WHAT CONGRESS AND GANDHI HAVE DONE

TO

THE UNTOUCHABLES

_______________________________________________

 

CHAPTER IX

A PLEA TO THE FOREIGNER

Let not Tyranny Have Freedom to Enslave

I

'It is a matter of common experience that barring a few exceptions, almost all foreigners, who show interest in Indian political affairs, take the side of the Congress. This quite naturally puzzles and annoys the other political parties in the country, such as the Muslim League, claiming to represent the Musalmans, the Justice Party—now in a state of suspended animation but still—claiming to speak in the name of the non-Brahmins and the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation, claiming to represent the Untouchables, all of whom have been appealing to the foreigner for support but to whom the foreigner's not even prepared to give a sympathetic hearing. Why does the foreigner support the Congress and not the other political parties in India ? Two reasons are usually assigned by the foreigner for his behaviour. One reason assigned by him for supporting the Congress is that it is the only representative political organisation of the Indians and can speak in the name of India and even for the Untouchables. Is such a belief founded on facts ?

It must be admitted that there have been circumstances which are responsible for creating such a belief. The first and foremost circumstance for the spread of this view is the propaganda by the Indian Press in favour of the Congress. The Press in India is an accomplice of the Congress, believes in the dogma that the Congress is never wrong and acts on the principle of not giving any publicity to any news, which is inconsistent with the Congress prestige or the Congress ideology. To the foreigner the Press is the principal medium of information about the Indian political affairs. The cry of the Indian Press being what it is, there is therefore no wonder if the people in England and America know one thing and only one thing, namely, that the Congress is the only representative body in India including even the Untouchables.

The effect of this propaganda is considerably heightened because of the absence of counter-propaganda on behalf of the Untouchables to advertise their case against the Congress clam. There are various explanations for this failure on the part of the Untouchables.

The Untouchables have no Press. The Congress Press is closed to them and is determined not to give them the slightest publicity. They cannot have their own Press and for obvious reasons. No paper can survive without advertisement revenue. Advertisement revenue can come only from business and in India all business, both high and small, is attached to the Congress and will not favour any Non-Congress organisation. The staff of the Associated Press in India, which is the main news distributing agency in India, is entirely drawn from the Madras Brahmins—indeed the whole of the Press in India is in their hands and they, for well-known reasons, are entirely pro-Congress and will not allow any news hostile to the Congress to get publicity. These are reasons beyond the control of the Untouchables.

To a large extent the failure of the Untouchables to do propaganda, it must be admitted, is also due to the absence of will to do propaganda. This absence of will arises from a patriotic motive not to do anything, which will damage the cause of the country in the eyes of the world outside. There are two different aspects to the politics of India, which may be distinguished as foreign politics and constitutional politics. India's foreign politics relate to India's freedom from British Imperialism, while the constitutional politics of India centre round the nature of a constitution for a free India. For a discriminating student the two issues are really separate. But the Untouchables fear that though the two aspects of India's politics are separable, the foreigner, who counts in this matter and whose misunderstanding has to be guarded against, is not only incapable of separating them but is very likely to mistake a quarrel over constitutional politics for a, disagreement over the ultimate purposes of India's foreign politics. This is why the Untouchables have preferred to remain silent and allowed the Congress propaganda to go unchallenged.

The Congressmen will not admit the patriotic motives of the Untouchables in keeping silent over Congress propaganda which is directed against them. The fact, however, remains that the silence and the desire to avoid open challenge on the part of the Untouchables have been materially responsible for the general belief that the Congress represents all, even the Untouchables.

While, as explained above, there are circumstances which are responsible for creating the belief that Congress represents all including the Untouchables, such a belief is not warranted by the facts as disclosed by the elections that took place in 1937. How the claim of the Congress to represent all has been disproved by those elections, has already been described in an earlier part of this book, both generally and also with particular regard to the claim of the Congress to represent the Untouchables. If the foreigner will make a note of it he will see how wide the propaganda is from the facts.

