what we need
PARALLEL GOVERNMENT IS TO FORMED
Speech at the Lahore Congress 31 December 1929
Before I proceed to lay my case I take this opportunity of conveying my cordial and hearty thanks to Mahatma Gandhi for coming forward to move a resolution which declares Swaraj to mean complete independence. But I move this amendment because I believe that the programme laid down by his resolution is not such as to carry us towards the goal of complete independence. My amendment is consistent with the goal, and in keeping with the spirit of the times. I have no doubt it will find favour with the younger generation in his country, if not now at least in the next Congress.
Mine is a programme of all-round boycott. I do not think it will be of any use taking up one item in the programme of Boycott and leaving out others. It will not be consistent with our creed of independence to go and practice in the law courts. It will not be consistent either to enter local bodies, some of which, like the Calcutta Corporation, require the oath of allegiance to be taken. There is another reason why you should give them all up. The task before us is so arduous, and the responsibility on our shoulders is so great, that we shall have to concentrate our whole time and energy on the programme of work. I should like to submit, at this stage, that if you are not prepared to go in for complete boycott, it will be no use your boycotting the councils only.
Let us consistent. Let us be for complete boycott or none at all. I am an extremist and my principle is- all or none. If I am advocate a policy of the capture of public bodies of public bodies, I would like to capture every public body. If we are to boycott at all, why not boycott completely and concentrate our attention and energy on some other programme? Therefore I would earnestly plead for the acceptance of my amendment I know public opinion in India today requires it.
Now a word or two on Mahatmaji's resolution. In the preamble, you are asked to endorse the action 0 the Working Committee in subscribing to the Delhi manisfesto. I am not prepared to advise anyone to do it. Again, are you prepared to accept the reference to the Round Table Conference? I would not call it round table. It is certainly not round. I would call i square. A round table conference is a conference between two belligerent parties, between plenipotentiaries representing opposite side. I ask to whether the people of India are invited to send any (their representatives with full powers to negotiate wit the representatives of the British Government. Are we assured that the conclusions reached at this conference are to be ratified by both parties? Are we sure that the conclusions of the conference are not to go f( reconsideration before the British Parliament?
You know that when the treaty was drawn up between Britain and South Africa, the conc1usion reached at the conference of both the parties were regarded as sacred by both. I know for a fact that in the case of South African constitution drawn up at the conference, in spite of its grammatical errors, is had to be ratified by the British Government, and the British Parliament could not even correct those grammatical errors. That is what a round table conference means. What is the character of the conference that has been offered to India. The Simon Commission and its paraphernalia are to be there, and the conclusions of 1 the conference are to go before the Parliament. It is not 1 merely the people of India that should send representatives to the conference but the European 1 Chambers of Commerce and the Ruling Chiefs. Is there a fight between the British Government on the one 1 hand, and the European Chambers and Ruling Chiefs on the other? Is there any fight proceeding between 1 Government and the loyalists? I know of no such fight. 1 When there are these bodies to send in their representatives to the conference, I say it is not a round 1 table conference. But unfortunately, people in this 1 country insist on calling it so and the Britishers are 1 equally insistent on not calling it a round table conference.
One argument more and I have done. The resolution refers to the constructive programme as the 1
method whereby we have to achieve the political emancipation of India. I would like the House to consider whether the constructive programme, which the Congress has been pursuing for the last few years, is something which is sufficient to enable us to reach the goal of complete independence. No doubt there is a reference to civil disobedience in the resolution. But I submit that the civil is obedience will never come until we can organize the workers and peasants and depressed classes on their specific grievances. If my programme is adopted, it will be sufficiently effective for us to March on the road to independence. I appeal to the supporters of the resolution to not the altered circumstances and feeling of the people particularly the younger generation and adopt by motion. body
WE WANT SOCIALIST REPUBLIC
Speech at the All India Naujawan Bharat Sabha Karachi, 5 April, 1931
. My Dear Friends,
You have called upon me to preside over the deliberations of the second session of All India Naujawan Bharat Sabha at Karachi. I am grateful to you not only for the honors you have done me by your selection but also for the affection that has undoubtedly inspired your choice. You are holding this conference at a momentous period in our history and I only hope that I shall be able to throw some light on the problems that are ahead of us and the path that we. shall have to travel.
