maiden speech at the Rajya Sabha was on the Motion of
Thanks to the President’s Address to the Session of Parliament
in April 1962. It was a scathing indictment of the Government
of India, a clever caricature of its policies. For the
first time, the echoes of resurgent neo-nationalism were
heard at the Capital, heard as a convincing logical concept,
from an accredited leader of a political party elected
by the Legislators of that Party to represent them in
the Rajya Sabha. The demand for a separate ‘Dravida Nadu’
comprising the four Southern States, was seriously and
solemnly made in the Indian Parliament.
had established his reputation as a most outstanding Tamil
Speaker of his generation; but the Members of the Rajya
Sabha were agreeably surprised to listen to his maiden
speech delivered in English with eloquence, fluency, and
conviction. Anna’s attempt was to persuade his colleagues
in the Rajya Sabha to see reason and logic in his demand
for a separate Dravida Nadu.
maiden speech of Anna’s was so thought-provoking that
the speakers who followed him discussed and analysed it
far more than the President’s Address itself.
Chairman, I thank you for having given men this opportunity
to association myself with the observations made in this
august assembly. Of course, I was a bit hesitant to take
part in the discussions of this session because I thought
that my method ought to be to listen and learn rather
than talk and rake up controversies. But the very congenial
atmosphere that I find here has emboldened me to join
the rich chorus of praise that has been showered upon
the President of this great country. I join the others
in paying my tributes to the unstinted services of our
President, though he is in failing health, and when I
pay a tribute to Babu Rajendra Prasad, the President,
I do not claim to have been a camp-follower of the President.
I do not identify with the ideologies of the political
party to which he is wedded. I was admiring the very able
effort of the President from a vast distance. Perhaps
that gives me strength as well as weakness. Weakness in
the senses that I cannot have the same amount of warmth
that others who have worked along with him would have
claimed. Strength because the tribute I pay to the President
is not to be construed as a dutiful partyman’s tribute
to another partyman, but of one who having seen from a
distance the unstinted service of the President, pays
the tribute that is due to him. Therefore, Sir, while
I express my respect, when I pay my tribute to the Hon.
President I have to couple it unfortunately with a sense
of disappointment with the Address that he has delivered.
As students of constitutional history know, it is only
the Government that is speaking through the President
and therefore any remark, bitter or otherwise, which is
stated about the Address, is not to be construed – and
I am very confident it would not be construed as anything
against the President. In spite of the President, the
Government has failed to deliver the goods, as it were.
Therefore, Sir, Members on the opposite side have certain
sentiments to express about that.
have had the benefit of having listened to a veritable
discourse on planning by the Father of Planning, if I
may call him so, the Hon. Mr. V.T. Krishnamachari. But
on going through the President’s Address, I find that
it reads more like the prospects of a company rather than
a message of hope and ideals – prospects of a company
because that company today seems to be in need of more
and more members – prospects of a company because that
company has been found to be needy. Therefore, Sir, throughout
the speeches from the ruling party on the Address and
the Motion of Thanks, I found a sort of jubilation, a
sot of elation on their part “Oh, we have been elected
by the people for three consecutive terms. Therefore,
whatever we say is correct, whatever we do is correct
and the smaller parties have no right to question our
rights and our prerogatives.”
I may point out, that after having won a victory in the
General Elections, any party has got the right to be jubilant.
But may I, with your permission, point out to the ruling
party, that it is not very astounding for a well-organised
and well-founded party like the Congress to win the elections
pitted as it is against opposition groups of varied interests
and varied ideologies? May I point out, Sir, that the
strength of the Congress does not lie in itself; the strength
of the Congress lies in the weakness of the opposition
parties. Therefore, instead of being jubilant over the
victory, the ruling party should learn to be humble, magnanimous,
liberal and democratic. Therefore, the very first thought,
the very first sentiment that Members on this side were
pleased to state, was about the corrupt practices in elections.
as the Members on this side spoke about the corrupt practices
in the elections, the people of the ruling party rose
to ask whether it could be proved. Sir, may I point out
that if we were able to lay our hands on proofs, we could
have dragged them into courts of law rather than come
to this august assembly to present our sentiments? It
is not always easy for parties placed at a disadvantage
to produce proofs. We lay more emphasis on the philosophic
side rather than the legal side of the matter. Did we
not see some time ago, strictures from High Courts, that
the ruling party – though it may be legal on their part
to take donations from industrial firms, it is highly
immoral – got their weapons from the armoury of the Tatas
and the Birlas? They did not find it below their diginity
even to go to the Mundhras for funds. Has the country
forgotton from where their election fund was built up?
Is it on this basis that the ruling party is jubilant?
Perhaps, the ruling party Member might say that corrupt
practices can be found in other political parties too.