At a time when the representative character of the Congress was not put to test in an election it was excusable for a foreigner to be carried away by propaganda. But the matter has now been put to test in the elections that took place in 1937. With the results of the elections available to check the position, it may be hoped that the foreigners will revise their view that the Congress represents all, including the Untouchables, and that they will realise that the other parties are equally representative of elements in the social life of India which are outside the Congress and have therefore the right to be heard.

 

II

There is another reason why the foreigner lends his support to the Congress. It lies in the difference between the demonstrative activities of the Congress and the other political parties in the country. While he compares the activities of the different political parties, he sees Congressmen engaged in a conflict with the British Government, launching campaigns of civil disobedience, breaking laws made by a foreign Government, organising movements for non-payment of taxes, courting prison, preaching non-co-operation with Government, refusing offices and exhibiting themselves in other ways as men out to sacrifice themselves for the freedom of the country. On the other hand. he sees the other political parties uninterested, passive and taking no part in such a struggle. From this, he concludes that the Congress is a body struggling for the freedom of India, while the other parties are indifferent, if not obstructive and as a lover of freedom feels bound to support the Congress as a body carrying on a ' Fight for Freedom ' in preference to other parties.

This is quite natural. But a question arises which calls for attention. Is this partiality to the Congress the result of an infatuation for the ' Fight for Freedom ' movement ? Or, is it the result of a conviction that this ' Fight for Freedom ' is going to make the people of India free ? If it is the former, all I can do is to regret that what I have said in Chapter VII in explanation as to why the Untouchables have not joined with the Congress in this ' Fight for Freedom ' has not produced the desired effect on the foreigner. But I cannot quarrel, with him on that account. For it is quite understandable that many a foreigner on reading that chapter may say that while the reasons adduced by me as to why the Untouchables refuse to join the ' Fight for Freedom ' are valid and good, I have shown no ground why he should not support a body which is carrying on a fight for freedom.

If the basis of his partiality to the Congress is of the latter sort then the matter stands on a different footing. It then becomes necessary to examine the rationale of his attitude and to save him from his error.

Ordinarily, no one trusts the word of a person who is not prepared to place all his cards on the table and commit himself to something clear and definite, so as to prove his bona fides, to inspire confidence and secure the co-operation of those who have doubts about his motives. The same rule must apply to the Congress. But as I have shown in Chapter VII the Congress has not produced its blue print of the sort of democracy it aims to establish in India, showing what place the servile classes and particularly the Untouchables will have in it. Indeed, it has refused to produce such a blue print, not withstanding the insistent demand of the Untouchables and the other minority communities. In the absence of such a pronouncement it appears to be a strange sort of credulity on the part of the foreigner to give support to the Congress on the ground that it stood for democracy.

There is certainly no ground for thinking that the Congress is planning to establish democracy in India. The mere fact that the Congress is engaged in a ' Fight for Freedom ' does not warrant such a conclusion. Before any such conclusion is drawn it is the duty of the foreigner to pursue the matter further and ask another question, namely, ' For whose freedom is the Congress fighting ? ' The question whether the Congress is fighting for freedom has very little importance as compared to the question, ' for whose freedom is the Congress fighting ? ' This is a pertinent and necessary inquiry and it would be wrong for any lover of freedom to support the Congress without further pursuing the matter and finding out what the truth is. But the foreigner who takes the side of the Congress does not care even to raise such a question. One should have thought that he would very naturally raise such a question and if he did raise it and pursue it, I am confident, he will find abundant proof that the Congress far from planning for democracy is planning to resuscitate the ancient form of Hindu polity of a hereditary governing class ruling a hereditary servile class.

The attitude of the foreigner to the cause of the servile classes and particularly to the cause of the Untouchables is a vital matter and no party can leave it out of consideration, as a case of idiosyncrasy. For any one representing the Untouchables it is necessary to take note of it and do his best to convince the foreigner that in supporting the Congress he is supporting a wrong party.

 

III

Apart from the question of likes and dislikes, the real explanation for this strange attitude of the foreigner towards the Congress seems to be in certain notions about freedom, self-government and democracy propounded by western writers on Political Science and which have become the stock-in-trade of the average foreigner.

