அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


The Chief Minister of Madras, assisted by the Finance and Home Ministers, pounced upon the D.M.K., on the Republic Day—the venue for this exploit being the Marina. We understand that the Ministers vied with one another to excel in the art of vilification and vendetta. Arriving right from Gauhati, they were conscious of the admonition administered by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru—"go to the people—meet them—educate them"—said the Pandit. Take the Congress to the grass-roots, advised Mr. Dhebar, and loyal Congressmen as they are, the Ministers of Madras, mustered their strength on the Marina. Besides there was the twenty days itch!!
The impressive and unprecedented black-flag demonstration, staged by the D.M.K., on the Sixth of January—marred though it was by some untoward incidents perpetrated by unsocial elements who were out to exploit such situations—proved beyond doubt, the hold that the D.M.K., has over the people. Harassed and hunted down by the powers-that-be, their leaders locked up, the members and sympathisers of the D.M.K., and the very large section of the public, which has given its unstinted and spontaneous support to the cause advocated by the D.M.K., rallied in an amazing manner, and braved all the taunts and troubles, lathis and tear gas.

The Congress party, found to its dismay, that repression has become ineffective.

"If, what the D.M.K. advocates, is nothing short of hooliganism" asked the impartial observer, "how could the people take such an abiding interest in the call of the D.M.K.?"

The Congress launched, what might be termed as a double-pronged attack on the D.M.K. On the one hand vexatious police proceedings were let loose—prominent members of the D.M.K., were taken under preventive custody, in their scores, and members the D.M.K., head-quarters were dragged towards lock-ups, sub-jails, and the Penitentiary. On another side, Congress leaders issued appeals and pamphlets, asking Congressmen to muster in their thousands, to welcome Pandit Nehru. A mouse came out of the mole-hill; the most charitable estimate being a couple of hundred people, to wave the Tri-colour flag! The Police officer stated that at a particular road alone he had to cope with a mass of over twenty thousand men—who were determined to demonstrate!

"Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru" so thought the mighty ministers of Madras, "should find no black-flag whatsoever." But the Pandit had to wade through a wave of black-flags.

There was never before a demonstration of such dimension, said he citizens of Madras, not even during the Simon Commission Boycott.

The Madras Ministers were naturally irritated—they thought that their prestige was at stake.

And Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, emotional and vocal during such situations, maintained a silence; and this was more terrifying to our ministers, than even downright condemnation.

"The D.M.K., is a splinter group with no following whatsoever," used to be the report submitted by the Ministers here, whenever Delhi enquired. But the 6th of January was an eye-opener. We have been all along misinformed, though Pandit Nehru and on coming to know this, the Madras ministers became sick! Then arose that itch! Ah! We should pour forth vituperation on these fellows! They have made us look small, in the presence of Pandit Nehru who, by his smile, can transform ordinary men into Ministers, and whose frown means fetters, just as Shaik Abdulla has had! So thought the Ministers and they wanted to take the cudgels! The Congress session intervened! No! It aggravated the situation—the itch became more pronounced—for Congressmen from all over India, had this to ask, "What is the D.M.K.? How are they so powerful? Why have you lost your hold on the people?"
The Republic Day afforded an opportunity for the ministers, and they indulged in even vulgar attacks against the D.M.K. We are not angry—we deeply sympathise with them, for, they did but attempt to get themselves freed from that, twenty days itch! We hope, that they would have derived some amount of solace! Itch, is irritating—and when men, highly placed get it, well, one can understand their mood, word and deed! As if to add to their irritation, Mr. C.Rajagopalachariar and the Editor, spoke from the same platform, exposing the futility of the Gauhati resolution.

We hope, we have given the background in as vivid a manner as is possible—and one can understand why the Chief and other ministers indulged in ugly talk that day on the sands of the Marina.

And what are their arguments, and at what are they aimed at?

They have attained power and are perched on positions of influence, and that is enough excuse, for any autocrat to sling mud on the opponent, forgetting that democracy is not negation of decency; hence; we are not worried about the harsh, uncouth abuses! Let them pour forth filth, to their hearts' content. But what exactly are their arguments?

The Chief had this to say, "Why should the D.M.K., stage a black-flag demonstration against Nehru? They say that the Pandit abused C.R. and Periyar. When those two old men themselves were not worried about it, why should Annadurai organise this demonstration? C.R. and Periyar know what to say what to do? Why should the D.M.K., attempt to champion their cause?"

Well, to say the least, this is a rustic way off reasoning; but if this is an unassailable argument, may we not turn round and ask the Chief Minister: "Why should he condemn the D.M.K., when the great Pandit himself had no word to say against the black-flag demonstration? Does he not know how to chastise the D.M.K.? Is he incapable of doing that? When he knows how to take care of himself, why should the Hon'ble Chief Minister, begin this tirade? Surely, there are a hundred other ways of exhibiting his energy, intelligence, loyalty and sobriety."

