Elsewhere we have published a letter addressed to the
Editor, by the president of the Reception Committee of
the Andhra Pradesh Democratic Worker's convention, held
at Vijayawada. Though it is in the form of a letter, it
serves the purpose of elucidation remarkably well, and
we are confident that it not only serves to expose the
present state of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, but
the general trend in the political set up as a whole.
True, those Congress men who happen to be in power at
present, have got ample means of issuing rejoinders, througout
the length and breadth of the country. They know how to
dub these democrats, as dissidents, and disgruntled politicians,
disappointed self-seekers, so on and so forth. And there
are any number of journals to take up the cue, and preach
rudiments of patriotism and nationalism to the democrats.
Those who met at Vijayawada would have been conscious
of these facts, for, they know the classic example of
Andhra Kesari Prakasam's revolt and the repercussions.
"The Congress government has becomes a cesspool of
intrigues and with its brute majority a demagogue. It
is now a byword for nepotism, favouritism and corruption,
—Points out the President of the R.C. of the Democratic
Convention, in his letter. True. But what is the way out?
The easiest and simplest way, that is bound to appeal
to any democrat is, this: "Mobilise all democratic
forces; educate the masses; get their verdict; capture
power; and cleanse the stinking stables." Apparently
the convention at Vijayawada thought and spoke in that
strain, and may be those who are now organized into a
democratic party, would be in a position to teach the
Congress the bitter lesson at the next elections. That
would go a long way in making the Congress learn lessons
of humility and sobriety. We do not doubt the efficacy
of the method, but we are afraid that, that is not enough.
For, to capture power, defeating the Congress at the polls,
will place the victors at the helm of affairs as far as
Andhra Pradesh is concerned, but one should not forget
the nature of the present political frame-work.
Those who become the Masters in Andhra Pradesh, by the
willing and enthusiastic consent of the masses, will have
to remain the 'galley slaves' of those at Delhi. They
should remain at the beck and call of the Masters at the
Imperial city, awaiting their orders, cajoling them, for
getting even small mercies. And those at Delhi, are bound
to be affectionate towards the Congress leaders in Andhra
Pradesh, whether they succeed in the elections or not!
A piquant situation would then arise—a situation that
could be best described as that of the victors being vanquished.
For, though the democrats could become the victors in
Andhra Pradesh, those who are unseated know the subtle
art of utilising the powers at Delhi, to thwart all attempts
at reformation launched by the Democrats. To put it in
other words, the mastery at the Home front alone, will
not suffice, for the simple but unrefutable reason, that
the Home-front is, because of the grotesque political
framework under which we are placed, at the mercy of the
The Centre is in possession of such colossal powers and
resources, that no field of State activity could have
an independent existence. They talk about a federal form
of government, but the tendency on the part of he Central
government is to grab more and more power, even at the
risk of emaciating the State. To keep the States in perpetual
tutelage and bondage, is the order of the day. The democrats
could place all their cards on the table, and get popular
support, but they, on assuming power, would find to their
dismay, the Centre bossing over them in such a way, as
to wound their very self-respect.
No nation-building activity could be carried out without
the active and sympathetic help from the Centre, and no
independent line of action could be taken by the State
government for ameliorating the condition of the masses.
There are only two ways open before them at that stage;
one is to succumb to the persuasion or threat of the Centre,
and the other is to register their protest, and which
could be welcomed, and neither are certainly conducive
to the growth of prosperity of the State concerned.
One fact should be boldly faced—and no sense of false
prestige should blur our vision—today the Congress alone
has got ample means to organise effectively and achieve
to an appreciable degree an All-India election. Democrats
at Andhra Pradesh, and similar political parties at State
level, cannot hope to mobilise enough power and means,
to challenge the supremacy of the Congress on an All-India
To organise and run efficiently a political party, especially
its electoral machinery on such a huge scale, needs financial
power of no mean order. No party today is in possession
of such means, nor could any party hope to get it, for
any number of years to come.
The Samyuktha Maharashtras could come out successful in
the Bombay State—but on achieving their object, they might
find it either unnecessary or difficult to keep up their
distinct political unit.
The Democrats in Andra Pradesh, could and we wish, should,
capture power in Andhra Pradesh, but that would not mean,
that in all the States there would arise democratic set
By their very nature and purpose, such attempts are destined
to become confined to the particular States concerned,
and could not grow up to become an All-India party, fit
enough to challenge the might and prospects of the Congress.
