அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


There is a charming photo published in the 'Hindu' of last week "No money on trees"—of course about Nehru!

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who refuses to grow old, is there, beaming with a sunny smile, along with three ladies who occupy enviable positions.

It is said that Lady Pethick Lawrence, who did so much for the emancipation of women in her own country, Britain, was visibly moved on finding 'ladies' here, occupying places which were once thought of, as reserves for the males.

We find, from the photo published in the 'Hindu' Pandit Nehru, not 'moved' in such a way—but there is a beam!

To his right and left, are three distinguished ladies, about whom any country would be legitimately proud, Mrs. Tara Cherian, adorning the Mayoral chair of Madras, Mrs. Lourdhammal Simon, Minister for Local Self-government of our State and Mrs. Clubwala Jadhav, the Sheriff of Madras.

The picture has many a lesson to tell—it gave elation to Lady Lawrence—it has got something more!

Those three eminent ladies, deserve, amply well the signal honour done to them—they are well-educated, imbued with a deep sense of service, and are well accomplished for the task assigned to them. We are naturally proud of them. All three of them owe their present position to the Congress—that none forgets. But what one is apt to forget is this—that none of the three had had their 'schooling' in the Congress party, as such; they were not in the Congress, when it was in wilderness, their talents and services were not harnessed to the Congress, while that party was waging a relentless war against imperialism. And yet, they are'chosen' by the Congress, for such important places.

We do not propose to question the policy of the Congress. No! Nor are we interested in finding out the reasons that prompted the Congress, to choose, those who were not in their camp during the most troublesome period. We refuse to be peevish! What we would like to point out is this: the Congress today has changed—marvellously, charmingly; or is it enticingly! The change is to be seen, not only here, but all over the land.

We do not propose to analyse the problem, with the intention of finding out whether, this charge is for the good or for the bad—no—we refuse again to be petulant. Suffice to point out that the position—the colour—the mettle—the tone of the Congress, has changed.

The change that is depicted by the photo to which we have made a reference, is certainly one about which we feel happy and elated. But all the 'changes' discernable in the Congress, cannot and do not come under such a classification.

The original principles enshrined in the Congress camp, are now sandwiched with a set of new and aromatic principles, policies and programmes—the latter slowly shadowing out the former. But for the 'label' many would find it very hard to recognize the 'old stuff' altogether. True, the members of the 'old guard' do still control the the machinery and all new entrants are allowed to remain there so long as they are assured of their patronage. Still the controling hand has got strength enough, to correct or crush, the new entrants. But yet, the fact remains, the old order changeth—the new elements are slowly solidifying into an 'order' by itself.

They wear Khadhi—but do not spin! They swear by the Mahathma—but had not served him! The plead for the down-trodden—but had had no experience of having served them. They, in short, express certain principles, about which they do not feel as intensely as the sponsors. And all this is but natural.

The are asked to mouth, hand-pound rice, and they do—the talking part of it!!

Because they have not been intimately connected with a philosophy from out of which all these principlies, policies and programmes have been culled out, they do not get a shock or even a mild surprise, when they find, these principles not adhered to by the people.

And, since the number of this new element 'One is to three' as the photo points out is growing, rapidly, the velocity being shaped by the election, the original fervor is dying down.

There is nothing wrong in such a change—but the trouble is, those who are of the 'old guard' still claim, that their principles remain in all their pristine glory! It is not so. It cannot possibly be so! The sooner the top-men, realise this, the better.

The 'photo' published in the 'Hindu', gives the present composition of the Congress, beautifully well—One is to Three! But the 'ratio', as we go down and down, to the 'grass-roots' reveals, the Congress,as having become, a mere caricature of its old form!

Look at the petty squabbles, the power-mongerings, the wrangle over profit-sharing, the back-biting, wire-pulling, that are unearthed from time to time ! Look again at those who occupy the Congress benches, in the State Legislative Assemply and other places of vantage, and enquire into their antecedents—or even their present-day affliations and affections ! One would be amazed !
Some of these men, endowed with the knack of smelling out the 'spoil', have entered the camp; others have been 'roped' in, just because they are in possession of the sinews of war—on the election front! The result is a lack of loyalty, sincerity and even warmth for the principles, which the 'top-men' stil profess !! Nothing better could be expected from such an ill-assorted group, and never in history do we find loyalty as the binding principle, in unholy combinations.

The 'top-men' are today much more interested in the arithmetic of politics, rather then in its logic! No wonder then, that careful observers spot out the weakness that has set in, and point out the danger inherent in such a situation.

The 'Eastern Economist' representing a group, which feels honestly, that only through the Congress could the 'vested interests' get continued lease of life, is very much worried by the decline that it discerns.

"It is a picture of declining popularity for the Congress, that emerges from the latest elections, in Uttar Pradesh—the most populous State in the Indian Union and erstwhile stronghold of that party. Only in 29 out of 104 municipal boards to which elections were held, has the Congress won absolute majorities.

What is still worse, the party has annexed only 865 seats out of a total of 2,222 seats in all the boards. By all accounts this is a pretty bad performance by a party of the standing of the Congress."

This journal is not out to oust the Congress from power—far from it—it wants the Congress to mobilise its strength.

It is almost irritated at this decline—and issues friendly caution—and we are sure, it will but willingly lend its helping hand to the party in power. The journal is at pains to prove to the Congress, that the popularity is diminishing.

"The Indian Institute of public opinion" says, the Eastern Economist, "conducted a poll, and it revealed that 45% of voters thought they were worse off economically under the Congress Rule."

An analytical survey if undertaken by an impartial body, would reveal the startling truth, that even where the Congress as a party has 'bagged' majorities, as an organisation, as an institution of noble principles, it has receded into the back-ground. Be they of any antecedent or accomplishment, be they interested in fattening themselves or trading on the ignorance of the masses, be their politics of any variety, their personal integrity of any low ebb, if they have the knack of winning an election, well they are welcome! They might have been responsible for petty tyrannies—what if? Their 'Bank balance' is attractive—and that is all what is needed!

Such was the method adopted by the Congress during the general elections, and no amount of warnings, friendly or otherwise, is going to tempt them into changing this method.

"We find that the tree prime factors in Nation-building, Honesty, Efficiency, Dedication to the cause, seem to be at heavy discount at New Delhi and the provincial capitals."

The 'Modern Review' passes this stricture—and to brush this aside as wilful vendetta of an opposition party, is to miss the truth which guided the 'Father of the Nation.' Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, they say, inherited all that was good, and noble in the Mahathma—and we wonder what, he is going to leave to the next generation? Already it is one is to three !!

(Editorial - 15-12-1957)