As to freedom, the foreigner does not stop to make a distinction between the freedom of a country and the freedom of the people in the country. He takes it for granted that the freedom of a country is the same as the freedom of the people in the country and once the freedom of the country is secured the freedom of the people is also thereby assured.

As regards self-government he believes that all that is wanted in a people is a sense of constitutional morality, which Grote [f.1]  defined as habits of " paramount reverence for the form of the constitution, enforcing obedience to the authorities acting under and within those forms, yet combined with the habit of open speech, of action subject only to definite legal control, and unrestrained censure of those very authorities as to all their public acts—combined, too, with a perfect confidence in the bosom of every citizen, admits the bitterness of party contest, that the forms of constitution will be not less sacred in the eyes of his opponents than in his own." If in a populace these habits are present, then according to the western writers on Politics, self-government can be a reality and nothing further need be considered. As to democracy he believes that what is necessary for achieving it is the establishment of universal adult suffrage. Other aids have been suggested such as recall, plebiscite and frequent elections and in some countries they have been brought into operation. But in a majority of countries nothing more than adult suffrage and frequent elections is deemed to be necessary for ensuring Government by the people, of the people and for the people.

I have no hesitation in saying that all these notions are fallacious and grossly misleading.

Not to make a distinction between the freedom of the country and the freedom of the people in the country is to allow oneself to be misled, if not deceived. For, words such as society, nation and country are just amorphous if not ambiguous terms. There is no gainsaying that ' nation ' though one word means many classes. Philosophically, it may be possible to consider a nation as a unit but sociologically it cannot but be regarded as consisting of many classes and the freedom of the nation, if it is to be a reality, must vouchsafe the freedom of the different classes comprised in it, particularly of those who are treated as the servile classes.

Habits of constitutional morality may be essential for the maintenance of a constitutional form of Government. But the maintenance of a constitutional form of Government is not the same thing as a self-government by the people. Similarly, it may be granted that adult suffrage can produce government of the people in the logical sense of the phrase, i.e., in contrast to the government of a king. But it cannot by itself be said to bring about a democratic government, in the sense of the government by the people and for the people.

Anyone who knows the tragic fate of Parliamentary Democracy in Western Europe will not require more and better evidence to prove the fallacy underlying such notions of democracy [f.2]  . If I may quote myself from what I have said in another place, the causes which have led to the failure of democracy in Western Europe may be summarised in the following words:

" The Government of human society has undergone some very significant changes. There was a time when the government of human society had taken the form of autocracy by Despotic Sovereigns. This was replaced after a long and bloody struggle by a system of government known as Parliamentary Democracy. It was felt that this was the last word in the framework of government. It was believed to bring about the millennium in which every human being will have the right to liberty, property and pursuit of happiness. And there were good grounds for such high hopes. In parliamentary democracy there is the Legislature to express the voice of the people; there is the executive which is subordinate to the Legislature and bound to obey the Legislature. Over and above the Legislature and the Executive there is the Judiciary to control both and keep them both within prescribed bounds. Parliamentary democracy has all the marks of a popular Government, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is therefore a matter of some surprise that there has been a revolt against parliamentary democracy although not even a century has elapsed since its universal acceptance and inauguration. There is revolt against it in Italy, in Germany, in Russia and in Spain, and there are very few countries in which there has not been discontent against parliamentary democracy. Why should there be this discontent and dissatisfaction against parliamentary democracy ? It is a question worth considering. There is no country in which the urgency of considering this question is greater than it is in India. India is negotiating to have parliamentary democracy. There is a great need of some one with sufficient courage to tell Indians: " Beware of parliamentary democracy, it is not the best product as it appears to be.

