Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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This is the Beginning of the end of this Govt.

-Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
[Organiser, 26 August, 1963]
Opposition Unity Must Continue and Grow

New Delhi, 22 August, Acharya Kripalani’s motion of no-confidence in the Government of Pandit Nehru will go down in the history of the Lok Sabha as the first to be admitted for discussion in the House.

Its fate at the time of voting was foregone conclusion. Only the unwary and the gullible would feel sorry. Unless a large number of Congressmen sprang a surprise by crossing the floor, there could not have been any chance of the motion being carried. But it would have been surprise if the Congressmen were to take that surprising step. Had they been capable of it, there would have been no need to move a censure motion. Things would have been mended much earlier.

The Four-Day debate has given an opportunity to the Opposition to pinpoint the failings of the Government. The supporters of the motion in the Opposition comprised of diverse elements. Their ideological and programmatic differences are well known. But it must go to the credit of the speakers from the non-communist Opposition benches that are assailing the Government policies they avoided any reference to their differences with their colleagues at the moment. And when we take into account the fact that it was done without any previous agreement or understanding, we feel optimistic about the future course of India’s politics.

In sharp contrast to the Opposition’s performance the Congress speakers, not with standing briefing and copious notes supplied by the Congress Parliamentary party’s office, could not marshal facts, or advance arguments, in a unified manner in support of the Government. Most of the speeches, if published without the speaker’s names, and edited so as to eliminate a sentence here or a sentence there, artificially introducing professions of support to Pandit Nehru, could easily pass for speeches from the opposition benched. Ministers sought to justify their own actions by passing the buck to other ministers. Lack of a feeling of joint responsibility of the Cabinet was too obvious to go unnoticed.

People’s vote for the Congress in the last general election was the burden of the song from the Congress benches. But Dr. Lohia rightly reminded them that much water had flowed down the Jamuna since then. Happenings of October-November 1962 had dissolution many a supporter of Pandit Nehru and the Congress.
Like all vested interests, Congress wants to cling to the past and does not want to respond to the situations of a dynamic world. Democracy will cease to be democratic if it is not dynamic. It is not safe in the hands of people whose minds are static, who’s thinking stagnant.

When some Congressmen tried to justify their government on the alleged short comings of the various Opposition parties it was really ridiculous. Lazars cannot be allowed to mix with the common man and control his affairs just because some of the latter have an itch or leukaemia. Moreover, it is not the question of confidence in the opposition but that of no-confidence in the present Government. No case has been made out for the present Government to stay.

The debate on the motion has ended. But does it also put an end to the efforts of those who brought more than fifty non-communist members to stand in support of the motion? No. Surely not. This resolution should be the beginning of the and of the present Government “national shame” as D. Lohia termed it. The historic resolution should also make history.

The Opposition had an easy time during the debate, but it will be  on trial now after the debate. Will they come nearer or drift farther apart? The leaders in the opposition can definitely fulfil the part that they are destined to, if they take up the challenge of the changing times.

It is a practical question and needs a commonsense answer. Lt we hope that informal get-together of these different opposition parties, that has so long served, will in the future also, evolve some formula for a joining working and forge an alternative to the present Government.
Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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