அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்


Addressing a gathering organised by the ginger group of the Congress, otherwise known as Congress Socialist Forum, on the 20th of April at New Delhi, Pandit Nehru is reported to have offered certain remarks about his attitude towards Socialism.

While accepting the need for clearly defining the social and economic goals of society, Pandit Nehru said, that it was easy for a professor to have this clarity, but the politician was conditioned by diverse pulls exercised by the electorate whose level of consciousness was not so well developed.

We do not know what compelled Pandit Nehru to make such a statement—which seems to be an admission and an apologia, rather than an explanation or enunciation of any theory.

That he is conscious of the fact, that there is a lack of clarity as regards the goal of Socialism, is to be welcomed. Perhaps lesser men would deny even this; and there are any number of leaders of the Congress party to say, that their goal is definite, their methods determined and their path wholesome. Nay, they even claim the monopoly of these qualities. We are glad, Pandit Nehru refuses to be in the company of such small minds, and speaks out the truth. He says, that while professors can afford to have clarity on such issues, politicians could not, as they are being influenced by 'diverse pulls'. It would have been of immense help, if he had given us, a description of these pulls—but perhaps, Pandit Nehru was under some kind of 'pull' and hence could not be more outspoken.

That there are 'diverse pulls' and that the politician is conditioned by these pulls? comes as a sort of revelation, for all along, the people were assured that no force or influence, pull or pressure, could make the Congress deviate from the path and the goal. Now comes Pandit Nehru to inform us, that that is not so; and that there is no clarity because of these pulls.

But, we would like to point out, that for Pandit Nehru to point at these 'pulls' is something staggering. Are we to be told, that even Pandit Nehru is powerless to withstand these pulls! And what possibly could be the source of these pulls? The princely order has been liquidated practically, so we are told. Zamindars have been divested of their feudal powers, announces the Congress spokesman. Industrial magnates are not allowed to escape the stern look of the Congress government—we are asked to believe. And if such quarters, capable of exerting powerful influence, are actually humbled down, from where are these diverse pulls coming? We are given no explanation.

Ominous words emanate from eminent persons, but explanations are not forthcoming. Pandit Nehru talks about 'pulls' in much the same manner as Mr.T.T.K. talked about, 'Man-esters'.

So, are we to conclude that the people are not yet out of the woods, that the powerful Pandit too is not endowed with ability and agility enough to annihilate such quarters from where 'pulls' come?

And having stated that there are 'diverse pulls', Pandit Nehru, leaves his hearers and his countrymen in dismay, for he is not assuring them, that he would overcome these pulls.

Never before in the annals of any country, did any leader get such colossal power and influence over the masses. Pandit Nehru is the Caesar, even though his battalions do not add Gaul. He is the idol, the darling of the nation. No other leader inside or outside the camp, has got the magic wand as is the case with Pandit Nehru. And yet, for him to bemoan the existence of these 'pulls', is something shocking.
Pandit Nehru seems to throw the blame on the people—or to be more appropriate—on the electorate. He seems to argue that because the level of consciousness in the electorate is not well-developed, these pulls do exert influences.

But, pray, what is the answer that the great Pandit could offer, if one puts the simple question—"who is responsible for this 'level' and why is it that it has not been raised?"

Did not Pandit Nehru throw himself enthusiastically in the orbit of spectacular scientific achievements, on finding the Western countries highly advanced in that branch of human intellect? Are we not having an atomic research centre here? If Pandit Nehru, could become so very enthusiastic in these spheres, why is it that he is not showing an appreciable amount of enthusiasm in raising the level of consciousness in the electorate? No! The explanation offered, simply doesn't work. There are 'pulls,' but they are not to be explained away in such a crude fashion.

The Congress party, not the electorate, is today a camp of contradictions; and it is because of the fact that there are men and women there, who have differing, diverging and even diametrically opposite views, that Pandit Nehru is not able to get 'clarity'. None would be impudent enough to say that the mind is clouded. The camp is crowded, and it is a motley crowd. There are Capitalists and Socialists, those who swear by radicalism and those who are chained to rank conservatism!