Why has parliamentary democracy failed ? In the country of the dictators it has failed because it is a machine whose movements are very slow. It delays swift action. In a parliamentary democracy the Executive may be held up by the Legislature which may refuse to pass the laws which the Executive wants and if it is not held up by the Legislature it may be held up by the judiciary which may declare the laws as illegal. Parliamentary democracy gives no free hand to dictatorship and that is why it became a discredited institution in countries like Italy, Spain and Germany which readily welcomed dictatorships. If dictators alone were against parliamentary democracy it would not have mattered at all. Their testimony against parliamentary democracy would be welcomed for the reason that it can be an effective check upon dictatorship. But unfortunately there is a great deal of discontent against parliamentary democracy even in countries where people are opposed to dictatorship. That is the most regrettable fact about Parliamentary democracy. This is all the more regrettable because parliamentary democracy has not been at a standstill. It has progressed in three directions. It began with equality of political rights in the form of equal suffrage. There are very few countries having parliamentary democracy which have not adult suffrage. It has progressed by expanding the notion of equality of political rights to equality of social and economic opportunity. It has recognised that the State cannot be held at bay by corporations which are anti-social in their purpose. With all this, there is immense discontent against parliamentary democracy even in countries pledged to democracy. The reasons for discontent in such countries must obviously be different from those assigned by the dictator countries. There is no time to go into details. But it can be said in general terms that the discontent against parliamentary democracy is due to the realisation that it has failed to assure to the masses the right to liberty, property or the pursuit of happiness. If this is true, it is important to know the causes which have brought about this failure. The causes for this failure may be found either in wrong ideology or wrong organisation or in both. I think the causes are to be found in both.

Of the erroneous ideologies which have been responsible for the failure of parliamentary democracy I have no doubt that the idea of freedom of contract is one of them. The idea became sanctified and was upheld in the name of liberty. Parliamentary democracy took no notice of economic inequalities and did not care to examine the result of freedom of contract on the parties to the contract, in spite of the fact that they were unequal in their bargaining power. It did not mind if the freedom of contract gave the strong the opportunity to defraud the weak. The result is that parliamentary democracy in standing out as protagonist of liberty has continuously added to the economic wrongs of the poor. the downtrodden and the disinherited class.

The second wrong ideology which has vitiated parliamentary democracy is the failure to realise that political democracy cannot succeed where there is no social and economic democracy. Some may question this proposition. To those who are disposed to question it, I will ask a counter-question. Why did parliamentary democracy collapse so easily in Italy, Germany and Russia ? Why did it not collapse so easily in England and the U.S.A. ? To my mind there is only one answer. It is that there was a greater degree of economic and social democracy in the latter countries than existed in the former. Social and economic democracy are the tissues and the fibre of a political democracy. The tougher the tissue and the fibre, the greater the strength of the body. Democracy is another name for equality. Parliamentary democracy developed a passion for liberty. It never made even a nodding acquaintance with equality. It failed to realise the significance of equality and did not even endeavour to strike a balance between liberty and equality with the result that liberty swallowed equality and has made democracy a name and a farce.

I have referred to the wrong ideologies which in my judgement have been responsible for the failure of parliamentary democracy. But I am equally certain that more than bad ideology it is bad organisation which has been responsible for the failure of democracy. All political societies get divided into two classes—the Rulers and the Ruled. This is an evil. If the evil stopped here it would not matter much. But the unfortunate part of it is that the division becomes so stereotyped and stratified that Rulers are always drawn from the ruling class and the class that is ruled never becomes the ruling class. This happens because generally people do not care to see that they govern themselves. They are content to establish a government and leave it to govern them. This explains why parliamentary democracy has never been a government of the people or by the people and why it has been in reality a government of a hereditary subject class by a hereditary ruling class. It is this vicious organisation of political life which has made parliamentary democracy such a dismal failure. It is because of this that parliamentary democracy has not fulfilled the hope it held out to the common man of ensuring to him liberty, property and pursuit of happiness."

If this analysis of the causes which have led to the failure of democracy is correct, it must serve as a warning to the protagonists of democracy that there are certain fundamental considerations which go to the root of democracy and which they cannot ignore without peril to democracy. For the sake of clarity these considerations may be set down in serial order.

