அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்

The Accusing Finger

The Amrita Bazar Partika is out hunting! And with a gusto!!

The whip is flourished in the fond hope, that there is an urgent necessity for the same and with a superb confidence in its efficacy.
In so far as the admonition that the Partika is able to administer, brings to light the reality of the situation; we welcome the attempt but if by this tirade we are asked to believe that the Patrika has understood the problem in its entirety, we are sorry; we cannot accept the same.

The ‘Patrika’ is enraged—enraged at the D.M.K. for its seemingly anti-National activities—enraged at the Centre for its inactivity or slowness in action, in putting down the activities of the D.M.K. and lastly, it is full of anger against the Finance Minister of Madras State for what the daily terms as 'lack of wisdom'.

And all this because of one instance—an attempt as it were at Statesmanship made by Hon’ble C.Subramanian.

As leader of the House, Mr. C.Subramaniam, in his reply to the speeches on the Budget by members of the opposition, made pointed reference to the D.M.K. After brushing aside all suggestions, pooh-poohing all criticism, the Finance Minister in his peroration asked the D.M.K. to desist from “harping upon the theory of separation” —and pleaded for “atleast a ten-year truce.”

Neither the Finance Minister nor the members of the D.M.K. would have thought that there is a Master critic at Calcutta, ready to pounce upon and powder all such talk. In fact, the minister would have thought that there would be a welcome pat or a paternal nod from sympathetic quarters.

“That’s the way to silence the opposition. Always the velvet glove! A smile now and then, cheering words of encouragement and hope, will go a long way to ease out difficulties, in cooling down antagonism. The Finance Minister has done the right thing, rising above the level of a politician, he has made statesmanly utterances. We need such men in greater numbers” —Our Finance Minister would have gone even to this length of imagination when he issued that statement on the floor of the Assembly.

For, to give him his due, we should say that he was heroically holding his ground—not compromising. But his talk about a “ten-year truce” —Ah! the Amrita Bazar Partika cannot face this!! “Why, Hon’ble Sir, why this vacillation?” —the Partika asks—not in a comradely way —but much in the vein of any school-master with a big cane.

We reproduce elsewhere in full, the editorial of Amrita Bazar Patrika—it is captioned, “A Dangerous Move.”

“No one cares to condemn the sponsors and leaders” writes the Patrika! Ah! What a sorry state of affairs, indeed! Here is a dangerous move! From distant Calcutta, the Patrika is able to scent it out, and yet, “No one cares to condemn.”

But is it really like that?

Did not Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru descend, though for some moments, from his pinnacle of platitudes and Pancha Shila to call us names—“these tribals!—”indulging in childish nonsense”—and the like.

Let not the Patrika think, that the D.M.K. has not felt the punches—the thrusts—the vilifications and condemnation! The D.M.K has passed through the ring of fire and sword, has crossed the valley of vindictive vilification; it was not a rosy path, that was open to the D.M.K. Leaders big and small and in the offing, had had their share of throwing mud at us—but it is the support that the masses have shown, that has given strong sinews to the party that has sustained the D.M.K. all this time—and now it is recognized by millions and millions of the sons of the soil, that the D.M.K. is not just another political party but a Liberation Rally.

We are glad that the Patrika seems to be aware of this fact, for it writes, possibly with a view to correct the thought and words of some of its friends in the Congress Camp .

“It is not a frivolous cry raised by a handful of insignificant or irresponsible agitators; it is a serious political movement led by an organised political party”

We plead guilty to the charge!! Had we been frivolous we would have been offered some loaves and fishes of office, and would be by this time snoring into the oblivion after a sumptuous feast—but we are not irresponsible—our demand is not flippant we are serious—serious and sincere indeed in our ideal demand, that every multi—coloured charm of Pandit Nehru's fame, fails to detract from our path. We do admire him—in fact we pay our homage to him—the Last of the Romans—but on no account are we prepared to fall at his feet, and compromise —for the ideal with which we are twined is of such nobility that small though we are, very ordinary our stations in life, limited our equipment, we are fed by sincerity, strengthened and animated by the ideal, we refuse to succumb to calls, or cat-calls!!