Since the earliest ages humanity has been in search of a better order of things. This search has gone on alike in the East and in the West and not only sages and dreamers, but politicians and statesmen as well, have been after it. The vision of an ideal society or state has appeared in different forms in different climes, but the impulse behind them all has been the same. In the East people dreamt of an ideal republic. People have sometimes endeavored to go back to the state of nature from whence they think they came-at other times they have to demolish the age long social, economic & political structure in order to rear up something great and noble on the ruin of the past.
The psychological impulse behind this universal human effort is a feeling of acute discontent with the present order and environment and a desire for a radical change. Urged by this impulse people have in utter helplessness looked beyond this earth and beyond this human existence to a kingdom of heaven where the human soul could live in a ideal life amidst ideal surroundings. Others have followed a different course of action and believing that the kingdom of heaven is within us, have sought, through ascetism and worship, or through song and prayer, to attain the maximum peace and happiness here on earth. I
We are not concerned with these two schools of I thought and we need neither accept nor reject either of j them. We are concerned more with the consideration of that socio-economic structure and body-political which will bring us the maximum happiness, will help us to foster manhood and develop character and will translate into reality the highest ideals of collectivity humanity. We are also interested in investigating that methods that will bring about the earliest attainment of the above goal.
In the search for a better order humanity has throughout the ages, been groping in the twilight darkness and light. Religion, philosophy and literature have all tried to throw some light on that elusive will-O'-the-wisp-the Ideal. It would be interesting trace and study these efforts made in almost every civilized country from age to age but that would too much time and may divert us from the immediate problem before us. It will suffice to say that mankind has now accepted the theory of progress and has rejected the opposite theory viz., the theory of man’s fall and his subsequent degradation. This theory of progress may be made the starting point of discussion.
If we undertake a comparative analysis of the different socio-political ideals that have inspired human endeavor and activity we shall arrive at certain common principles. The same result may be attained by searching our heart and asking ourselves as to what principles and ideals would make our life worth living. By following either course I am led to the conclusion that the principles that should form the basis of our collective life are-justice, equality, freedom, discipline and love. There is hardly any necessity of arguing that all our affairs and relations should be guided by a sense of justice. In order to be just and impartial, we shall have to treat all men as equal. In order to make men equal we shall have to make them free. Bondage within the socio-economic or political system-robs men of their freedom and gives [se to inequalities of various kinds. Therefore, in order ) ensure Equality, we must get rid of bondage of every kind-social, economic and political-and we must become fully and wholly free. But freedom does It mean indiscipline or license. Freedom does not ply the absence of law. It only means the substitution of our own law and our own discipline in a place of an externally imposed law and discipline. Discipline imposed on us by ourselves is necessary not when we have attained freedom but is more necessary when we are struggling to achieve freedom. Therefore discipline, whether for the individual or for society, is necessary as a basis of life. Lastly, all these fundamentals principles viz., Justify Equality freedom and Discipline presupposes or imply another higher principle viz., Love unless we are inspired by a feeling of love for humanity we can neither be just towards all, nor treat men as equal nor feel called upon to suffer and sacrifice in the cause of freedom nor enforce discipline of the right sort. These five principles therefore, should in my opinion be the basis of our collective life. I shall go further and say that these principles constitute the essence of socialism as I understand it, and the Socialism that I like to see established in India.
I believe that in the future that is before us India I will be able to evolve a socio-economic political structure which will be in many respects an object j lesson to the world just as Bolshevism today has many j useful lessons for humanity. But I do not believe that abstract principles can be applied in the same manner, j form and degree to different nations or countries. j Marxian principles when applied to Russia and Russian conditions gave birth to Bolshevism. Similarly j socialism when applied to India and Indian conditions I will develop a new form or type of socialism which we I may hail as Indian Socialism. Environment, racial j temperament, socio-economic conditions all these can not be ruled out by a stroke of the pen. They are therefore bound to influence or modify any principle that is sought to be translated into reality.
While seeking light and inspiration from abroad, we cannot afford to forget that we should not blindly imitate any other people and that we should assimilation what we learn elsewhere with a view to finding out what will suit our national requirements as well as 0 national genius. There is a great deal of truth in the proverb-'What is one man's meat is another's poison.' I should therefore like to strike a note of warning to those who may feel tempted to follow blindly the tenets and methods of Bolshevism. With regard to the teh~ts of Bolshevism I may say that Bolshevik theory is at present going through an experimental stage. There has been a departure not only from the original theory of Marx but also from the principle enunciated by Lenin and other Bolsheviks before they captured politiCal power. This departure has been caused by the peculiar conditions or circumstances prevailing in Russia which have compelled a modification of original Marxian or Bolshevik theory. With regards to the methods and tactics employed by the Bolsheviks in Russia I may say that they will not necessarily suit Indian conditions. As a proof of this I may say that inspite of universal and human appeal of communism, communism has not been able to make much headway in India-chiefly because the methods and tactics generally employed by them are such as tend to alienate rather than win over possible friends and allies.