First is the recognition of the hard fact of history that in every country there exist two classes,—the governing class and the servile class between whom there is a continuous struggle for power. Second is that by reason of its power and prestige the governing class finds it easy to maintain its supremacy over the servile class. Third is that adult suffrage and frequent elections are no bar against governing class reaching places of power and authority. Fourth is that on account of their inferiority complex the members of the servile classes regard the members of the governing class as their natural leaders and the servile classes themselves volunteer to elect members of the governing classes as their rulers. Fifth is that the existence of a governing class is inconsistent with democracy and self-government and that given the fact that where the governing class retains its power to govern, it is wrong to believe that democracy and self-government have become realities of life. Sixth is that self-government and democracy become real not when a constitution based on adult suffrage comes into existence but when the governing class loses its power to capture the power to govern. Seventh is that while in some countries the servile classes may succeed in ousting the governing class from the seat of authority with nothing more than adult suffrage, in other countries the governing class may be so deeply entrenched that the servile classes will need other safeguards besides adult suffrage to achieve the same end.

That there is great value in having these considerations drawn up and hung up, so to say on the wall, before every lover of democracy, so that he may see them and note them, goes without saying. For they will help, as nothing else can, to make him realise that in devising a constitution for democracy he must bear in mind: that the principal aim of such a constitution must be to dislodge the governing class from its position and to prevent it from remaining as a governing class for ever; that the machinery for setting up a democratic government cannot be a matter of dogma; that ousting the governing class from power being the main object the machinery for setting up a democratic government cannot be uniform and that variations in the machinery of Democracy must not merely be tolerated but accepted for the reason that the processes by which the governing classes obtain their mastery over the servile classes vary from country to country.

This is what democracy means and involves. But unfortunately Western writers on Politics from whom the foreigner draws his notions have failed to take such a realistic view of democracy. Instead, they have taken a very formal and a very superficial view of it by making constitutional morality, adult suffrage and frequent elections as the be-all and end-all of democracy.

Those who propound the view that democracy need involve no more than these three devices are probably unaware of the fact that they are doing nothing more than and nothing different from expressing the point of view of the governing classes. The governing classes know by experience that such mechanisms have not proved fatal to their power and their position. Indeed, they have helped to give to their power and prestige the virtue of legality and made themselves less vulnerable to attack by the servile classes.

Those who wish that democracy and self-government should come into their own, and should not remain as mere forms, cannot do better than start with the recognition of the crucial fact that the existence of a permanently settled governing class is the greatest danger to democracy. It is the only safe and realistic approach for a democrat to adopt. It is a fatal blunder to omit to take account of its existence in coming to a conclusion as to whether in a free country freedom will be the privilege of the governing class only or it will be the possession of all. In my view, therefore, what the foreigner who chooses to side with the Congress should ask is not whether the Congress is fighting for freedom. He should ask: For whose freedom is the Congress fighting ? Is it fighting for the freedom of the governing class in India or is it fighting for the freedom of the people of India ? If he finds that the Congress is fighting for the freedom of the governing class, he should ask Congressmen: Is the governing class in India tit to govern ? This is the least he can do before siding with the Congress.

What are the answers which Congressmen have to give to these questions ? I do not know. But I will give what I think are the only true answers to these questions.

 

IV

I cannot say if the foreigner will be impressed by what has been said in the foregoing section of this chapter. If he is he will no doubt ask for proof in support of the statement that the Congress in fighting for the freedom of the country is really fighting not to establish democracy but is planning to resuscitate the ancient Hindu polity of a hereditary governing class ruling a hereditary servile class. I am not certain that the foreigner will be satisfied with the evidence. But I and prepared to place it before him for what it is worth.

