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Lecture - 1st, on April 22nd 1965 Lecture - 2nd, on April 23rd 1965 Lecture - 3rd, on April 24th 1965 Lecture - 4th, on April 25th 1965 Presidential Speech at Calicut in Kerala in
December 1967

Presidential Speech at Calicut in Kerala in December 1967

-V.N. Deodhar

The indifference, apathy and communal bias betrayed by the J. & K. police in its handling of the case in which a Hindu girl was abducted and forcibly married has impaired the faith of Kashmiri Hindus in the administration. The Hindus of the Valley complain that Union Home Minister Shri Chavan also has failed to fulfil his assurances. It is regret table that any section should feel that they are being denied justice, or that they are insecure. A Commission headed by Shri Gajendragadkar, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has been constituted to examine the question of representation in service etc. Misgivings about discrimination on regional grounds must certainly be enquired into, but it would be against the spirit and letter of the Constitution if the issue is looked at from the communal angle.

Vested Interests in Riots

There have been during recent month’s communal disturbances in some parts of the country. These are unfortunate and deplorable. So far as Government is concerned, it must deal with all such breaches of peace and incidents of rioting sternly and impartially. But I must say that the code which regulates the administration's policy and conduct on such occasions is the one that was evolved during the British regime. It did not aim at curbing the mischievous elements or punishing the guilty. The Government would conspicuously appear to hold the scales even between the communities involved while in fact its actions only perpetuated the gulf between the communities. This code of make-believe impartiality must change, and rioters, to whichever community they belong, should be punished.
There are elements in the country who have developed a vested political interest in riots. Instead of exerting to localize vested these incidents and suppressing them, these elements deliberately magnify and distort reports about these incidents in a manner as to suit their purpose. Whatever the incident and whatever the place of occurrence, theirs is a stereotyped analysis; and a set line of propaganda. According to them, it is the Muslims who are killed everywhere and the killers always are workers of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the R.S.S. Amusingly, even at places where the Jana Sangh and the R.S.S. do not exist, journals belonging to these sections discover ‘strongholds’ of these organizations. Their conduct often reminds you of the technique of pick-pockets and thieves who act in a concerted manner and after a crime has been successfully committed by one of them, rush in a certain direction shouting “Thief! Thief!'' and start belaboring some innocent passerby. By then, the real thief would have decamped. We have certainly to be very careful about these elements.


Both patriotism as well as commonsense demand that the country's work should be conducted in its own languages. The Central Education Ministry's decision this year to make Indian languages the media of education right up to the University level is a commendable step. The decision conforms to the recommendations of the Education Commission. The Parliamentary Committee on Education, the Education Ministers Conference and the Conference of Vice-Chancellors also have endorsed and supported the decision. Inspite of this, some Anglophiles are attacking this decision. The problems they refer to are either imaginary, or affect isolated individuals, or then, pertain to the transitional period only. It would be better if instead of raising this hullabaloo about problems, they exerted earnestly to solve them. After the formation of non- Congress Governments in several States, the use of regional languages at the State level has considerably increased. If the pace is maintained, within a few months the work of Government in most of these States would be conducted in the people’s languages. I must congratulate all these Governments for giving the country's languages their due place. By pursuing this policy, they have justified their claim of being popular Governments.

The Central Government's policy in regard to the replacement of English by Hindi at the Centre has continued to create difficulties. It is a matter of regret that instead of taking positive steps in this direction, the Government by its actions has only been creating controversies and misgiving. The Jana Sangh does not support any step which restricts the right of those who do not know Hindi or deprives them of any of their rights. The Jana Sangh has, therefore, been demanding that all examinations of the U.P.S.C. should be conducted through the media of regional languages and that knowledge of any particular language should not be compulsory at the time of recruitment. Those who want to use English during the period of transition should be permitted to do so. But the perpetual domination of English and denial to Hindi of its rightful place cannot be suffered. The Official Languages (Amendment), bill and the language resolution recently passed are steps in the wrong direction. The Centre's language policy as envisaged by this Bill will be an impediment in the way of even those State Governments which want to carry on their work in their regional languages. So long as English continues to rule in New Delhi, Tamil also will not be able to get its rightful place in Madras.

