Pandu : Mr. Ansari! Have you come across a news item
about an interesting case in a Calcutta court.......?
Advocate Ansari : A case? Of what sort? Was it a case
about some constitutional point......
Prof. Pandu : Oh! No! A simple case about a motorist......
Doctor Damu : Was there a fatal accident, Professor!
Prof. Pandu : No, Doctor! No accident. A motorist was
fined by a magistrate ....... for an offence, which
is interesting. A few days ago a Calcutta motorist was
hauled up before the court, for displaying his number
plate in Bengali.
Doctor Damu : What if? Bengali is the official language
for Bengal. Is it not so......
Advocate Ansari : It may be so, Doctor! But the Motor
Vehicles Act stipulates that the number-plates of vehicles
running in the city should be in 'English'.......
Doctor Damu : Now I understand the case ..... and so,
for contravening the act, the motorist was fined.....
Prof. Pandu : Yes, Sir! Fined. But how much? One rupee!
Yes! Only one rupee! Law requires the Magistrate observed
that it is an offence and so merits a fine, but he observed
further that particular law is defective. Since the
majority of the people in Calcutta know Bengali, it
is not necessary that law should stipulate that number
plates should be in English only.
Doctor Damu : The Bengalis as a whole are proud of their
language and want that Bengali should be given the highest
place of honour....
Prof. Pandu : More than that, Doctor! The Bengalis are
up in arms against Hindi becoming the sole official
language of India.
Doctor Damu : Exactly like ourselves, I think. I think
resistance to Hindi as the official language has been
recognised by the present Govt. of India. The Education
Minister, Mr. Trigun Sen has expressed in that way.......
Prof. Pandu : In a way, Sir, in a way. But I am afraid
Mr. Sen is vacillating now and then.......He champions
the cause of the regional languages vigorously, but
nullifies all the hopes raised by such advocacy, by
suddenly championing the cause of Hindi.....
Doctor Damu : I am told, Mr. Sen is an educationist
of repute ...... Vice-chancellor of some university.
Prof. Pandu : True, Sir! Mr. Sen is an educationist
of repute ....... an eminent Vice-chancellor .......
but as an administrator he has to overcome so many hurdles,
and finds it extremely difficult to translate theories
Doctor Damu : Quite so ....... especially in an atmosphere
which is very disturbing ....... None can feel happy
or hopeful about democracy after reading about the awkward
scenes witnessed in the Bihar State Assembly......
Prof. Pandu : Why leave out the Parliament, Sir! There
was commotion galore ...... adjournment of the House
there too. I don't know what the common man will think
about all these moods and deeds. Perhaps he will think
that unable to solve the difficult problems confronting
them, the masters are fretting and foaming and hence
all this disturbances......
Doctor Damu : We are now told that due to the clash
between Egypt and Israel, the freight charges we have
to pay has risen up; and extra 35 crores, they say,
is to be paid by us.......
Advocate Ansari : And there seems to be no end of the
trouble ..... flare-ups occur ...... war is in the air.......
Prof. Pandu : Yes, Sir! War is always contagious, and
though the present form of statesmanship seems to be
to localise it, it appears that once begun, it becomes
extremely difficult to extinguish the fire.......
Advocate Ansari : Like the fire in the slums in Madras.....
Prof. Pandu : Sir! Since the police are investigating
I refrain from expressing any opinion on that ....!
But these have taken place in the slum areas, is really
terrific. These poor people already in the grip of poverty,
starvation and malnutrition, are now victims of vandalism.
Doctor Damu : They deserve all our sympathies ... and
Professor, I fully endorse the plan chalked out by the
C.M. for their relief and rehabilitation.......
Prof. Pandu : Your endorsement Doctor, is valuable,
but your contribution would be appreciated much more
than mere endorsement .......! We should contribute
something substantial from our club.
Advocate Ansari : The response to the appeal issued
by the C.M. seems to be good......
Prof. Pandu : Contributions are really encouraging ......
but for the C.M's plan to yield full results, more funds
are needed. You know, he wants that these unfortunate
people should be provided with non-inflammable habitations......
Advocate Ansari : And in the City, there are nearly
six hundred slums.......
Prof. Pandu : The task before the C.M. is colossal ........
but anyhow it has to be tackled. Looked at from any
angle, these huts, ought not to be allowed to remain
....... they are the easy targets for villainy ........
it is inhuman to keep lakhs of people in dirt and disease,
danger and desolation. .....! Cheap and clean abodes
should be provided for them. As the Chief Minister himself
has stated, the problem can be solved only by continued
Doctor Damu : And what explanation can those people
who were in power for such a long period, offer ....?
Why did they allow this awkward problem to grow so much
....? If only they had executed an intelligent plan,
a decade ago, this problem would not have assumed such
a shape ...! Slums were allowed to spring forth almost
Doctor Damu : True, Sir! But if we are to engage ourselves
merely in the task of calling for the accounts from
the ex-ruling party, problems will not be solved. And
this is a problem wherein all should join hands ......
it is not to be confined to the petty domain of party
Advocate Ansari : Talking about domains, have you seen
Professor, the speech of the Vice-President last week......
Doctor Damu : You mean Mr. V.V. Giri......
Prof. Pandu : Of course! And Mr. Ansari is referring
to the Vice-President's speech at Bombay. Yes, Sir!
I did notice it.....and I was much attracted by it.......The
Vice-President is hopeful about the World State......an
ideal that has been advocated by eminent men.......
a good idea.......
Advocate Ansari : A World State Professor! Are we to
entertain that idea with any confidence ... with flare-ups
in the Middle East, and continuous bombing in Vietnam
Prof. Pandu : Sir! Somebody said, that dawn is always
preceded by a thickness of darkness! Who knows.... states
may get exhausted so much that they would themselves
sponsor this idea of World State ...