Who constitute the governing class in India ? For Indians such a question is unnecessary. But for the foreigner it is a necessary preliminary and it must therefore be dealt with. The governing class in India consists principally of the Brahmins. Strangely enough some present-day Brahmins repudiate the allegation that they belong to the governing class though at one time they described themselves as Bhudevas (Gods on earth). What can-this volte face be due to ? The intellectual class in every community is charged by its moral code with one sacred duty, namely, to safeguard the interest of the community and not to sacrifice it to the interest of their own class. No intellectual class has so grossly related this trust as have the Brahmins in India. When one finds the Brahmins repudiating their position as the governing class in India one begins to think whether it is due to a guilty conscience, born out of the realisation that they have committed a criminal breach of this trust and therefore dare not stand before the bar of the world. Or is it due to their sense of modesty ? It is not necessary to speculate as to what the truth is. For, it is hardly open to question that in India the Brahmins are a governing class. If necessary there are two tests which one could apply for the purpose of ascertaining the truth. First is the sentiment of the people and the second is the Brahmin's share in administration. Taking the attitude of the people towards the Brahmin, nobody can deny that the person of the Brahmin is regarded as sacred by every Hindu, high or low. He is the most " Worshipful Master " to whom everyone high and low must bow. In pre-British days he had immunities and privileges which were denied to the servile class. For instance he could not be hanged even if he committed murder. That was because he was a sacred person. There was a time when no person of the servile class could take his food without drinking the water in which the toes of the Brahmins were washed. Sir P. C. Ray once described how in his childhood, rows of children belonging to the servile classes used to stand for hours together in the morning on the roadside in Calcutta with cups of water in their hands waiting for a Brahmin to pass, ready to wash his feet and take the sacred liquid to their parents who would not take their food without having a sip of it first. He was entitled to first fruits. In Malabar, where the Sambandham form of marriage prevails, the servile classes, such as the Nairs, regard it an honour to have their females kept as mistresses by the Brahmins. Even kings invited Brahmins to deflower their queens on prima nortis. 5[f.3]  Under the British Government and by reason of its equalitarian jurisprudence these rights, immunities and privileges of the Brahmins have ceased to exist. Nonetheless the advantages they gave still remain and the Brahmin is still pre-eminent and sacred in the eyes of the servile classes and is still addressed by them as " Swami " which means ' Lord.'

The second test gives an equally positive result. To take only the Madras Presidency by way of illustration. Consider Table 18 (see page 218). It shows the distribution of gazetted posts between the Brahmins and the other communities in the year 1948. Similar data from the other provinces could also be adduced to support this conclusion. But it is unnecessary to labour the point. Whether the Brahmins accept or deny the status the facts that they control the State and that their supremacy is accepted by the servile classes, are enough to prove that they form the governing class.

It is of course impossible for the Brahmins to maintain their supremacy as a governing class without an ally to help them on account of their being numerically very small. Consequently, as history shows, the Brahmins have always had other classes as their allies to whom they were ready to accord the status of a governing class provided they were prepared to work with them in subordinate co-operation. In ancient and mediaeval times they made such an alliance with the Kshatriyas or the warrior class and the two not merely ruled the masses, but ground them down to atoms, pulverised them so to say—the Brahmin with his pen and the Kshatriya with his sword. At present, Brahmins have made an alliance with the Vaishya class called Banias. The shifting of this alliance from the Kshatriya to the Bania is in the changed circumstances quite inevitable. In these days of commerce money is more important than sword. That is one reason for this change in party alignment. The second reason is the need for money to run the political machine. Money can come only from and is in fact coming from the Bania. If the Bania is financing the Congress it is because he has realised—and Mr. Gandhi has taught him—that money invested in politics gives large dividends. Those who have any doubt in the matter might do well to read what Mr. Gandhi told Mr. Louis Fischer on June 6, 1942. In his book A Week with Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Fischer records very revealing answers to some of his most interesting and pertinent questions.

 

Table 18 (1)1

Communities

Approx-imate Population in Lakhs

Percentage of Population

No. of Posts held out of Total No. Gazetted Posts (2,200)

Percentage of Appoint-ments held

Non-Gazetted Posts

 

 

 

 

 

Over Rs. 100 Total No. 7,500

Over Rs. 35 Total No. 20,782

 

 

 

 

 

No. held by

% of Appointments held

No. held by

% of Appointments held

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)

Brahmins

15

3

820

37

3,280

43.73

8,812

42.4

Christians 

20

4

190

9

750

10

1.655

8.0

Mohammedans

37

7

150

7

497

6.63

1,624

7.8

Depressed classes

70

14

25

1.5

39

.52

144

.69

Non-Forward

Non-Brahmins Brahmins Backward Classes

113

 

245

22

 

50

620

 

50

27

 

2

 2,543

33.9

8,440

40.6

Non-Asiatic and Anglo-lndians

372

5.0

83

.4

Other Communities

19

.5

24

.11

 

Mr. Fischer writes [f.4]  :