But as the premier political party of this vast sub-continent,
is it not the duty of the Congress to set high traditions?
I am reminded, Sir, of the saying of Sanskrit Pandits,
“Yatha raja tatha prja”. Whatever traditions the Congress
sets, other political parties may follow. I conveniently
use the word “may” because “may” implies “may not” also.
Therefore, our first point is that this election was not
fair and free and the people’s will was not legitimately
consulted. Therefore, if at least during the next elections
the ruling party does not associate itself with the protagonists
of free bonus, profiteers and permit-mongers, and as Mr
Ganga Sharan Sinha stated the other day, If Members of
the ruling party and the Cabinet resign at least six months
before the general elections, I challenge Sir, the ruling
party to come back to power. Therefore, the first ingredient
that the President wants in his Address is that we should
build up high democratic traditions by dissociating ourselves
from the N.Sri Rama Reddy (Mysore : Is there any democratic
precedent for this?
Chairman : He is asking whether there is any democratic
precedent for resigning six months earlier.
Bhupesh Gupta (West Bengal) : There is hardly any precedent,
Sir, to interrupt a maiden speech.
course, Sir, this is my maiden speech, I am not bashful
of interruptions therefore, I like them.
second point I want to make on the President’s Address
is, that I understand that three cardinal principles are
begin enunciated in the President’s Address – democracy,
socialism and nationalism. As far as democracy is concerned,
unless we have proportional representation coupled with
a system of referendum initiated in a vast sub-continent
like this, you cannot have any utility for democracy.
I regret that the President in his address, has not given
the shortcomings of democracy as it has been worked out
for the past ten or fifteen years. I would request this
House to consider the matter, whether it is not necessary
and expedient now at least to have a free thinking on
the tenets of democracy.
socialism, Sir, the other day I found in this House a
new meaning given to socialism. When my Hon. Friend, Sri
Ramamurthi was telling the House about the big industrial
concerns, the Tatas and Birlas, I found the Hon. Member
giving an amazing interpretation of shares and profits.
He was pleased to say that though crores and crores of
rupees are gathered as profit, it does not go to the coffers
of the individual capitalists like the Tatas and Birlas,
but is being disbursed to the shareholders. Sir, if that
is the economic interpretation, why do we have two sectors,
public and private? If my Hon. Friend thinks that private
is public, the private industries controlled by Tatas
and Birlas are after all public, why make a differentitation
between public and private? Sir, he was far off the mark
when he said that these shares and profits were distributed
we have had Committees which have gone into the question
and they have stated that powerful, industrial empires
have been built up, monopolies have grown. I find that
the Prime Minister of this country has stated that the
question should be looked into. I understand that a Committee
is working and they are going to find out how and where
the amount of wealth produced by the two Plans has gone.
Therefore, Sir, instead of arguing that socialism is to
be of a different kind, give it some other name; why drag
in the name of socialism and give your own interpretation
to socialism? Socialism is not mere welfare, because socialism
is something other than guaranteeing welfare. It works
to create inequality. I am aware, according to Laksi,
that equality is not identity of treatment, but affording
equal opportunities for all. But in this country of ours,
can we say that equal opportunities have been given, or
are being given to all? What about the Scheduled Castes,
what about the Backward, Classes?
time ago, I read in the papers that there was a conference
at Hyderabad of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes wherein
the Prime Minister and the Hon. Mr. Jagjivan Ram were
present, not to present a united front but to give varied
opinions. The Prime Minister was said to have stated there
that distinctions like Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes
were not to be allowed hereafter. Mr. Jagjivan Ram, naturally
enough, rose to say that the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribes needed patronage because they have been
driven to the last rung of society. If two such stalwarts
can hold different views and remain in the same party,
is it any wonder, Sir, that there is difference in ideology
between the ruling party and other parties? Therefore,
the interpretation given to socialism and the implementation
of socialism are not leading us towards socialism.
I have to refer to what a great friend of India, an admirer
of the Governemnt, the Ambassador of the United States
of America and an economist, Dr Galbraith, says about
our socialism. He has called it ‘post-office socialism’.
Why does Professor Galbraith call it ‘post-office socialism’?
