is all what we can possibly do.
This is more than what anybody placed in similar circumstances
and endowed with similar power and resources can hope
There is none else to do even this!
The Congress in power, at the Centre as well as in the
States, is putting forward these three arguments, with
confidence and vehemence and the ordinary citizen is
The tone is fast approaching the dictatorial and the
manner is that of an injured benefactor.
"We are straining our nerves to serve these dumb
millions, spending sleepless nights in formulating schemes
for their welfare, and yet they parade their pettiness
of mind, and dare assail us by demonstrations, strikes
and the like. What a bad lot these people are! And how
easily are they inflamed!"
—The Congress leaders argue thus of course they took
the cue from Pandit Nehru, and have made improvements
They seem to think that the people, whatever be their
troubles and tribulations, should thank the stars ,
for having given them men with no other motive than
service, leaders with no other aim than lifting up the
level of the masses.
Of course when the great Pandit enunciated this argument,
there was almost the paternal touch in it - but this
has now become, the stock-in-trade for all and sundry.
True, the prospects for some other party ousting the
Congress from power, and taking up the reins of government
is bleak—but that should make the Congress realise the
added responsibility, and should not be utilised to
silence the public, by a sort of bravado.
The Congress is today what it is simply and mainly because
of the implicit faith that the millions have placed,
and not by some divine right! Having placed the Congress
on such a high pedestal—so high indeed that no other
party can hope to come very near that pedestal—the people
have got every right to expect and demand tangible results.
And when they find that they are not assured of even
the most elementary needs—food, clothing, shelter—then
they have their right to demand the powers—that be to
be up and doing.
"What else can be done? Who else is there to do
even this?" are lame excuses which the Congress
should not offer.
The Britisher offered such excuses.
Political Climate Polluted
"The problem is so vast—the difficulties are of
such dimensions, that it is simply not humanly possible
to solve them all, in a day or even in a decade! We
do not have the magic wand! And we are after all humans!!"
—were not the Britishers advancing such velvet arguments,
and did not the nationalists slash and shatter such
To come now, after ten years of continuous power, with
an argument which the alien was fond of mouthing, is
un-national and undemocratic.
Yet, the Congress swears by democracy !
Most of the leaders of the Congress party, whenever
they are a bit jolted by adverse criticism, take shelter
under an excuse—and that a faked one!
They say that the Britisher sucked away the very life
blood of the nation—he left us next to nothing—the country
was desolate dirty, poverty-stricken—and it is not possible
to mend all in a decade. It takes time. A century and
more of alien rule created such a sore and stink, that
the national balm will have to be applied for a long,
We do not want to make a total denial of an argument
which acts as a smoke-screen to our rulers. We do not
desire to deprive them of their device in toto. But
we would just point out that there is a limit to such
excuses. It can’t be stretched too far—but that is exactly
what the Congress is trying to do.
Granting that the sore and scar created by an alien
rule is of such depth and dimension, is it to be advanced
as an argument for impotency? Certainly not! Should
not this very fact, goad the ruling party into a more
vigorous activity? Were not the people given hope by
these very men that everything would be set at right
as soon as the alien rule was ended?
Why come now, with an apologia?
If to point out the depth and dimensions of the difficulties,
is an argument for inactivity or mal-administration,
why, did not the Britisher argue in the same way before?
“Long centuries of ignorance and poverty” argued the
imperialist “curses of tyranny and social disintegration
make the Indian problem bristle with a thousand difficulties,
and it makes it almost impossible to mend all in a short
span of time”
He, of course was pointing to the caste system, tyranny,
lethargy, ignorance, and the other ills and said that
to infuse some hope and courage in the minds of vast
masses, is a task, un-attempted by others.
Neither we nor discerning men at distant climes, did
concur with this view. The imperialist engaged in his
nefarious activity is just trying to hoodwink the public—that
was our verdict.
And yet those very men who sat in judgment over the
imperialist, are adopting the very technique that they
The Congress is bold—bolder than the Britisher—for the
latter had only the Bulletts to aid him whereas the
Congress has got the mighty strength of the Ballott
Box, in its favour.
