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
"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
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
"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 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
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
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
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
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)