No day passes without the people hearing the need for getting their due from the New Masters at Delhi! For, when the speaker of the D.M.K. unfolds before the audience, the glory that was Tamil Nadu and the degradation into which it has fallen now, the people are moved to such depths, their thoughts ascend to such heights, that no amount of strong action from the powers that be, is powerful enough to floor them into submission

Long, long before the ‘Senas and Palas’ shed glorious lustre over Bengal we here were having a glorious history —our exploits were sung by the bards of many a land, our merchandise adorned the palaces and hovels in distant countries and our polity served as a model for many a nation —and about our Literary achievement suffice to say that our Tholkappiam a compendious grammatical cum literary work was compiled two thousand years ago. And this ancient land is today being made the happy hunting ground of those up country plutocrats, who are having the Congress at their beck and call!

The Patrika is terribly angry—for it thinks, that the Masters at Delhi have been very soft so far ! Nothing of that the sort, Sirs, nothing of the sort! They have here in our domain., toadies and sycophants, mercenaries and political mendicants, who miss no opportunity to oppose us, who spare no word to vilify us and who are fully equipped with weapons of various types and dimensions. Let not the Patrika think that the D.M.K. is all accident undetected, or a surprise unaccounted! It is a patient and laborious growth—culling out the intimate and innermost thoughts of a fallen Nation—chiselling out objects out of stray stones, cementing by means of sincerity and society; the edifice has risen to ground level not without encountering many a blast and handmine! We had them in full—and we are stout hearted enough to bear more—for nothing annihilates an ideal! Once it takes root, no gale or gunfire has got power enough to arrest its growth. ‘The History of Nationalism is voluminous, and any page abounds with lessons of importance and also interest .

But we forget in our fervour, this fact—the Patrika is not interested in History as much as it is interested in the I.P.C. perhaps! Imperialism, whatever the difference in colour, has got the same method—an attempt at annihilating the upsurge, and getting itself annihilated in that process.

But because of the fact that the Patrika was intimately connected with a liberation movement, it is able to point out with masterly precision.

“When Chaudri Rahamat Ali invented the concept of a Muslim State in India, everybody including Mr. Jinnah enjoyed a hearty laugh at his cost. The Lahore Resolution on Pakistan was virtually ignored as a political absurdity. Within seven years however it became a reality.”

Of course the aim of the Patrika in pointing out this historic instance, is not to offer encouragement to us, but to warn those at Delhi to be on their guard! "Please do not minimise the gravity of it—do not try to ignore it—think not that it will die of its own accord—nothing like that—Be up and doing!!"- that is the aim.

But, those engaged in the freedom fight, draw an entirely different inspiration from that instance!.

Seven years of selfless service, strenuous work, were enough to make what was termed with derision as political absurdity become a solid reality!

We are deeply thankful to the Patrika for reminding us of an instance, which none of this generation could have forgotten! An instance, which has changed the very face of the Atlas.

But then, there is the big stick!— the Patrika is bound to remind us. Yes ! None can doubt its existence! But should not the price for freedom be paid amply? If the price is to be paid in the currency of blood, sweat and tears, well what’s to be done, except to prepare ourselves for the supreme sacrifice!

Well, after finding fault with the wisdom of the Finance Minister the Patrika offers what it considers to be the right solution.

"Do not compromise! Talk not about a truce—ten years or twenty. What should be done is this and only this. Din into their ears, the idea of Unity! The idea of India one and indivisible ! And then all will be well!"

There is almost a grain of sinister thought lurking, when the Patrika points out, that the usage of the word “Truce” is wanton!

It seems, the Patrika had great difficulty in suppressing the temptation to write more bluntly.

Reading in between the lines, one is bound to note, that the Patrika wants to shout out almost that the Finance Minister is secretly in alliance with the D.M.K. and only seemingly opposing it.

The D.M.K. wants separation here and now, but the prudent Finance Minister wants to wait for ten years—screening the innermost struggle—just for the sake of tapping the resources from the Centre with a view to industrialise the State—then.....!!

We are sorry that the Finance Minister has almost become a suspect in the eyes of the Patrika!

But let us note the more serious charge! The Patrika asks the F.M. to teach unto the erring, the ideal of National Unity ! As if the F.M. and his band have not done it already!! Everyday we hear their harangue and every authority is marshalled in their favour. Still!!

Here is the verdict from a veteran—not of the D.M.K.— but of the Congress fold. Just because he is not on the saddle, the importance of his utterance cannot be minimised—on the other hand, not burdened with any office, he is able to unburden his thoughts with a vigour and vivacity which the velvet seat would have certainly crushed . And here is his verdict.

“Ambitions to build National greatness for India had always to fight the fissiparous tendencies that are inherent in our continental psychology.”

We would like to remind the Patrika of the well-known fact that Mr. Rajagopalachari, an astute lawyer and a seasoned politician grown into a sobre statesman, would not make use of words, haphazard! Hence, we would draw the attention of the Patrika, to mark the words, used by Mr. Achariar.