And after all, why should they be thrown off their balance at the sight of a black-flag?

"Don't you know, you urchin" the ministers thunder forth, "that Pandit Nehru is held in very high esteem throughout the world?"

"Sure, Sirs! Sure! We are aware of it. But what if? Mr. Graham chosen and sent out by the U.N.O., is not a mere, nobody! And yet, you have connived at the black-flag demonstrations against him. And why?"

But, the ministers would not care to reply. They rush on, from one accusation to another, and in between they throw assertions and condemnations. They do not argue! And how could they!!

They talk, as if they are condemning the D.M.K., just because they staged a black-flag demonstration against a leader of such stature.

But here is a news item, which clearly shows, which way the wind is blowing.

Messrs. K.Kamaraj, Chief Minister and M.Bhakthavatsalam arrived at Tirunelveli on Jan, 3, by car on their way to Manimuthar. Near the central bus stand, Tirunelveli Junction, Messrs. V.Mandiram, Sankara Pandia Thever and six others representing the National Democratic Congress showed black-flag demonstration demanding the release of Mr. U.Muthuramalinga Thevar. They were arrested by the Tirunelveli Bridge Police.

Here is another news-item:-
When Mr. V.Ramiah, Minister for Electricity, was passing through Kovilpatti, on Jan., 22, Guruswami Thalaiver, of Vanarmurti, shouted "Turn back Minister," and "Release Muthuramalinga Thevar."

Thalaiver was arrested by Mr. Ponnuswami Sub-Inspector of Police, and produced before the Honorary First Class Magistrate, Mr.J.D.Abraham, who sentenced the accused to one month's R.I.

The Chief Minister ought to have been extra energetic that day—for he went on from one angle to another, with an agility, which neither the position he occupies nor the responsibility which he is to shoulder would warrant.

From black-flag, he jumped into the language problem, and to an anxious world he made this announcement: English is not going to stay. English has no place. English will have to be replaced, gradually any rate.

Why, gradually, Chief! When men of your eminence ostracise, English will make a hasty exit too! But, will it not be prudent on your part, to keep silent over at least, this problem, English!! But no, we forget the fearful truth, Chief as you are, you have every right to talk on all topics—if not now, when else could you unleash your tongue, and jeer at Oxonians and Cantabs!! English would certainly bid good-bye, when on the gadi sits, men who know only this much about English—that it is foreign. But the Chief forgets, that the great Pandit, refuses to dismiss English in such a dictatorial way! Poor Pandit he has an affinity towards that language—and the Chief unburdened by any such load, is bold, free, and emphatic enough to say, English will have to go.

And pray, if English makes an exit, gradual or sudden, and Hindi gets itself installed as the sole official language, will it be to your advantage? Certainly not! Hindi is as much unintelligible to your goodself as English is anathema!

Form language, Mr. Kamaraj enters another domain, and asks, "Why should this Annadurai go all the way to C.R., and beg for his assistance for getting Dravida Nadu? Has he got no confidence in himself and his party!"

Before answering this taunt, may we in all humility ask this: "Is the Chief Minister mildly shocked at this sight? Is he scenting anything in the nature of a danger? Is he thinking that this is a combination about which he should be on his guard?" If it is so, the 'strange but true sight' has had its effect!!—And in abundance. And if the answer to our query is 'No', then surely, it is no concern of the Chief to know, why, the D.M.K. seeks the help of C.R. or any other men of eminence. The D.M.K. is motivated by the purest of thoughts and refuses to sneak into snug posts of power and influence, by machinations, manipulations and combinations!

Having said this, let us add that it is not want of confidence in oneself, that is the reason for soliciting the support of others—but the abundance of it—the the D.M.K., is confident of converting others to its point of view, not by placing any bait, but by its purity of thought, unassailable logic and hard facts. To solicit the support of C.R., is neither degrading nor derogatory—Pandit Nehru solicits the support of Macmillans and Kishis, just because he knows his purpose.

But, the Chief is a bit scared!! And there is a reason surely! For, the spcetacle of such 'Combinations' kindles in his mind old memories and tales of exploit.

From this raillery, the Chief takes a majestic stride, into the domain of heroism, and beats the war-drum and says, "As long as there is a single Congress volunteer, this Separation is not going to be allowed."

Brave words these—and they kindle but bravery in ourselves—and let us assure the Chief that this problem of Dravida Nadu will not be given up, till the last of the D.M.K., men is taken to the gallows!!

Meanwhile, we view with sympathy and mild pleasure, the outbursts of the ministers, who after all were under the influence of the twenty days itch!

(Editorial - 02-02-1958)