அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்

S. O. S.

Many are apt to forget, because of the rosy pictures given shout dainty dinners at Demascus and right royal welcome at Coppenhagen, that this same Pandit Nehru, the de facto leader of the Congress party, issued an S.O.S. a fortnight ago, to his countrymen and partymen.

With all the energy at his command, this globe-trotter, is proposing a toast at one capital today, the nextday he confers with the chief of another domain, and on the third day inspects a guard of honour in another place—and in all these places, he is being hailed as a hero, a leader of laudable qualities—but let us not forget, that amidst all this pomp and pageantry, Pandit Nehru cannot forget that he had to issue an S.O.S.to the party which today happens to hold the reins of power.

Tributes paid by foreign dignitaries cannot wash out the worries that torment Pandit Nehru.

When parchments are presented making him a distinguished citizen of this on that State capital, when bonfires are lit to mark his visit, or when in palaces painted in golden colour, butterflies flutter and spiders smile—anybody is bound to be elated, get into a trance as it were and forget the real state of affairs. We are afraid that the temptation is too strong even for Pandit Nehru.

But in the interests of the country and the people one should not forget truth—raw and rough though it be.

For, what matters is the real state of affairs here, and not the grandiose welcomes and full-throated tributes paid on foreign soils.

And hence, it is of utmost importance to analyse the state of affairs here and inside the Congress party itself.

It tickles one's vanity to read delightful accounts about, how Pandit Nehru sauntered on the banks of the Rhine or bestowed his benevolent smiles while at the bouelewards of Paris, or how he appreciated the apple juice given by a farm owner near Coppenhagen and such other sunny sweets! But these cannot sustain a nation! It is not the halo around the hero that is essential, but the rosults of his efforts, the achievements arising out of his accomplishments. Pandit Nehru is not happy when he takes stock of the situation and that is why, he issued the other day, an S.O.S.

Save Our Souls—Pandit Nehru, almost seems to shed some tears, at seeing the sorry state of affairs inside the Congress.

"You have converted the Congress, into a sort of Mutt" says Pandit Nehru forgetting in his fury, that the party was all along in his hands!

"And you have made me a Mahant of this mutt" adds he, again forgetting that it was in his power to avoid such an ugly situation.
Let us note, however that, Pandit Nehru has come forward, though late, to point out the real state of affairs—and has offered also very many suggestions as remedies.

Mahant and Mutt are not happy words, now-a-days!—the former signifies a successful sorcerer, and the latter, a citadel of cant and hypocrisy. And for Pandit Nehru, to compare the Congress to a Mutt, is to say the least, shocking.

Many, they say, are the dark deeds that do take place inside these Mutts—and though there are some to defend the inmates and deny the dark deeds, all are one in saying that these Mutts are not interested in the spiritual uplift of man—but are too much entwined in mundane affairs.

To Compare the Congress, to a Mutt therefore is to write a volume of condemnation against the party.

And just as people do talk about the rotten state of affairs inside a Mutt and yet pay their homage to the Mahant, the people, do scold the Congress for its defects paying at the same time their homage to the Mahant—Pandit Nehru.

You are hankering after some office or other!

When once in office you are trying to stick to it leech-like.

You are far, far removed from the people—and you are leading a life of indolence and pomp—at the expense of the people.

This is but a sample of the hot stuff poured forth by Pandit Nehru, on the very face as it were, of his partymen —the big ones by the way.

"How can, you, dear Pandit, be so harsh and unsympathetic? We are the chosen representatives of the people! And we would not have fared so well, had we been leading a life of indolence and pomp as you complain of"—many were tempted to say—but the halo silenced them.

As if he understood this, Pandit Nehru, hammered that bed-rock too, by saying.

"Many complaints were received during and after elections, about irregularities—casting doubts about the integrity of Congressmen"

So, this is what it amounts to . These Congressmen, do sneak into places of power by dirty means, and having got power, become leech-like, sucking the juice and forgetting that they are placed in power to serve the people.

The A.I.C.C. became almost a sort of dissection table and the sight was a bit bad even for those who are accustomed to it.

After having pointed out, how these Congressmen betray the people, Pandit Nehru, advanced next to another ugly aspect and he says.

"Congressmen are cutting at the throat of one another"

These are grave charges coming as they do from the Mahant himself.

"Parading before the people with pomp and arrogance!" -is another charge levelled against the Congressmen, by the Pandit.

"You do not go to the grass-roots"

Condemns Pandit Nehru, and as if to crown all, he points out that the Congress membership affair is a big hoax—a bogus list is prepared and presented!

With almost a pang, Pandit says because of this, today we find the youths, especially students have got an aversion towards us—have gone away from us and that section was to a great extent responsible for the stiff opposition that the Congress had to face during the general elections.