Ambitions! Not ideal—not attempts, not desire—but Ambitions is the word used, when this elder politician, expresses his thoughts about National greatness for India. And why?

Ambition is neither a happy word, not a good dictum.

Any talk about or task devoted to, National greatness for India, is in the words of this elder statesman, an ambition!!

And, note also, another couple of words, thrown in, by C.R.

He mentions about our Continental psychology- not National trait or character, but Continental ! A recognition of the fact, that India is a Continent, and to forge a National consciousness in this Continent, is first and foremost an Ambition.

The Amrita Bazar Patrika will find such analysis, a bit bitter—but the leaders of our time have failed to achieve unity, simply because, they were attempting the impossible, and the undesirable! They are ambitious, they are engaged in getting at a fictitious ideal— they forget that it is impossible to get a National unity from out of a continental psychology. They cajole the cock to lay an egg and are angry when it scorns their attempt.

Mean you, that there is nothing at all like Indian Unity? The Partika would like to ask. Let C.R. answer!

“There is no doubt in ineffable Indian Unity, but it is not sufficiently solid for political building. The feeling for self-government itself becomes a force to oppose subordination to a larger democracy where freedom must submit to be controlled by an All India Majority”

The bards are free to sing sweet sonnets, they with a professional bent of mind can deliver delightful discourses on the underlying current of Indian Unity, but all this and more is not going to help us, in getting at a political building!

Sentiment is one thing and solid fact entirely different —the one does not necessarily and always, bear or rear the other.

But we are attempting!—the Patrika is bound to thunder forth, with special emphasils on the word we.

Well, C.R. is here again and we are almost able to see the chuckle on his face, when he writes this.

“Every historic attempt at Empire was to enforce total submission. Fissiparous forces always proved too strong in the end for such imperial ambitions. Break ups followed each temporary success with accelerated speed.”

Silenced for a moment the Patriks is bound to ask in anger “Empire builders might have failed—but don’t you know, that we are building up democracy? This process won’t fail".

C.R. expects that, and writes
“Under the spell of Democracy we are apt to fail to recognize the inherent difficulty of our continental culture”

The Patrika would do well to ponder over these expressions coming as they do from one, who is not merely of the same camp—but who contributed so much in building up the camp itself.

And when honest attempts are made to forge ahead what the Patrika terms as Indian Unity, what do we find?

An Imperialism! Nothing short of it! May be this Imperialism may parade the Gita as an emblem and not the Gun—for the present! But imperialism it is!... teenaged!!

Becomes a suspect!
“The history of Indian politics after 1947 has shown how the temptation has continuously worked towards Centralisation. Power is sought to be concentrated in the Centre and the States are slowly, steadily rendered unimportant ......................... The States are being reduced pretty rapidly to the status of grant-receiving corporations.”

But the Patrika would be thinking, “What if? Bharat is one—what care we where the power is vested? Delhi is as good as Darjeeling, and we find no sentimental difference between Chowringee and Connaught Circus! But, what C.R. is concerned with, is not to find fault with the Centre—his concern is, this: this attempt at centralisation leads ultimately to the Break-ups! That is what is worrying him. He can find as much of comfort at a desk, in the Hindustan Times, as at the Kalki! His worry is, about the impending break-up.

“This may appeal to some who are centrally minded but it would be a house built on sand. It cannot last, for the time will arrive when the centrifugal forces will assert themselves and when it will be found there is not power enough in any personality at the Centre to hold the flying parts.”

It is the “Swarajya” which has had the honour of getting this thought-provoking article of C.R.—not the Homeland.

This should make even the Patrika think twice before offering advices on Indian Unity!!

It has been attempted and the outcome has been the ugly situation, to be found now, in many a State.

The ‘Patrika’ has got much to think even nearer home there is Assam, and the oil question has given much heart burning even to Delhi.

The Patrika ought to have heard the protests from Assam—they were long enough and the Tribune wrote, not with hesitation, “Is Delhi prepared to face the future situation—what if Assam decides to secede!?”

If to talk of seceding—not for the simple fun or fancy of it—but with the noble thought of getting the fragrance of a hundred flowers—if that is a sin, why there are any number of sinners at Gauhati! The Patrika would do well to practise sermonising there before vending the very old stuff here.

The better way would be, to try to get the facts here, and formulate suggestions, not to issue ‘fatwas’ and box the ears of the Finance Minister for his suggestion—made with all sincerity.