The combined strength of U.P., Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar,
is enough to thwart the attempts of democrats elsewhere,
however effectively they mobilise, stabilise and pool
Therein lies the danger—and though many are afraid to
think in that line, some who can afford to brave the anger
of Delhi, are now thinking aloud, expressing their apprehension
and even issuing warnings.
An electoral machinery of an All-India nature needs so
much of ‘feeding up’ that for a long time to come; only
that party that could by threat or persuasion, by sneers
or smiles, tap the plutocrats, could maintain such a machinery.
And the Congress party has taken up that role, and is
determined to keep its position, for a pretty long time.
To match the strength of a State party as against the
might of the electoral machinery controlled by the Congress,
would be a sort of waste of energy and talent and even
of time. And no permanent and tangible result could be
got through such an unequal contest. There is no Handicap
Race in politics!
We would respectfully present these facts, before those
who during and after the convention at Vijayawada show
keenness to fight for the democratic cause.
Again we should say, that unless a political party has
got an ideology—positive, definite and self-explanatory,
to place before the masses—it cannot hope to get a permanancy.
Remarkable, even dazzling victories could be registered
at one time or another, but unless the people are convinced
that, that political party has got to be there for a definite
purpose, they are apt to vote the other way.
Purity in public life, is an ideal and a noble one at
that. Rooting out corruption and nepotism is a good intention.
But all these have got a negative value and if the Congress,
because of the thrashing they get at the elections, becomes
humble and honest, then of course there would be no necessity
or justification for a democratic party.
And what could be the ideology? Exposing the machinations
of the Sanjeeva Reddi group, is not an ideology—it is
a charge-sheet. Putting down nepotism it not an ideology—it
is a cure to the malady. Ideology, is something more positive
and concrete and the one for which, we of the D.M.K.,
are raising our rather lonely voice is this: the achievement
of freedom of existence and action for our homeland.
Of course, just as democrats who met at Vijayawada are
branded as dissidents and disgruntled group by the ruling
junta, we of the D.M.K., are derided as dreamers, wreckers
and communal bigots. With the big press at their command,
the ruling party is able to paint us in ugly colours—and
many in Andhra Pradesh do not get even scant news about
the growth of the influence of the D.M.K. Suffice to say,
that we were able to withstand the onslaught of the Congress,
and get 17 lakhs of votes, during the general elections,
while the Congress got nearly 50.
Beyond ‘Thada’, we are comparatively unknown, but may
we not remind the Andhras, that day in and day out, we
of the D.M.K., do plead for Dravida Nad, a federation
of the four linguistic groups, Tamil Nad, Andhra Pradesh,
Kerala, and Karnataka. We are hoping that some day, somehow,
our voice would be heard by the democrats of Andhra Pradesh
and that they would bestow their thought and attention
towards this ideology.
Nature has been very kind to the Andhras; they have a
history full of glory and valour; they have talents enough
to be masters of their own land. And yet, because of the
‘golden fetters’, the Indian Constitution, they have become
just as the other three groups of the Dravidian stock,
‘the hewers of wood and drawers of water’ for the Imperialists.
Today, because Mr.Sanjeeva Reddi and those at Delhi, happen
to be inmates of the same political camp, they do not
shudder at the thought of playing the second fiddle to
the tunes raised at Delhi. They think that it is not derogatory
to travel to Delhi, wait at the corridors with requests
for sanctions and doles.
How awkward and awful the situation would be if those
at State level happen to be non-Congress men, could well
Murmurs of today are bound to grow into protests, and
the ‘bond of kinship’ now spoken of would become heavy
and people would clamour for the removal of the shackles.
May we not be permitted to request the democrats to take
up this ‘Cause’, this ideology and safeguard not only
democracy, but raise Andhra Pradesh to its fullest stature?
If only those who met at Vijayawada could be convinced
of the necessity for this ideology—one could confidently
hope for the dawn of the new era.
While expressing our appreciation for the bold stand they
have taken thus far, we would at the same time, place
before them, the new ideology, which alone could save
the entire Dravida Nad from degenerating into a hunting
ground for profiteers and pasture land for the plutocrats
Vijayawada always generates political vibrations, we are
glad that the democrats held their convention there; we
wish them success; at the same time, we have great pleasure
in placing before them the ideal for which we of the D.M.K.,
stand—amidst an array of powerful political antagonists.
If only those valiant Andhras could find this ideal, dear
and near to their hearts, not only the machinations of
the ruling clique but the source of strength for such
cliques, could be thwarted and annihilated.
(Editorial - 22-02-1959)