All for one and one for all, exclaimed the Three Musketeers, but here, the meaning is different—all are in the Congress for the one thing, power! And there is one thing that makes all of them stay in the Congress and that happens to be power!

Instead of admitting the truth, that the Congress today has become he rendezvous of political racketeers and exploiters in the economic field, it is most uncharitable to throw the entire blame on the people.

The Egyptians followed Nasser, enthusiastically though they were yoked to the rule of Farouk till the other day. Pandit Nehru is having the country under his thumb practically for the past ten years, and if in that period, he has not been able to overcome these 'pulls,' what hope is there, for the future?

Even Pandit Nehru will have to admit, that in their craze for electoral victory, the Congress took into its fold, suckers and speculators, both in the political and economic field. They have allowed the 'old guard' to preach Socialism to their heart's content, but do not allow Socialism to become a practical reality. Pious resolutions are also passed, but when the stage of implementation is faced, there are these 'pulls'.
We have had the dismal picture of what harm could be done to the prestige that be, by these 'pulls' — we refer to the ugly instance, the Mundhra affair.

We were informed about another awkward instance — the donations granted by the Big Concerns for the election fund of the Congress.

None is unaware of these 'pulls' and they also know the reason why, these 'pulls' are suffered to exist; for, the problem is but the old, old one: Democracy becomes a mockery almost, if we are content with having it in the political sphere alone.

Democracy cannot coexist with the privileged class — and privilege which means the power, is got not by Royalties alone, nor by the aristocrasy but by the new oligarchs. Perhaps, the 'pulls' exerted by the oligarchs, are more powerful today than the powers vested in Royalties.

To allow oligarchy to exist alongside a political democracy, is a contradiction in political philosophy, and no amount of cajolery or cudgelling could floor the influence that quarter is capable of generating. Pandit Nehru refuses to accept this — for, to accept this would not merely land him in difficulties, but would also 'goad' him to take a path, beset with perils. Pandit Nehru, perhaps, is thinking that the quarters from where these 'pulls' are begotten, would in course of time wither out. That is wishful thinking.

"The holders of riches always appropriate to themselves political authority" says Achille Loria, the eminent Italian economist and Frederic Hawe who quotes Loria, in his masterly work, 'Privilege and Democracy,' points out.

"It is the privileged class that predominates economically, that holds the political power in each historical period. Thus in the Gracho-Italian world, it was the slave-owning class, in the Middle ages it was the feudal lords, and at the present epoch it is the bourgeois proprietors who are politically supreme."

Pandit Nehru, would not, we are sure, deny the existence of the privileged section in society today! That section is not only allowed to exist and flourish, and grow in dimension, but we find Pandit Nehru himself championing their cause from time to time. Whenever he speaks enthusiastically about his theory of Co-existence, is he aware, we wonder, of the fact, that he is becoming an unconscious advocate of the privileged class?

"The division and society into rich and poor makes the legal imperatives of the State work to the advantage of the rich."
—says Laski, and explains, "wealth breeds arrogance as poverty breeds inferiority." A wealthy class strives inevitably, to protect its advantages to the maximum; and the poor are driven to attempt their invasion as the only way of enjoying their results—Laski concludes, by saying,
"No social order therefore will ever satisfy the demands of its citizens equally, or ever seriously attempt the equal recognition of their rights, so long as there are serious inequalities in the distribution of economic power."

These are dictums, not for class-rooms alone, but for cabinets, if they are serious and sincere about Socialism. 'Pulls' lose their strength, when once, those placed in power, feel that they are called upon to perform a noble duty—that of pulling down the engine of exploitation, and building up a society based on economic justice. Instead of tackling the problem in that way, we find Pandit Nehru, indulging in easy explanations, which any political fatalist is capable of giving. We have a right to expect, something bolder and stronger from Pandit Nehru, than this talk about 'pulls'.

(Editorial - 04-05-1958)