அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


Now, now! Here is the Rambler's Rhythm—Superb ! Sparkling !! should not the Editor put in something like this?

“oh yes !—if it is superb”—you are inclined to say.

But, then, if it is superb, what need is there for the Editor`s pat?

Anyhow, here I am, with a Rhythm, which only a Rambler can produce.

The other day I had the fortune or is it the misfortune, to meet Mr.X.—a member of the Madras State Legislature—and after my usual grin—I asked him, "how are things",—? "Inside or out?"—he asks, with a twinkle in his eyes. "Of course both" - says I.
"A bit difficult to be frank—for I have not lost all hopes. Anything may happen now-a-days—my chief surprises many at odd moments—who knows he may come forward to load me with laurels, one of these days. Yes, Mr.Rambler! I have not lost all hopes!"—spoke that member —eloquently indeed.

"Be not too frank, Mr.Legislator" says I—just a hint or two is enough for me.........

"Oh yes! I know, you chaps have a knack of putting flesh and blood on any bony thing—and now for my, shall I say, report. Inside the Legislature it is delightful, and outside it is charming—and silence pays at both places" said the Legislator and again the twinkle in his eye!

"How fares the opposition?"

"Opposition! O Yes, indeed, the opposition!! They are there, nice chaps, but the fact is, I have not studied them at close quarters. Too dangerous, you know! The chief scents out anything—in fact I always try to frown on those poor fellows."

"The chief expects that much?"

"Who knows? Anyhow, crowning adds majesty to a personality—don't you think so?"

"Why, sir, smiling makes one charming.."

"Not all, not all! Now, you mischief-monger, I am not going to name any minister in support of my argument. Engaged as we are in managing the very difficult affairs of the State—we are expected to be serene, even stoic. Hence the frown".

"Difficult affairs of the state, you are pleased to state. Mr. Legislator, Why difficult?"

"Difficult, did I say? oh yes, difficult is the word ... but not with the usual meaning."

"There is practically no difficulty—especially for those on the Treasury Benches."

For the favoured few, may put it in that way.

For the ‘picked-ups‘—some say.

"The 'Left-overs' are not so vocal—Why?"

"The 'team' is capable of being expanded you know. The other day, opposition also pointed out the need for additions—additions without, added expense, if I remember right."

"That's where, these fellows err. Minister without portfolio there can be—the present Defence Minister was at one time like that—but where have we come across a minister without pay?"

"Nobody can suggest that except perhaps Vinoba— but if I remember right, the opposition suggested the increase in the number of ministers without the corresponding increase in expenditure! Two—two spoonfuls, when babies are two—and one one, when babies are four, I suppose."

"It is left to us, to so improve the interesting suggestion from the opposition side—is it not!"

"Being a member of an oppressed backward community, you have I am sure every right to claim a share in this expansion."

"I object not to your dictum; only let me correct you I am not a mere member—I am forgive me. Sir, a leader—you ought to have said.."

"You are on the right track, but not at the right spot. I am not a leader—I am the leader."

"True, true! But if I remember right, you were giving advice in abundance, to your community men, that they should not think and talk in terms of this or that particular community, but should stand by and swear by the Congress."

"Yes, indeed! That shows my political sagacity, national aspiration and nobility in thought. But is it not the duty of the chief, to place me on a pedestal, so that my words will gather more weight and momentum?. Reciprocity Mr.Rambler, reciprocity!"

"Quite understandable! Mr. Legislator, I am with you, if that matters anything. Coming now to His Excellency ........ those on your side, I find competed with those on the other side, in thrashing the Ads thread-bare".

"Thrashing! What for? There was nothing in it, worth thrashing out. It was after all a sonnet on stud bulls, and a ballad about pump sets!"

"How harsh, Mr.Legislator, how harsh....."

"I was almost, about to burst forth, Mr.Rambler, but then there was ample space on the treasury bench, and on affectionate smile on the face of the Chief, and you know, what one should do under such circumstances. I simply retired to the other wing..... and the Coffee was good!"