To summarise what I have said I want a Socialist republic in India. The exact form the Socialist State will take-it is not possible to detail at this stage. We know only outline the main principles and features of the socialist state.
The message which I have to give is one of complete, all-round undiluted freedom. We want political freedom, whereby is meant the constitution of an independent Indian State, free from the control of British Imperialism. It should be quite clear to everybody that independence means severance from the British Empire and on this point there should be no vagueness or mental reservation. Secondly, we want complete economic emancipation. Every human being must have the right to work and the right to a living wage. There shall be no drones in our society. There must be equal opportunities for all. Above all there should be a fair, just and equitable distribution of wealth. For this purpose it may be necessary for the state to take over the control of the means of production and distribution of wealth. Thirdly, we want complete social equality. There shall be no cast, no depressed classes. Every man will have the same rights-the same status-in the society. Further there shall be no equality between the sexes either in social status or in law-and woman will be in every way an equal partner with man.
We therefore have a new message for every group or class or individual in society who may be exploited or oppressed in any way. We have a message for the political workers, for the wage earner, for the landless and propertyless proletariat, for the so-called depressed classes in society and for the weaker sex. These exploited or oppressed classes represent the radical-or if 1 may say so-revolutionary elements in our society. If we can go out to greet them with a new message-the message of complete all-round freedom -1 have no doubt that they can be inspired in no time. Until these radical or revolutionary elemements are stirred up-we cannot get freedom-and we cannot stir up the revolutionary elements among us except by inspiring them with a new message which comes from the heart and goes straight to the heart.
The fundamental weakness in the Congress policy and programme is that there is a great deal of vagueness and mental reservation in the minds of the leaders. Further the programme is based not o~ radicalism but on adjustment. Adjustment between the landlord and the tenant, between the capitalist and t~ wage earner, between the so-called upper classes all the so-called depressed classes, between man or woman-may be an ideal state of thing for one w~ would like to maintain the present equilibrium-but am doubtful whether this adjustment can stir up I revolutionary elements in society which alone can ,I freedom of the Indian National Congress with present attitude of adjustment in all controversial matters-can win independence for India; it will 1 cheap price to pay for freedom. But whether this price can bring us freedom-I seriously doubt.
We do not want to tinker with the gigantic problem we have to solve-therefore, we want a radical mil programme. I shall not in this introductory address into details on this question, but shall content n with out-lining the main features of the program~ consonance with 5 principles I have enunciated I outset, and keeping in view the different aspects freedom-we should direct our activities along the following lines :- I
(1) Organization of peasants and worker socialist programme.
(2) Organization of the youths into volunteer under strict discipline.
(3) Abolition of caste and the eradication and religious superstitions of all kinds.
(4) Organization of women's associations f9 our women folk to accept the new gospel and the new programme.
(5) Intensive campaign for the boycott I goods.
(6) Countrywide propaganda for explaining the new cult and for of organizing a new party.
(7) Creation of d new Literature for propagating the new cult and programme.
Workers and comrades to whom the new cult and programme appeals should seriously consider whether or not they should organise themselves as the Left Wing of the Indian National Congress. There is much to be said in favour of doing so. The Indian National C9ngress in the first place has a tradition as well as international reputation Further it is built on the gigantic sacrifices made by successive generations. And if the Left-Wing is properly organised, I have no doubt that the time will soon come when they will be called upon by the sheer logic of events to take charge of the Congress. Once the party comes into existence with its own programme it will be the only alternative to the present order and the present programme.
Friends, before I wind up, you will no doubt like me to express my views on the truce that has been arrived at, between the Government and the Working Committee of the Congress. But before I do so, I should like to unburden myself on a matter which have profoundly moved the whole of India. I mean the recent execution of Sirdar Bhagat Singh and his comrades. This event is an historic one and is pregnan1 with lessons for the future and I shall crave you! indulgence for dwelling on it at length.