" I said I had several questions to ask him (Mr. Gandhi) about the Congress Party. Very highly placed Britishers, I recalled, bad told me that Congress was in the hands of big business and that Mr. Gandhi was supported by the Bombay Mill owners who gave him as much money as he wanted. 'What truth is there in these assertions,' I asked, ' Unfortunately, they are true,' he declared simply. ' Congress hasn't enough money to conduct its work. We thought in the beginning to collect four annas (about eight cents) from each member per year and operate on that. But it hasn't worked.' ' What proportion of the Congress budget,' I asked, ' is covered by rich Indians ? ' “Practically all of it,' he stated ' In this ashram, for instance, we could live much more poorly than we do and spend less money. But we do not and the money comes from our rich friends."'

Being dependent on his money, it is impossible for the Brahmin to exclude the Bania from the position of a governing class. In fact, the Brahmin has established not merely a working but a cordial alliance with the Bania. The result is that the governing class in India to-day is a Brahmin-Bania instead of a Brahmin-Kshatriya combine as it used to be.

Enough has been said to show who constitute the governing class in India. The next inquiry must be directed to find out how the governing class fared in the elections to the Provincial Legislatures that took place in 1937.

The elections that took place in 1937 were based on a franchise which though it was neither universal nor adult was wide enough to include classes other than the governing class, certainly wider than any existing prior to 1937. The elections based on such a franchise may well be taken as a test to find out how the governing class fared as against the servile classes in this electoral contest.

Unfortunately, no Indian publicist has as yet undertaken to compile an Indian counterpart of Dodd's Parliamentary Manual. Consequently, it is difficult to have precise particulars regarding the caste, occupation, education and social status of members of the legislature elected on the Congress ticket. The matter is so important that I thought of collecting the necessary information on these points relating to members of the Provincial Legislatures elected in 1937. I did not succeed in getting precise information about every member. There are many whom I have had to leave as unclassified. But the information I have been able to gather is I believe sufficient to warrant our drawing certain definite conclusions.

As an answer to the question as to how the governing class fared in the electoral contest of 1937, attention maybe drawn to Table 19 (see page 216) which shows the proportion of Brahmins and Banias (landlords and moneylenders) representing the governing class and non-Brahmins and the Scheduled Castes representing the servile classes, that were elected to the Provincial Legislative Assemblies on the Congress ticket.

Those, who do not know how small is the proportion of the Brahmins to the total population of Hindus, may not be able to realise the degree of over-representation which the Brahmins have secured in the election. But there is no doubt that on comparison with their numbers the Brahmins have secured overwhelming representation.

Those, who "wish to know what degree of representation the propertied classes, such as Banias, businessmen and landlords obtained, may see the figures given in Table 20 (see page 217). It shows how many Banias, businessmen and landlords were elected on the Congress ticket. Here again the representation secured by the Banias, landlords and businessmen is quite out of proportion to their numbers.

Such is the position of the governing class in the legislatures constituted under the elections that took place in 1937. Some may say that on the whole the governing classes were in a minority in the legislature. As against this, it must be pointed out that the supremacy of the governing class can be measured not by its position in the legislature but by its ability to get possession of executive authority. An inquiry into the class composition of the Ministers is therefore very pertinent. Information on this point will be found in Tables 21 and 22 (see pages 218 and 219).  A glance at the tables [f.5]   is enough to show that the Brahmins—the premier governing class— succeeded in capturing an overwhelming majority of scats in the Cabinet.

 

Table 19

Classification of Congress Members of Provincial Assemblies by Castes

Province

Brahmins

Non-Brahmins

Scheduled Castes

Not Stated

Total

Assam

6

21

1

5

33

Bengal

15

27

6

6

54

Bihar

31

39

16

12

98

C. P.

28

85

7

-

70

Madras

38

90

26

5

159

Orissa

11

20

5

_

36

United Provinces

39

54

16

24

133

 

Table 20

Classification of the Congress Members of the Provincial Legislatures in terms of Occupation

 

