amenable
to points presented in a moderate, considerate way?
Certainly not! When 'submission' is the method adopted
by the other side, those in power adopt a policy of
indifference—and when measures calculated to wake them
up are adopted, the party in power dashes forward with
the 'big stick'. And where is to be found the solution?
What is the way out? We say, even at the cost of being
misinterpreted, that the only way of meeting out the
situation, is to challenge them on the democratic front—to
correct their arrogance born out of unchallenged power—and
that, that could be attempted at with some amount of
success, is proved beyond doubt, by the achievement—small
though it be—of the D.M.K. faced as it was with the
combined strength of the D.K. and the Congress.
But that is a long-range policy—and a tedious one at
that. The D.K., would not be in a position to think
calmly about this aspect now—but we are sure and certain,
that in the not very distant future they would be convinced
of this. But now, it is the party in power which should
come forward with an explanation. Is their method of
aggressiveness going to solve anything? Have they not,
by passing a piece of new legislation, opened only the
'Pandora's Box'? Are they going to persist in this path
of vindictiveness—and what do they expect out of this?
Let the party in power correct its attitude—come forward
with statesmanship. The problem cannot be decided at
the courts—but only at a chamber of good-will and understanding.
And any party in power should have not only its police
force always on the alert, but also good-will and understanding
in abundance—if that party is desirous of earning the
respect of all the thinking section of society—and more
than that, of posterity. A mere accidental combination
of Khadi and Khaki, is no answer for the malady afflicting
the public today. It needs statesmanship, not sabre-rattling.
But, alas we are but harping upon principles held in
very high esteem, by democrats, but those to whom we
address ourselves, are so puffed up with power, that
they have become deaf to all decent appeals. May the
spectacle that they have seen this week, at least make
them understand that the way of the wise, is not that
of wobbling for sometime and war mongering as a last
resort, but a careful appraisal, a correct approach,
a sympathetic attitude, and above all a statesmanship.