Bhagat Singh is dead! Long live Bhagat Singh! for months and months have the people of India watched and waited with tense anxiety for the end of the tragi, drama that was being enacted at Lahore. The end ha: at last come. The curtain has ultimately been run~ down on a scene indescribable for its deep pathos and memorable for its selfishness. From start to finish the drama has been so rich in variety and so alive in its coloring that we have had to hold our breath in awe and anxious expectation. It ended with the self sacrifice of Bhagat Singh and Jatin Das. With rapture and reverend admiration do we gaze at these two rare types of martyrdom which recent history has produced. Just as the funeral procession of Jatin Das was one long triumph march-so also the execution of Bhagat Singh is an act of consecration which will inspire the whole nation. No wonder that the Lahore Conspiracy here have stirred the heart of India to its very depth. But do the Government realize it? Again I say 'Bhagat Singh is dead! Long live Bhagat Singh!' Bhagat Singh is not a person. He symbolises the spirit of revolt which has taken possession of the country from one end to the another. The spirit is unconquerable, the flame that spirit has lit-up will not die. Therefore we do not grieve that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are no more. India may have to loose many more sons before she can hope to be free. But if we grieve it is because they have had to die at a time when the premier nationalist organization in the country-the Indian National Congress-has declared a truce with the British Government. What fate is in store for the other sons of India, like Harkishanlal, Dinesh Gupta and Ramkrishna Biswas cannot be easily visualised. The question may therefore be pertinently asked what is the value of this truce if these acts of hostility are to go on and if we cannot save the lives of our best heroes ?
It may be argued logically that there was nothing in the truce terms to say that the Capital sentences would not be given effect to. I admit this point. But may we not ask what the object of the truce is? It will be admitted on all hands that the object of the true bring about an atmosphere of peace and good will, prior to the negotiations at the Round Conference, so that the discussions take place in and dispassionate manner, and without bittern prejudice. Will that atmosphere be created if sentences are passed and executed and if a number of political prisoners are still in imprison If the Government today are so exacting about the letter of the truce terms-if they are so keen having their pound of flesh-what hope is her they will part with power when the time for negotiation or discussion arrives? It is not for n( that Mahatma Gandhi has always insisted on a c of heart prior to a settlement or negotiations settlement. The Government that continues to ha" same bureaucratic, and if I may say so vine mentality is not the Government that will voluntarily hand over India to the people's representatives. I be urged that we shall negotiate for transference power not with the Indian Civil Service 0 Government of India, but with the British Cabinet with the British people altogether. But if in the r of holding an enquiry into police excess or corner death sentence the British Government he surrender to the will of man on the spot, it is not expected that in much larger questions involving transference of power, the same Government will be guided to a very large extent by the will of the frame?
The recent executions are to me, therefore, a indication. \hat there has been no change of heart the side of the Government. The time for an honorable settlement is not yet ripe. We have y' travel a long way along the path of suffering sacrifice before we can hail the advent of Swarc page from recent Irish History will substantiate point. Alderman Mac Sweeney, Lord Mayor of C went on hunger strike as a protest against imprisonment. When he was on the point of death passionate appeals were made to His Majesty the on behalf of Britishers and Irishmen alike asking to exercise his royal prerogative and Mac Sweeney's life. The King was deeply moved announced through his Secretary that he was unable do anything because his Ministers were oppose clemency. The King therefore had to capitulate. effect of this in Ireland was that the fight with British went on with increasing bitterness. After some t both parties felt it desirable to call a truce c settlement. The question of amnesty to political prisoners was then broached and the Sinn Fein leaders demanded the release of all prisoners, including the who had been sentenced to death. The British Cabinet agreed to release everybody except Seon McKeon '" had been condemned to death. The Sinn Fein lead thereupon threatened to break off the truce if St McKeon was not released within twenty four hours. reply to ultimatum, the same Cabinet which t declined to spare the life of Terence Mac Sweer inspite of country-wide agitation, released SE McKeon within twenty four hours. Mac Sweeney had die because the time for settlement had not arrived. Seon McKeon was saved because there was going to a lasting peace and a change of heart had taken place on the side of the British people. May we not apply I same moral to Indian History?
Brave as Bhagat Singh and his comrades we! did not ask for clemency. They have resolved I their all, so that India could be free. But the country desired their lives to be spared. If truce had been declared, if peace was within sight then I of these brave· and selfless men could be truce and could be utilized in the task of reconstruction. The whole country, including all parties and shades of opinion had given unmistakable expression to the desire and demand for com But if every possible effort had been made When the negotiations for a truce were going on the Congress as the one rep- presentative nationalist organisation in the country could have espoused the cause of the revolutionaries. Labour Party of India. The Congress need have identified itself with the methods or 'revolutionaries of the Labour Party. It could have simply pointed out that since these two parties existed and since they were also working for the salvation of India according to their own light, abiding peace could not possibly be established until they were some how made parties to it .