U.A.R. Must Ponder
The foreign policy of the Government of India neither reflects public opinion nor does it protect national interest. Government's attitude towards the West Asian war, for instance, did not have the approval of the people. When Britain had bombed the Suez Canal, the people of India had protested strongly against it. We have always favoured friendship with the Arab countries. But when the Indo-Pak war broke out, we failed to get even lip sympathy from the Arab countries, even though Pakistan was obviously in the wrong. Jordon actually pleaded Pakistan's case against India. The Indian people then felt greatly disappointed with the Arabs. It was this disappointment which explains the change in their attitude during the Israe1-U.A.R. conflict. If the Arab countries sincerely desire India's friendship, they must appreciate our feelings. They must also realize that when they can have warm relations with our enemies, there is no reason why we should not have relations with Israel.

Sino – Pak Collusion

Our policy towards Communist China and Pakistan should be such as befits a self-respecting nation dealing with enemy countries who have aggressed on her soil. It is surprising that we have not yet recognized the Government of Formosa. Also, India must actively contribute to Tibet’s struggle for independence. Our present attitude towards the Dalai Lama obstructs, rather than helps, fulfillment of this objective. Pakistan has virtually thrown the Tashkent agreement into the waste paper basket. It is ridiculous that our leaders should nevertheless continue to swear by it. There is an obvious shift in Soviet Russia's policy towards Pakistan. It seems that our attitude to Pakistan is determined mainly by an intention to please the Soviet leaders. We really see no other explanation for Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi's uncalled-for congratulatory message to Ayub Khan in respect of the Mangla Dam. If India’s policy towards Pakistan is to be formulated not on the basis of that country's own conduct but in deference to the wishes of either Soviet Russia or America, there can never be peace in this region.
China and Pakistan are preparing a concerted plan of aggression. We cannot remain indifferent to the scheme they are hatching. No doubt, there has been some increase lately in our military preparation but much more needs to be done to meet the requirements of the situation. China has made great progress in the sphere of nuclear armament. The Government of India, however, continues to stick obtusely to its original stand. I would like to reiterate our view that India must go in for the nuclear bomb. Our failure to take this decision gravely endangers our security.

Peking-Pindi Patriots

In the context of this threat posed by China and Pakistan, we must also consider the activities of elements within the country who take ideological inspiration from them and act in concert with their designs. In West Bengal and Kerala, after securing representation in Government, the Mao Communists have been feeling greatly emboldened and have been misusing power to promote their designs. By organizing the Naxalbari uprising they subverted law and order. Simultaneously they have been trying to paralyze the administration and demoralize the police.

The country must be ever watchful. People must ensure that these elements are not allowed to create a situation which could be taken advantage of by Communist China or Pakistan. Whenever and wherever these elements disturb peace or pose a threat to the country's security they should be ruthlessly suppressed. But it is necessary that these forces be checkmated on the political level also. The people of this country have an abiding faith in nationalism and democracy and they will not tolerate elements who seek to subvert these values.

However, the powers assumed by the Central Government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act recently passed are unjustified, and unwarranted. It appears that following its defeat in the last election, the Congress Government at the Centre is anxious to give to itself all such power as might some day come handy to it to retain its stranglehold on Government.

Channelise Popular Awakening

We should also be cautious about people who see in every popular agitation the hidden hand of Communists and suggest that the agitation must be crushed. In the changing situation at present, public agitations are natural and even essential. In fact, they are the media and expressions of social awakening. It is of course necessary that these agitations should be made instruments of a constructive revolution and not allowed to become violent or adventurist. Therefore, we must actively participate in popular movements, and try to guide them. Those who are keen to preserve the status quo in the economic and social spheres feel unnerved by these movements and are wont to create an atmosphere of despair and pessimism. We are sorry we cannot cooperate with them. We think these sections are trying in vain to halt the wheels of progress and avert the destiny of the country. This is not possible. While we do draw inspiration from the past, we do not regard the past as the highest pinnacle of our achievement; while we have a realistic approach to the present, we do not feel tied down even to the present; and while we do have before our eyes a vision of a great future for this country, we are not mere visionaries but are karmayogis resolved to translate our vision into reality.

We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India sujala suphala (laden with fruits and overflowing with water) in the real sense of these words. As Dashapraharana Dharini Durga (Goddess Durga with her ten weapons) she would be able to vanquish evil; as Lakshmi she would be able to disburse prosperity all over and as Saraswati she would dispel the gloom of ignorance and spread the radiance of knowledge all around her. With faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task.


(XIV Annual Session of Bharatiya Jana Sangh)

Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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