"Dreamy eyes, some say, are dangerous—especially so in the case of dames!! This one—not of the fairer sex— has such eyes, and I wonder, what lurks in his heart. Power once tasted, creates a thirst to quench which more and more doses of power should be supplied. But politics is not a pleasant field, wherever the law of supply and demand has no value."

"Me to the front! Me, that too at once! Mine is the place by virtue of memories sweet! The demand is dynamic— but what can the chief do, when a whole battalion marches forth, demanding the loaves and fishes! Eight and no more —the Edict is issued and dreamy eyes emit danger in abundance."

"To be or not to be" these Hamlets murmur, inside Mansion, where once, Mirth and Music, were in attendance. From far and near came flatterers in ever increasing numbers—a nod was enough to elate them—for the 'Honourable's' nod was nectar for the needy! Gone are those days, when the Roses blossomed and Jasmines sent forth sweet odours! Dreary are these days, when one has to sit, dummy like, and pretend to listen to the Gubernatorial discourse! Sonnet on Stud Bulls indeed!—for he has come to taste a different toast!!

Loaves and fishes of office, is not the end in view. Service to the people to Motherland—is the one aim for which all these 'Khadi cloths' are equipping themselves. So many would have been shocked when Pandit Nehru, pounded them all mercilessly by saying that one and all in Congressfold hanker after some office or other! How very ennobling, one is apt to exclaim! But those not on the treasury benches refuse to munch this! Ha! Ha! they say, with sarcasm, the favoured ones enjoy this luxury of offering free advice to us—the 'left-overs'! It is easier to preach than practise!

Those in office naturally find the outsiders, turbulent, and offer ennobling advice—service above self—country first and foremost etc. etc. But when 'Ordinaries' find that the Hon'bles get all the limelight they naturally think that to 'serve and yet be seen' one has to be something, more than an ordinary.

There are some, who are content to remain a 'No-body' rather than become a 'second'—or the deputy! An Assamese Legislator having been offered a Deputy ministership at Delhi flatly refused the job. Assam is not represented in the Central Cabinet, and the claim was pressed.

Probably the 'pressure' was not up to the mark; hence the offer of a mere Deputyship instead of a full-fledged ministership. This Assamese has gained more by this refusal —than many who have succumbed to the temptation and are playing the 'second fiddle' .!. My friend the Legistrator, ridicules this Assamese idea! Whole or nothing - that's rank avarice Mr. Rambler! besides, why not enter the owing first, before becoming the full-fledged later on! A deputy need not be a deputy always!—says he.

But, Sir, there is the historic instance of Dr.Radhakrishnan—once a Deputy always a Deputy, I reminded him. but my friend the Legislator was not floored; he says, but that analogy does not hold good, for the Doctor is a philosopher not a politician!'

"By the by, have you Sir, mooted the point with the chief?"—I asked.

"Me? No! My friends have taken upto themselves that delicate mission. They have had consultative talks and have arrived at certain conclusions."

"Have they met the Chief?"

"I think so—yes—I am sure they have."

"And how did they fare?"

"The chief, they say, did not hurl a 'No' at them—but succeeded in overcoming the temptation to say, 'Yes'—in fact my friends say, the prospects are brighter now."

"I wish you all success Sir, but please do not mistake me when I say, that there seems to be practically no difference between Yes—and—No—when only the lip is active, while the mind is inactive. Besides, there are some who use 'Yes' for sweet nothings, and 'No' to everything concrete, precise or important. Here is this anecdote about, Comrade Gromyko, you know. Once, in a five minutes phone conversation with an American official he said.


No, No, No, No, No, No.


No, No.

Asked afterwards what the two 'Yesses' stood for, he said that the first 'Yes' was to the question, 'Is that Mr. Gromyko?' and that the second 'Yes' was in answer to the question.

"Can you still hear?"

(Homeland : 09-06-1957)