He says that public enterprises should be run to maximize
revenues, that is to say, profits, in a developing country
like India. The idea is that the profits made should in
turn be ploughed back into the unit, should be reinvested,
and should be used for the good of the people. Just now
we have been hearing the observations of the Hon. Member,
Sri V.T. Krishnamachari. He was stating that in the public
projects, whether they be irrigation projects or power
projects or industrial projects, the returns are not up
to the mark. I would say that much money has been sunk
in the public sector. But neither have the targets been
reached nor are the returns commensurate with the efforts
taken or the sonnets sung about Sindri or Bhakra or other
I would hasten to state that I must not be misconstrued
to mean that I am against planning or against the public
sector. I am all for planning and all for the public sector,
but if in the public sector the return is so meager; if
in the implementation of the public sector there is so
much of wastage we have to examine it carefully. There
are rumours about corruption. I am not in a position to
present facts and figures, but the rumour is widespread
that there is corruption and maladministration and other
evils connected with the public sector. Therefore, I feel
that the President should have stated in his Address,
that in spite of having the vision of socialism, we are
not moving towards that socialism.
third point, which is a point that is very intimate so
far as the party to which I have the honour to belong
is concerned, is nationalism. Or to put it in a term which
has become very current now, I would call it ‘national
integration’. But, Sir, before coming to the point and
to the nature or method to be followed for national integration,
may I point out that to think about national integration
fifteen years after independence, fifteen years after
the working of a national government, is something which
is against all that we have been thinking and doing all
these years. Are we to take, Sir, that all the efforts
of the national leaders all these years have not been
fruitful? Why is it that we are forced today to speak
or to chalk out methods, of national integration? We from
the South, especially from Tamil Nadu, while we are sitting
here, find the Hon. Members though they know English,
speaking in Hindi and asking questions in Hindi and getting
answers in Hindi. At the time I find a twinkle in their
eye, as if to say “You people, unless you learn Hindi,
you have to keep quiet!” Is that the way to national integration?
Sir, may I, even at the expense of being misunderstood,
point out that the very term “national integration” is
a contradiction in terms” People integrated become a nation
and if they become a nation, where is the necessity for
integration? Therefore, that term ‘national integration’
shows the poverty of ideas which has been holding us up
all this time. I would, therefore, say this : let use
rethink. We have a Constitution, of course. Stalwarts
of this country sat and devised the Constitution. But
the time has come for a re-thinking, for a re0appraisal,
for a re-valuation and for a re-interpretation of the
claim Sir, to come from a country, a part in India now,
but which I think is of a different stock, not necessarily
antagonistic. I belong to the Dravidian stock. I am proud
to call myself a Dravidian. That does not mean that I
am against a Bengali or a Maharashtrian or a Gujarati.
As Robert Burns has stated, “A man is a man for all that”.
I say that I belong to the Dravidian stock and that is
only because I consider that the Dravidians have got something
concrete, something distinct, something different to offer
to the nation at large. Therefore it is that we want self-determination.
coming here, I must say that many times I have found great
kindness in the Hon. Members. I did not expects so much
kindness when I came here. I find that this kindness even
makes me forget the animosities that had been created
by certain Hindi speaking people. I would very much like
to be one with you, I would very much like to be with
you as one nation. But a wish is one thing and facts are
another. We want one world, one government. But we forget
national frontiers. The other day I found the Hon. Member
Mr.Dayabhai Patel speak and when he spoke about Gujarat,
there was such fire in his words and about such an industrially
advanced State, Gujaraj,” and so on. Take my State of
Madras. It is backward taking into consideration everything.
You have here four steel plants. We have been crying hoarse
for a decade and more for a steel plant, but what have
they given us? They gave the portfolio to a new Minister,
not the steel industry to us. Perhaps if the Hon. Subramaniam
had not come here he might have been pressing for the
steel industry from there. Is it diplomacy or prudence
or political expediency? I don’t know which but you have
brought him here and you are going to ask him to reply
to the demand of the South. That is what the British were
doing – divide and rule, barter and get money, marshall
out figures and demolish arguments.
fact that we want separation is not to be misconstrued
as being antagonistic. Of course, I can understand the
feelings that would very naturally arise in the minds
of people in the northern area, whenever they think of
partition. I know the terrible consequences of partition
and I am deeply sympathetic towards them. But our separation
is entirely different from the partition which has brought
about Pakistan. I would even say that if sympathetic treatement
is afforded, there need be no heat generated. There would
not be any dire consequences. Fortunately, the South itself
is a sort of a geographical unit. We call it the Deccan
plateau or the peninsula. There will not be a large number
of people migrating from this place to that. There will
not be any refugee problem. I would ask you to very calmly
bestow deep and sympathetic thought on the problem.