And this, has gone into the heads of most of the Congress
leaders and hence they almost challenge. "Well,
this is all what we can do! What are you going to do,
“You have the right” the Congress bosses thunder forth,
“to take stock of the political situation and if you
think that we have fallen short of your expectations,
there is nothing to prevent you to get a set of new
masters! None prevents you! You are having the fullest
Men with meaner thought, do also say, that had we desired
we could have set up a dictatorship even, but we in
our magnaninity have given the fullest political freedom
to the people!
And, there is this freedom in abundnnce none can deny
One can express what one feels—of course within the
orbit of decency—one can organise opinion—organise parties—contest
elections—dethrone the rulers, and establish a new pattern
of Government. There is nothing to prevent—fullest freedom
is granted—on paper!!
We cannot run counter to the public opinion—says the
astute politician of the ruling party and amazes his
hearers and silences the critic.
That no party can remain in power despite public opinion,
is a dictum accepted by democracy. Theoretically it
is the purest of dictums, but the difficulty arises
when one translates this theory into an actuality.
“Any public opinion finally is strong to the degree
that it is organised and organisation is largely a function
of economic power.” says Laski.
Present day political power rests very much on this
economic power and none but the depraved would come
forward to deny the truth that the Congress as the ruling
party has got this economic power in an abundant measure.
Democracy in golden fetters !
Companies like Tatas have openly stated that they are
contributing heavy sums for the Congress and this matter
has gone up to the courts as well.
Though the custodians of justice pointed out the inherent
defect and danger in this method, they had to act up
to Law and held accordingly that companies had the right
to contribute to the funds of political parties.
The Congress was not ashamed to own that organisations
like the Tatas contributed princely sums
When the Congress as the ruling party has got the chance
to draw freely from the coffers of companies like Tatas,
what other political party can withstand its competition?
Economic power, thus accumulated, strengthens the chances
of the Congress party, to shape and to make public opinion
It has now become notorious that the Congress as a political
organisation controls economic power, and thus stifles
This is throttling democracy—practically.
The Congress, as the ruling party, has got ample claims
to the contributions from rich companies. Besides this,
there is the other and more important factor—the Congress
is the only organised party strong enough to maintain
the status quo—and hence the capitalist sections of
society look to this organisation as their sheet-anchor,
and they rightly think that they fall when the Congress
So, the idea of self-preservation acts as the motive
behind the lavish contributions that these companies
The Congress prides itself about the fact that it would
not allow revolutionary changes to take place, in the
economic set up.
It swears by Socialism but is guided by co-existence.
Socialism as interpreted by the Congress is not annihilation
of the capitalist sector altogether but the “taming”
Amidst an array of antagonistic elements, organisations
like the Tatas, find to their supreme satisfaction,
the Congress, advocating Socialism and at the same time
rebuking the rebels. Hence these companies think that
it is part of their job to keep the Congress going!
Hence, the Congress is in a position to accumulate economic
power, so essential for mobilising public opinion, in
its favour. The stronger this economic power, the easier
it becomes for the Congress to beguile the public, and
the surer its chances of retaining the hold!
This is the drama that is being enacted today—and after
this art of hoodwinking the public—it becomes easier
for the Congress to boldly proclaim that it is ready
to step down if only the public desire it.
On analysis anyone can see the anamoly—the public being
made a willing party in this sordid affair—but on the
face of it, the affair is prefectly legal.
“The division of society into rich and poor” says Laski,
"makes the legal imperatives of the state work
to the advantage of the rich.”
The Congress is the most powerful organisation today,
in maintaining this division and hence it is to the
advantage of the rich to maintain and strengthen the
Congress and keep it as the ruling party.
Professor Laski is lucid when he states,
“What occurs in any state where there are great material
differences between classes is simply a perversion of
the end of the state to the interests of the rich. Their
power compels the agents of the state to make their
wishes first object of consideration. Their conception
of good insensibly pervades the mental climate of administration.
They dominate the machinery of the state”.
If what Laski writes happens to be true with regared
to countries, wherein democracy had had its sway for
decades, how much more so it ought to be here, where
democracy is but an emaciated infant in the cradle,
unattended and almost uncared for!