None else than Pandit Nehru could have laid bare the state of affairs in such a thorough manner and to none else would the A.I.C.C. have given such a patient hearing— for whatever may be the harsh remarks that he makes, he happens to be the dispenser of offices—his one smile may mean a Governorship—his mere nod is enough to make one, a millionaire!

The inmates of any Mutt, would naturally suffer its Mahant to have his own say though it happens to be wounding—for, the moment passes off, the Mutt remains—and ,Oh! how sweet are the juices that one can sip at leisure, inside the Mutt! The Mahant is not going to be always scolding—he has got his other duties!!

And as if to confirm that truth, Pandit Nehru after issuing forth an S.O.S.—did not care to remain here, to see that the ways of the Mutt are mended and the evil ended, but he is out now with his mission—the spreading of Panch Shila and the like.

We do not know whether he was wounded or not, but there seems to be some amount of reproach—in
Mr. Dhebar's speech at Rajkot, last week
"So long an tendencies for hero worship and careerism existed in the organisation it could not be strong"

Was the president making a reference to the peoples' way of adoring Pandit Nehru as the hero! We are not far from the truth when we say, that Mr Dhebar is a bit irritated over this hero worship. And it needs no imagination to understand, that the only hero worship today is the one connected with Pandit Nehru!

The other day we are told, a peasant with no heir, left his entire property, estimated to be fifty thousand rupees in worth to Pandit Nehru!

Now this is a sort of hero worship!

Mr. Dhebar is emphatic when he says that so long as this hero worship is to be found in the country and party, there is no hope for reformation.

Prohably, Mr. Dhebar has taken upon himself the task of advocating the cause of the inmates of the Mutt—by just spotting out that the Mahant is as much to be blamed as the Mutt-Vallas.

In fact it is said that this time even in the A.I.C.C. there were many who were rather critical about Pandit Nehru's remarks.

"It looked as though the realisation had come to the Congress high command in a blinding flash that these were perhaps the last five years of their unchallenged rule. There was an element of apprehension".

Writes not an unsympathetic critic, about the A.I.C.C.

Even while they were discussing the ways and means for radically reforming the party, there were symptoms to prove, that the disease set in, is beyond the control of the best experts!

"The back-benchers in the A.I.C.C. were herded like a flock of sheep on the floor, while the High Command reclined on cushions on the dais."

Writes the commentater.

Herded like a flock of sheep! How heart-rending to note this state of offairs!

And all the while, the back benchers were murmuring about the

of the Big ones!!

"I find today" writes another ther well-wisher of the Congress, "the top dog enjoys the liberty of doing just as he pleases and it seems to afford him the greatest pleasure to preach beautiful sermons to the underdogs, holding before their eyes the wonders of Paradise, while preparing them for their journey to the hot regions."

In fact, there are some, in the Congress and many outside it, who today think and even say that Pandit Nehru, assuming a superiority throws all the mud on lesser people just to show how big he is but shirks all the responsibility to mend the party.

If only the Mahant is willing the Mutt can be reformed, they say.

But the credit goes to Mr. Gadgil, the veteran from the Sathpura Range, to point out the real fact.

All these attempt at reformation of the Congress, is off the mark—he seems to think and says pungently, that the presentation of a new fountain pen is not the proper way to rectify the defect in a student who has got a bad grammar!

A good pen is no remedy for bad grammar!

Pandit Nehru is presenting good sermons—but of what avail?

He should, once and for all decide whether he wants the Congress to be the Tammany Hall of today—or to get back the Sabarmathi spirit.

Issuing an S.O.S. is not enough.

He should stop supplying sermons—even men with lesser abilities could do that—he should step in to see, that.

are put an and to and office becomes, an opportunity for service and not a passport for pomp and power.

Pandit Nehru finds it is of course easier to sermonise to the eager crowd outside but the virus is rampant in that small circle around him! And behind his back, his partymen are closeted with pomp and power
"As is customary in India, officials and non-officials with axes to grind gravitate to the person who is close to the throne. Officials want promotion, or prize appointments; M.Ps. want to go out on foreign tours or gain some political office. All these naturally cluster round Mr. Menon especially after the extraordinary manner he has rewarded an official who stood by him during the Jeep Scandal probe, and the M.P. who played the second fiddle to him at the U.N."

Writes the Hindustan Times in its June 12th issue.

Our own view—humble though the station we occupy happens to be—is this! The Congress cannot be mended, especially if the aim of the Bosses is to somehow prop up as the Ruling party. The Congress has let loose Tammany Hall politics—and it was exactly because Mahatmaji thought that there would be such a turn of events that he seriously suggested, the liquidation of the Congress. But even that the Pandit refused to listen and all of them show their respects to and pay their homage to the great Master, when they go on pilgrimage to Rajghat—to shed a tear or two!