A generous gesture on the part of Government at this juncture would have a most wholesome effect on these two parties and on the country at large generous gesture coming from the aftical side any group, party or individual did not reciprocate that group or individual would standing the eyes of the whole world. The Government with all its strength and resources would in either case have lost nothing if by conciliation they could placate all the militant parties in the country, it would be a moral triumph for them. If conciliation. failed, they could once again resort to repression and could then do so with greater justification.
If the Government have blundered, so also has the Congress. During the truce-talks the Congress could have spoken for the whole country, just as Sinn Fein had spoken for the whole" of Ireland without identifying itself with the methods of the revolutionary and labors parties, the Congress could very well have identified itself with their demands. But the Congress failed to do so and in failing it has only lowered itself in the estimation of the country and of the world. A similar attitude could have been adopted by the Congress after the petition for the commutation of the death sentences passed on Bhagat Singh and others rejected by the Government.
If the Congress had officially demanded the commutation of the death sentences it would not have lost anything but have risen in the estimation of the whole country and might possibly have saved the life of Bhagat Singh. Even if the demand had been rejected by the Govt., the Congress would have had this satisfaction that it had done its duty and no one could then have nursed any complaint or grievance against the Congress for not doing its best to have Bhagat Singh and his comrades.
With regard to the truce embodied in what is known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact I may say that it is exceedingly unsatisfactory and highly disappointing. What pains me most is the consideration that at the time this pact was drawn up, We actually had more strength than would appear from the contents of the document. I shall here summarise some of the unsatisfactory features of the truce terms :-
THE FUTURE INDIA
Speech at the U.P. Naujawan Bharat Sabha Mathura, 26 May, 1931
Accept my heart left gratitude for the opportunity you have given me of coming into personal contact with patriotic workers and lovers of freedom like yourselves. As for the honour which you have been pleased to confer on me, that is something which I do not deserve - and it has been bestowed on me not on a consideration of merit - but out of affection for a fellow worker like myself.
The first question that strikes us when we attend a Conference of this kind is this : 'What is the necessity of a separate Naujawan Bharat Sabha movement when we have the Indian National Congress as the supreme nationalist organisation in the country?' A fitting reply to this important question will remove many doubts, clear up many misunderstandings and define the position of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha in its relation to other public bodies.
The Naujawan Bharat Sabha Movement is not local or provincial affair. It is an All India movement. Appearing, it may be, under different names in different parts of the country and having, it may be, slightly different methods or programmes in different places. Nevertheless, the fundamental character movement is the same, all over the country. very existence of this movement demonstration there were potent causes which necessitated of this movement.
The psychological impulse behind this movement a feeling of restlessness and impatience of acute discontent with the present order of thing profound desire for a radical change. This basic feeling has a destructive as well as a creative element desire to destroy what appears to the youthful be old, unsuitable, inefficient or evil and to create what is good, useful or beautiful is so strong that the movements or institutions or organisations are to afford to give adequate expression to that strong desire. Youth, therefore, felt called upon to start a movement and to create an organisation which they could give full play to their destructive well as creative instincts and desire.
The Indian National Congress has to exist and to work under certain limitations. It is burdened with a sense of responsibility which may be lacking in youth organisations in the earlier stages of their growth. The Indian National Congress has to carry the country with itself, so far as that is humanly 1 and has, therefore, got to move somewhat Further, the Congress is primarily a political h generally it cannot concern itself with question do not have a political bearing.
Lastly, in order to carry the whole country the Congress has to trim its sailes and to adjust the desires, interests or demands of different communities or groups or schools of thought in the country.
The youth organisations in the country, which are thoroughly radical in character and outlook free to think and act than the Indian National Congress. They have got to carry the whole country with them just at present, their primary objective being to rally the youths only. Neither are they burdened with a sense of responsibility as the Indian National Congress is. Consequently they can move they like and be as radical as they desire with, fear of alienating any individual or group.
It has often happened in human history that the extreme wing in a parent body or in a mother institution have started an organisation of their own through which full play could be given to the desires and aspirations of that wing.
Whether the two separate organisations cal conflict and work harmoniously for the benefit and of society in general depends entirely I members of these organisations. In India today we find that in some parts there is no conflict between the youth organisations and the Congress organisations whereas in other parts, there is a conflict of some sorts.