Mathen (Kerala) : And what will be the language of the
the language and other details will be worked out by a
Constituent Assembly. The position to-day is, whatever
may be your reading of the situation, for whatever we
do not get in the South, the masses are ready to lay the
entire blame on the Indian Government. There will be very
natural reasons for not opening certain industries there,
but the moment we are denied a steel plant, the moment
we are denied new railway lines, the moment we are denied
an oil refinery, the man in the street in the South gets
up and says, “This is the way of Delhi. This is the way
of northern imperialism and unless you come out of that
imperialism and unless you come out of that imperialism
you are not going to make your country safe, sound, plentiful
and progressive.” When I talk about separation, I represent
the resurgent view of the South and as the illustrious
person, Mira Behn, stated some time ago, the natural unity
that we found when we were opposing the British is not
to be construed as a permanent affair. The principle of
separation or, to put it more explicitly, the principle
of self-determination, has been accepted by leaders of
international repute and more than that, by the Prime
Ministers of this sub-continent of ours. During the days
of the Pakistan controversy, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
speaking, if I remember correctly, on the Kapurthala grounds,
stated categorically that they, the Congress, as an organization,
would try to keep every unit within the Indian Union;
but if any Indian unit decided to secede, the Congress
would give its consent. Thus, the Congress has recognized
the principle of self determination. I make this bold
appeal to that liberal thought, to that democratic spirit.
Despite the fact that he has become the Prime Minister,
I think part of the old fire is still burning in his heart.
Why don’t you give self-determination to peninsular India?
After that, India will not be impoverished. I would say
that decision would pave the way for raising the stature
of India. I am inviting those people who want to keep
India one and indivisible to make it a comity of nations
instead of its being a medley of disgruntled units here
whenever Members representing different units get up and
plead for this project or that project, do they not to
that extent forget that India is one and indivisible?
Did not our Maharashtra Friends, when they wanted a Maharashtra
State, forget that India was one and indivisible? Wash
not the Bengali infuriated when Berubari was taken away
and switched over to Pakistan? Was not Bihar infuriated
over the claims of Orissa? Is it not a fact that animosity
was created over language between Assam and Bengal? While
I want that supreme Indian unity and idealogy, just to
brush aside other things by saying that these are all
regionalism, parochialism and the like, is to burke it.
I would like this House to face this issue squarely and
grant self-determination for that part of the country
from which I come, the Dravidian part.
Lingam (Madras) : Why can’t self-determination be granted,
following your logic, to all the States constituting the
Union? That would be logical.
my Hon. Friend can advocate that. I am pleading for separation
of Dravida Nadu not because of any antagonism but because,
if it is separated, it will become a small nation, compact,
homogenous and united, wherein sections of people in the
whole area can have a community of sentiment. Then we
can make economic regeneration more effective and social
regeneration more fruitful.
it was only ten days ago that I came to Delhi. I did not
wander or saunter along all the avenues, but wherever
I went, I found avenues, new roads, parks – they are to
be found in New Delhi. Why is it, Sir, that it did not
occur to the Indian Government that a single avenue be
named after a Southerner?
Menon (The Minister of State in the Ministry of External
Affairs) : There is the Thyagaraja Road. Does that mean
that people of the South will have to be second rate citizens?
Sri Rama Reddy : There is the Thyagaraja Road named after
the greate musician-saint.
An Hon. Member : What more do you want?
I am surprised at the advocacy of the Hon. Mr. Lingam.
If he is satisfied with Sri Theagaraya – or is it the
Theagaraja of Kirtana fame Road, if he is satisfied with
that, I beg to submit that it is not enough for the South.
Come to any southern town. You can saunter in Motilal
Nehru Park; you can enter the Jawaharlal Nehru Reading
Room; you can go to the Kamala Nehru Hospital.
Sri Rama Reddy : That shows integration.
can motor through Abdul Kalam Azad Road. Why is it that
such a thing is not found in this part of the country?
And, sir, look at the sentiments of the Southerners. When
I am pleading for the South it is only my southern friends
who come and say, “Don’t plead; we are quite all right.”
This is due to the fear complex instilled in the mind
of representatives of the South, because if they plead
for something, they are dubbed separatist and it may be
taken that these people have joined the DMK and, therefore,
their political future might be lost. That is why people
get up and say, “Oh, you have got this road and that road,”
Am I not aware of that? I am as fully aware of that as
Members from the South of other political parties are.
I am pleading for a national cause, not for parochialism,
not for party principle. I want that this great State
of ours should have self-determination, so that it can
contribute it smite to the whole world, because, Sir,
we have got a culture peculiar to us.
am reminded, Sir, of your very scholarly statement made
some time ago that India is united because Rama and Krishna
are being worshipped and venerated from the Himalayas
right up to Cape Comorin. So too is Jesus held in respect
and veneration throughout the world. Yet you have nation-states
in Europe and new and newer nation states are coming up
in the world.
I regret very much that the President has not stated anything
about the neo-nationalism that is surging up in the South.
Sir, I have stated that there are three tenets, democracy,
socialism and nationalism. I would conclude by saying
that democracy is distorted, socialism is emaciated and
nationalism misinterpreted. I think in the coming years
there will be a new sense of appreciation and the needs
and philosophy of the south will be better understood,
and self-determination accorded to Dravida Nad from where
I have the honour to come.