Advocate Ansari : Professor! Your intention is to pay
the highest respect to the Vice-President ... that is
why you are saying that the World State idea is bound
to become a fact. But we begin to doubt about the effectiveness
of the United Nations organisation itself...
Prof. Pandu : There is nothing to be wounded at, Sir!
Even Mr.Giri has admitted that he himself was doubtful
about the effectiveness of a body similar to the U.N.O.
He has stated in that speech that at one time he used
to call the League of Nations as the League of Notions
... Now he is convinced about the prospects of a World
State ... keeping the U.N.O. as the guardian over all
the separate states ...
Advocate Ansari : China, Professor, will ridicule the
very idea... China dubs the U.N.O. as a department of
the Government of the United States of America ....
a den of the big powers ..... a saloon for the diplomats
with the monocle...
Prof. Pandu : Sir! China employs dirtier words too.
It is blinded by its own growing power. But you should
know, that in spite of its war drums, China is practical
too as far as self-interest is concerned. While all
of us are thinking that the mention of the very name
of America makes China jump up and howl and curse, China
is busy in its trade relations with America ... in a
round about way ....
Doctor Damu : That is amazing and unthinkable. You better
Prof. Pandu : With pleasure Doctor! Let me read out
a press cutting .... It is from 'New Times' - a Soviet
"Two-thirds of China's foreign trade was with capitalist
countries "despite Peking's expression of firm
support for oppressed peoples," Tass reported on
"China had substantial trade with the U.S. and
added that this even included steel for the U.S. war
programme in Vietnam,
"For its commercial dealings with the U.S. Peking
uses Hong Kong insurance companies, import-export firms,
shipping companies and banks."
"At the end of last year, the Chinese had sold
to the Americans in Vietnam several thousand tongs of
steel for military construction."
"U.S. trade with Hong Kong in 1965 was 500 million
dollars and that the, Hong Kong inhabitants could not
absorb this sum on their own and that "money found
its way to China".
"China continues to trade with the racist regimes
of Rhodesia and South Africa. Trade between South Africa
and China totalled ten times in 1963 than in 1961, Since
1963 no figures have been published."
Advocate Ansari : This is really amazing ... China while
it carries on a vendetta against America is all the
while earning profits through trade with that country.
Prof. Pandu : They are such effective adepts in the
art of false propaganda. Most of us are bound to be
bewitched. Sir! You know the anecdote ... a boy asked
his father, 'Dad! What is a diplomat' ... and the father
replied, 'a diplomat is a husband who can convince his
wife that she wants an umbrella when she thinks she
wants a fur coat ...'
Advocate Ansari : I am reminded about the Mink Coat
Prof. Pandu : About the controversy over the Mink Coat,
raised sometime ago in the Parliament?
Advocate Ansari : No Sir! Not about that. I read so
nowhere, that these Minks are now being killed in large
Doctor Damu : Minks killed? Why? What is the purpose
Advocate Ansari : The usual profit motive .. avarice
in a way. Mink Coats are now costly you know. They want
the price to remain at a high level. But if there are
Minks in large numbers, the price falls. So they destroy
Prof. Pandu : That is most cruel. But the urge to get
profit is so intense, that it drives them to any length
and any depth. Most deplorable indeed. Traders do sometimes
adopt such inhuman and dirty methods. I have come across
a news item, depicting such dirty method. But this is
the doing of a lesser being. A Hong Kong hotel waiter,
presented a menu card .... and he was given four months
jail for the same.
Advocate Ansari : For having in his possession a menu
card? Why that cannot be an offence! As a matter of
fact a waiter should have a menu card.
Prof. Pandu : But this was "an inflammatory menu".
Do you know how he named some of the dishes? In that
menu card the name of the dishes were .... Roasted John
Beef - Baked laper cat from Government house - Stripped
Chiang's spy pigs - Boiled Bourgeois shirimps - for
dessert there was Blood and tears mixed plate of police
Doctor Damu : Why should such terrifying names be given
Professor? Was it merely his fancy or prank.
Prof. Pandu : I don't think so, Sir! Hong Kong as you
know is fast becoming a hot-bed of Maoist deeds ...
The waiter was but catering to the cruel tastes of such
Advocate Ansari : And in such an atmosphere, it is amazing
that Vice-President Giri is hopeful about a World State...
Prof. Pandu : Sir! it is exactly because of the prevalence
of such inhumanity and cruelty licensed in the name
of National State or Mother Land or Father Land, some
of the nobler souls think so. I do want the emergence
of a world state. From being the repository of distinct
culture and wealth, National States are fast becoming,
barracks wherefrom fighting forces are sent forth for
the inhuman purpose of butchering people, devastating
properties and enthroning savagery. Hence that urgency
for the emergence of the World State has become intense.
Advocate Ansari : That is a lofty idea, Sir...
Prof. Pandu : Yes, Sir! A lofty idea ... like the distant
star, if you would like it that way. But hope, somebody
has stated is Morning star. Let us all realise the necessity
for such an ideal.... and no goal is unattainable however
high it is ...
Advocate Ansari : Sir! Your mentioning about the goal,
reminds me about the case I have on hand... You know
about the foot-ball case I am handling .... wherein
the goal-keeper is charged with conspiracy...
Prof. Pandu : Mr. Ansari! We won't troble you about
the details... and without the relevant papers with
you, you are apt to give a confused version of the entire
case. So, I suggest that we depart right now; you to
your case-file, and me to my library. Good Night.
(Home Rule - 16-7-1967)