ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Worms Eye View.

Editorial from Volume XI, Nos 28, 29 & 30 Special number, July 1959.

Did not Whitehall think out all contingencies and work them into the parliamentary sys-tem which we have borrowed – particularly solutions to the problems that are plaguing us today? There is, of course, the caveat entered by British constitutional experts that Parlia-mentary Government was not designed for export, that it cannot work unless it is sup-plemented by appropriate conventions which the people working it have to evolve them-selves. But the point about these conventions is that they must be accepted and accepted without any mental reservations by those who run the Government as well as those who oppose it...The question is writ large all over the political scene in the States, in Kera-la, in Orissa, the Punjab and right under our nose, here, in Bombay. To ascribe all our po-litical troubles to the lack of a well-organised and solid political opposition in the country which could take over when the present Government lost popular support is to oversim-plify it to the point of inviting disaster. That popular Governments have to be responsive to what people think and feel, that some ef-fective and workable outlets have to be found, and political remedies provided, for political grievances, which are widely entertained, has been becoming clearer day by day...

Because no attempt has been made to evolve the necessary conventions, the outlets that pop-ular discontent seeks are the old ones, developed in the years of struggle for national freedom. That these techniques are no longer applicable every one would accept at a high level of abstrac-tion, but that they would continue to be used until appropriate instruments have been forged to meet the demands of the changed times is an ugly fact which has to be looked in the face.

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