In order to avoid unnecessary conflict between youth organisations and Congress organisation two factors are necessary. The youth organisatid their part must have a desire to work in harmony with Congress organisations and the Congress organisations should sympathies with the desires and aspirations of the youths. As a matter of fact, where the con machinery is in the hands of youths or of those who sympathies with the youths, conflict is very often avoided.
I am emphatically of opinion that there is no inherent opposition between the Indian National Congress and the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. If the any opposition or misunderstanding between anywhere, it is of our own making, and with goodwill on both sides, can be very easily ended. If opposition and misunderstanding between Congress and the Naujawan Bharat are not removed, the Position of full fledged Congressmen like myself, who are also champions of the youth movement become very embarrassing indeed.
If the Naujawan Bharat Sabha is taken to represent a feeder movement in its relation to National Congress, it will give correct expression to my views. The youth movement will not care for numbers. It will only seek to rally the radical element in society. It will not be merely political since it will in every department of human life and VI" introduce a thoroughly new socio-economic well as a body-politic. It will not be content tackling the superficial problems of the the day: take up the deeper problems of our life as well as attempt to solve them. All this can very we without creating any conflict, if there be good will on both sides.
Naujawans, on their parts must realize that the Congress stands for the nation. Nothing should therefore, be done that may undermine or prestige of that institution. They should act of helpfulness and if they so desire, they ma lever inside the Congress in order to influence the right wing- or the Conservative section in the Congress.
Congressmen on their part, should not Naujawans with suspicion or hostility. They should remember that the Naujawans are after all, tl:1 future India and their desires and aspirations should be appreciated and sympathised with. If both thus inspired with a friendly feeling - I am sure that conflict or hostility or misunderstanding can easily be avoided.
At the last session of the All India Naujawan Bharat Sabha at Karachi, I suggested to the Naujawans that instead of working outside of and in opposition to the Congress they should organise themselves as the Leftwing of the Congress. Thereby they would add to and not undermine the strength of the Indian National Congress. The Congress has set out to win political independence for India. It is a progressive body and is responsive to public opinion. It has a glorious tradition as well as an international reputation - and it has been built on the gigantic sacrifices made by successive generations in the past. Its leaders past and present are a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude shining in the political horizon of India. And lastly may I ask 'Where on earth can you get another leader like Mahatma Gandhi?'
If the Congress had not set out to win independence for India - if the Congress had been a reactionary body, incapable of responding to public opinion, if all the Congress Leaders had been selfish or unpatriotic men, then I could have advised my Naujawan comrades to follow a different line of action in opposition to the Congress. But as things stand, the Congress belongs as much to the Naujawans as to anybody else. I would even say that it belongs more to the Naujawans than to anybody else, for they are the heirs of future India. Therefore, if the Naujawans all over India whole-heartedly join the Congress and work through it the entire Congress machinery will be in their hands before long.
I have said that the Naujawan Bharat Sabha movement is not a local or a provincial affair. I shall now go further and say that it represents a universal phenomenon - and even in countries that are politically free, the youth movement exists. The rease is that the purpose of this movement is to recreate the whole of our life - individual as well as collective And as long as this purpose is not fulfilled, the youth movement cannot cease to exist.
Since the earliest ages, humanity has been in search of a better order of things. This search has gone on alike in the East and in the West and not only sages and dreamers, but politicians and statesmen as well have been after it. The vision of an ideal society or state has appeared in different forms in different climes, but the impulse behind them all has been the same. In the East people dreamt of a 'Dharma-Rajya'. In the West, people dreamt of an Ideal Republic. Sometimes, people have endeavored to go back to the state of nature from whence they think they came - at other times, they have tried to demolish the age-long social, economic and political structure in order to rear up something great and noble on the ruins of the past.
In the search for a better order humanity has throughout the ages, been groping in the twilight of darkness and light. Religion, philosophy and literature have all tried to throw some light on that elusive 'Will-O-the-wisp' the ideal. It would be interesting to trace and study these efforts made in almost every civilized country from age to age but that would take too much time and may divert us from the immediate problem before us. It will suffice to say that mankind has now accepted the theory of progress and has rejected the opposite theory viz., the theory of man's fall and his subsequent degradation. This theory of progress may be made the starting points of our discussion.
