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Breakup or Breakdown

ANNUAL NUMBER FEBRUARY 1967 IT IS AN ODD and interesting feature of the elections, which are due in about a fortnight, that, the people find the parties are still far from being consumed by the vote fever. Some meetings have been held. Indira Gandhi has begun to get around and use the appeal of her father's name as well as that of her sex

End of the Beginning

December 24, 1966 MANY COMMENTATORS seem to be worried about the rapid and even disgraceful spread of the squabbles of the States to the capital. It may not, however, be such a bad thing, after all. What Nehru was able to accomplish apart from the morale imparted by his sheer presence

Tamilnad s Disunited Opposition

December 10, 1966 set-up consists of ordinary, mediocre men", for the Congress now "learning is a dangerous thing". It seems altogether fanciful to think that the Congress Party is deliberately out to suppress, intelligence and so is presiding over the closure of institutions capable of producing bright Bengali boys; the drawing up of so diabolical, almost Byzantine, a scheme would itself call for greater intelligence than Congressmen can be credited with; and one does not know what to make of the story that the trouble in Presidency College might not have assumed its present fearful proportions if the wife of the resigning superintendent of the Hindu Hostel had not been a niece of the Congress boss, Atulya Ghosh. It yet remains true that much of the Congress thinking today is rather like that of the Intelligence or Special Branch of the British days. The logic of the I B or S B men is easily summed up from personal experience: "By God, if this student has any brains, he must be against me". That was that. That, again, is that But it will not do to curse extraneous stimuli alone. The iron, one suspects, is in the soul. If education no longer commands respect, it may be because education at some point forgot to respect itself and supplicated before vain men in brief authority and even helped devise respectable clothes for the utter nudity of authority. Nowhere in the world has there been a greater betrayal of the clerks, to revive Julien Benda's phrase, than in Bengal. The predicament today is explaining only in terms of what has gone before. Many of the perpetrators of yesterday, too, were products of Presidency College, who were, apparently, unaware of the mediaeval meaning of the word "clerk" and damned a whole system of education as an instrument to produce "clerks", which in some places means shop- assistants and in others compradors. The students squatting outside Presidency College today are at once doing penance for the sins of past generations and digging the grave of those that shall follow them. What invests their present actions with an element of heartbreaking tragedy is the participants' total unawareness of the role they are playing.

Andhra s Anger

Andhra's Anger A GREAT DEAL of indignation has been worked up against the sweeping struggle in Andhra to locate the fifth steel plant at Visakhapatnam. It has been made out that the whole business was simply a struggle between two Congress factions and that the people could get involved because of parochial reasons and chauvinistic passions. This is the usual stock response of cliche-ridden observers who have not bothered to make the slightest effort to study the concrete details of this particular struggle.

Election Tricks in Tamilnad

ALL MANNER of tricks are being played in Tamilnad. The latest is the decision of the Tamilnad Congress Committee to abolish the land tax and to recoup the losses from monopoly state trading in food- grains. Quite a crude election manoeuvre, despite T T K's claim that the TNCC was only doing away with a tax that was both inequitous and wasteful. Why this wisdom dawned only a few months before the General Elections is not made clear.

Election Tricks in Tamilnad

October 22, 1966 But the low key in which foreign policy is being conducted today is not expected to offer any scope for leadership in the conference by Indira Gandhi. This is very much ALL MANNER of tricks are being played in Tamilnad. The latest is the decision of the Tamilnad Congress Committee to abolish the land tax and to recoup the losses from monopoly state trading in food- grains. Quite a crude election manoeuvre, despite T T K's claim that the TNCC was only doing away with a tax that was both inequitous and wasteful. Why this wisdom dawned only a few months before the General Elections is not made clear.

The New Boss

The New Boss? BRAHMANANDA REDDY has won handsomely. He has broken the grip that Sanjeeva Reddy had established over the Pradesh Congress in Andhra in the mid-fifties. What is more, this has been done at a time when Sanjeeva Reddy's star is in the ascendant, when he has even dreams of becoming No 2 or No 3 in India and when Sanjivayya, his hated rival till the other day, is in alliance with him. Despite all these odds, Brahmananda Reddy's group won with a margin of 27 votes (163 as against 136) in the election to the Andhra Congress Election Committee. By this victory the group now has a majority of one! No Triumph for Progressive Forces What made this possible? Was it a revolt against the "dictator"? Was it a triumph for some new forces, more progressive elements? Alas! it is quite impossible to claim this as any sort of victory of healthy or progressive elements as against a clique of reactionaries. It is true that the biggest landlords like the Rajahs of Chellapalli and Viziana- garam and other smaller zamindars were banded together under Sanjeeva Reddy's flag. But at the same time the biggest champion of the landlords, the doughtiest opponent of land reforms, state trading, procurement levy, etc, was one of the leading lights of the now victorious group

Kerala's Promise

It seems as if Kerala will, after all, keep her promise to herself and to India. It is extraordinarily encouraging that, overcoming great odds, the opposition parties have worked out a minimum programme. It wil l not only form the basis for their joint campaigning in the elections but also for the Government to follow, which now appears fairly certain.

Churning Point

The South today is more than ever India. The same discontents plague its people. And the remedies they seek are different from what goes on in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The Congress here too, is in a state of considerable disarray while a somewhat diverse opposition seeks to unite. All this is rather encouraging for Indian unity as well as for the break with the "status quo" so essential for the country's development.

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