if we undertake a comparative analysis of the different socio-political ideals that have human endeavour and activity throughout the ages, we shall arrive at certain common principles. The same result may be attained by searching our hearts and asking ourselves as to what principles and ideals would make our life worth living. By following either course I am led to the conclusion that the principles and would like that should form the basis of our collective life are justice, equality, freedom, discipline and love. There is hardly any necessity of arguing that all our affairs and relations should be guided by a sense of justice. In order to be just and impartial, we shall have to treat all men as equal. In order to make men equal, we shall have to make them free. Bondage, whether social, economic political, robs men of their freedom and gives rise to inequalities of various kinds. Thereafter, in order to ensure equality, we must get rid of bondage of every kind; social, economic and political and we must become fully and wholly free. But freedom does not mean indiscipline or license. Freedom does not in the absence of law. It only means the substitution of our own law and our own discipline in place of externally imposed law and discipline. Discipline imposed on us by ourselves is necessary not only When we have attained freedom, but is more necessary when we are struggling to achieve freedom. Therefore discipline, whether for the individual or for society, necessary as a basis of life. Lastly, all the! fundamental principles viz., justice, equality, freedom and discipline presuppose or imply another higher principle viz., love. Unless we are inspired by a feeling of love and humanity we can neither be just towards all nor treat men as equal, nor feel called upon to suffer and sacrifice . in the cause of freedom, n discipline of the right sort. These five therefore, should in my opinion, be the b, collective life. I should go further and say principles constitute the essence of Social would like to see established in India.
I believe that in the future that is before us, India will be able to evolve a socio-economic and political structure which will be in many respects lesson to the world, just as Bolshevism today as many useful lessons for humanity. But I do not that abstract principles can be applied in the san form and degree to different nations or Marxian principles when applied to R Russian conditions gave birth to Bolshevism socialism when applied to India and Indian will develop a new form or type of social may be hailed as Indian Socialism. Environments racial temperament, socio-economic conditions all these cannot be ruled out by a srtoke of the pen .They are therefore bound to influence or modify any principle that is sought to be translated into reality.
While seeking light and inspiration from abroad, we can’t afford to forget that we should not blindly imitate any other people and that we should assimilate what we learn from elsewhere after finding out what will suit our national requirements as national genius. There is a great deal of t proverb “What is one man's meat is another’s poison." I should, therefore, like to strike a note of warning to those who may feel tempted to follow blindly the tenets and methods of Bolshevism.
With regard to the tenets of Bolshevism I m, the Bolshevism theory is at present going through an experimental stage. There has been a departure only from the original theory of Marx, but also from the principles enunciated by Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders before they captured the political power departure has been caused by the peculiar conditions or circumstances prevailing in Russia which compelled a modification of the original theories. With regard to the methods and tactis employed by the Bolsheviks in Russia I may say they will not necessarily suit Indian conditions.
As a proof of this I may say that inspite of the Universal and human apeal to Communism Communism has not been able to make I headway in India -chiefly because the methods tactics generally employed by its protagonists are as tend to alienate rather than win over pos friends and allies.
To summarise what I have said, I want a Soc Republic in India. What exact form that Socialist ~ will take, it is not possible to detail at this stage. can at this stage outline only the main principles features of the Socialist State.
The message which I have to give is one complete, all round undiluted freedom. We want political freedom whereby is meant the constitution of an independent of an independent Indian State, free from the control of British Imperialism. It Should be quite clear everybody that independence means severance from the British Empire and on this point there should be vagueness or mental reservation.
Secondly, we want complete economic emancipation. Every human being must have the right to work and the right to a living wage. There shall be no drones in our society and no unearned There must be equal opportunities for all. 1. there should be a fair, just and equitable distribution of wealth. For this purpose, it may be necessary state to take over the control of the means of production and distribution of wealth.
Thirdly, we want complete social equal shall be no caste, no depressed classes. Ever) have the same rights, the same status in society. Further there shall be no inequality between either in social status or in law and woman every way an equal partner of man.
We, therefore, have a new message for every of class or individual in society who may be exploited or oppressed in any way. We have a message for the political worker, for the wage-earner, for the and propertyless proletariat, for the depressed so-called classes in society and for the weaker sex These exploited or oppressed classes represent the radical or if I may say so, revolutionary element society. If we can be out to greet them w message - the message of complete all round freedom -I have no doubt that they can be inspired in no time Until these radical or revolutionary elements are stirred up, we cannot get freedom, and we and we cannot stir up the revolutionary elements among us inspiring them with a new message which gives human life a new meaning and a new purpose.
During the last thirty years and particular the last ten or twelve years, India has been flooded with a number of Western theories or "ism' these theories are really Western -being the exclusive product of Western conditions which do not prevail in the East; other theories -like that of socialism Western only superficially, that is, in the sense they are today being propagated by Western -whereas in reality Socialism in some form or c and under some name or other, has inspired hum in the East and West alike.
The sudden influx of Western thought create intellectual ferment and for some time an intellectual chaos. People could not at first decide what to ac and what to reject. But we are gradually finding bearings and we now feel convinced that what is healthy and desirable for us, is not a blind accept. of what comes from abroad but a synthesis of Eastern and Western thought. There is, in this connect another conviction which is gradually deeper within us. At first we were inclined to believe that salvation depended entirely on accepting a the which would be to our liking. There are people to. who, for instance, swear by Bolshevism and hone: think that if we could faithfully reproduce what ex in Bolshevist Russia -India would be saved -and could attain the Summum bonum of our existence. But this belief is now being rudely shaken. In the first place, it is being realized that no abstruct theory can applied to any country or people without taking into account the temperament of the race, socio-economic conditions and environment. These factors may render unsuitable to a particular country or nation, particular theory which may have proved to be a great success under different conditions. Secondly, we ha' begun to realise that the models that we generally ho up before ourselves for emulation are themselves incomplete experiments and no one knows how those experiments will ultimately end.
For these and other reasons, we are gradually realising the value and importance of the element in our progress. We have begun to feel theory can save us, unless we can create a better type of men from amongst ourselves. This is experience of history and that is why we throughout the ages, along with the search 0 there has gone on the search of a better type Sometimes it is the Greek Diogenes in search c man; sometimes it is the Indian search of Guru or an "avatar" ; sometimes, again, it is the Nietzsche in search of a superman. Let us, t1 realise once for all that no theory or "ism", . imported from abroad or reared in our own ~ save India unless we can create a better and type of men.
Institutions, whether social or economic or p can at best help to foster menhood and develop character, by creating favourable conditions f grown but they cannot create the inner impulse It is this inner impulse which makes men of us. Mar the external embodiment of that inner impulse is either inborn or it is transmitted by higher soul to us or it is created from within effort of will - by the will to live and to grow.
Country-wide vital organisations - The Nau Bharat Sabha Movement, or the youth move must have centres all over the country. To centres, the best among us must be d Arrangements must be made for training young men and woman, who will be our future workers. This training must be an all all-round one and must pr, for the physical, intellectual and moral uplift of our youths. Unless we have a net-work of institution with this end in view the youth movement will never:
When these workers have been trained and c for work they will have to go out and organis country.
For organizing the country I would suggest following programme :-
(1) Organization of peasants and workers 4 socialistic programme.
(2) Organization of youngmen and women volunteer corps under strict discipline.
(3) Extensive movement for the abolition of S4 and religious superstitions of all kinds.
(4) Organization of women's associations propagating among our womenfolk the idea all-round freedom and equality.
(5) Creation of a new literature for giving expression to the new thought in the country.
(6) Countrywide propaganda· for popularizing new idea of the age.
After our young workers are properly trained ( have fully imbibed the new idea - they should take up the task of stirring up all the radical elements in ( society, and or rousing into life and activity the hither to backward sections of our community. I have doubt that this new gospel, the message of equal and of all-round freedom, will act as the breath of 1 and will inspire the whole nation. And in a vast country like ours, as soon as the will to be free is roused in t people, they will break the chains of bondage in time.
Friends, I have taken up a lot of your valuable tin and I think I have said enough. I thank you once again for the opportunity and privilege you have given me of coming into your midst and thereby enabling I exchange thoughts. I hope, earnestly and ardently when we depart, we shall go back with a inspiration and a new resolve. We shall then be al address ourselves to our task in all seriousness with unflinching courage. Let the vision of a free] -a completely free and emancipated India captivate the souls of our youths and intoxicate t] India has a gigantic task before herself - she h, save herself and thereafter save humanity. India is today the keystone of Imperialism throughout world. India's freedom, therefore spells the destructions of world-Imperialism. For this reason, India has to be saved.
And further, she has to be saved because the world is poorer without India's contributions to the Culture and civilization of the world. I have always said, maintained even at the risk of being criticised and misunderstood in certain quarters, that India something new - something original -to give to world and the whole world is anxiously awaiting that gift. The last gift that India will probably make to world is a new socio-economic order and body-politic which will have lessons for the entire human race Friends, let us, therefore, rise and resolve to me India free - confident in our faith that India freed means humanity saved. Bande Mataram.
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