Province

Lawyers

Medical Practitioners

Land-lords

Business-men

Private Officials

Money Lenders

Nil

Not Stated

Total

Assam

16

2

2

1

3

9

33

Bengal

9

2

16

5

2

16

4

54

Bihar

14

4

56

6

3

1

14

98

Central Provinces

20

2

25

10

8

5

70

Madras

52

2

45

18

2

1

3

36

159

Orissa

8

1

17

4

4

1

1

36

 

Table 21

Composition of the Cabinets in the Congress Provinces [f.6] 

Province

Total No. of Cabinet Ministers

Total No. of Non-Hindu Ministers

Hindu Ministers in the Cabinet

Prime Minister

 

 

 

Total

Brahmins

Non. Brahmins

Scheduled Castes

 

Assam

8

3

5

1

 

Nil

Brahmin

Bihar

4

1

3

1

7

1

Brahmin

Bombay

7

2

5

3

2

Nil

Brahmin

Central Province

5

1

4

3

1

Nil

Brahmin

Madras

9

2

7

3

3

1

Brahmin

Orissa

3

Nil

3

7

 

 

Brahmin

United Provinces

6

2

4

4

Nit

Nil

Brahmin

 

Table 22

Classification of Parliamentary Secretaries in Congress Provinces*

Province

Total No. of Parliamentary Secretaries

Total No. of Non-Hindu Parliamentary Secretaries

 

Hindu Parliamentary Secretaries

 

 

 

Total

Brahmins

Non-Brahmins

Scheduled Castes

Assam

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Bihar

8

Nil

8

2

5

1

Bombay

6

Nil

6

1

5

Nil

Central Provinces

Nil

Nit

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Madras

8

1

9

3

4

1

Orissa

3

Nil

3

1

?

Nil

United Province

12

1

11

1

8

1

Compiled from Indian Information Issue of July 15, 1939. Question mark indicate inability to classify whether Brahmin or non-Brahmin.

 

In all the Hindu Provinces, the Prime Ministers were Brahmins. In all Hindu provinces, if the non-Hindu ministers were excluded, the majority of ministers were Brahmins and even parliamentary secretaries were Brahmins.

What has been said so far makes two things as clear as daylight. First is that there is in India a well defined governing class, distinct and separate from the servile class. Second is that the governing class is so powerful that though small in number in the elections of 1987 it quite easily captured political power and established its supremacy over the servile classes. There remains only one more point for me to establish to be able to put my thesis across. It is to show how far Congress was responsible for the victory of the governing class in the elections of 1987. I know I must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Congress is responsible for placing the governing class in the position of supremacy over the servile class. For it might be said that the Congress had nothing to do with this, that even if the Congress was responsible for it the result was an accident and that there was no intention on the part of the Congress to help the governing classes to win this position of supremacy.

 

V

The first line of these suggested defences can be easily disposed of. It is probable that those who raise this defence do not know the political colour of the province to which the figures given in Tables 19,20,21 and 22 relate. If they knew it they would give up this line of defence. For they relate to what are called the Congress Provinces. In these provinces the majority party was the Congress Party and the Cabinets were Congress Cabinets. Obviously, if in these Congress provinces the governing classes succeeded in establishing their rule over the servile classes it is difficult to see how the Congress could be absolved from responsibility for such a result. The Congress is a well disciplined party. It had a plan for fighting the elections. In every province there was established a Parliamentary Board, the functions of which were (1) to choose candidates for elections, (2) to decide upon the formation of Cabinets, and (8) to control the actions of ministers. Over and above these Provincial Parliamentary Boards there was a Central Parliamentary Board to superintend and control the work of the Provincial Parliamentary Boards. It was an election which was planned and controlled by the Congress. It is therefore futile to argue that if the governing classes captured power in the elections of 1987 in the Congress Provinces the Congress is not responsible for the result.

The second line of defence is as fragile as the first. Those who wish to argue that the dominance of the governing class in the Congress provinces is accidental and not intentional should know that they are advancing an argument which will not stand. I would invite the attention of those who are inclined to treat it as an accident to consider the following circumstances.

First let them consider the mentality of the leading members of the Congress High Command who have guided the destiny of the Congress in the past and who are at present running the affairs of the Congress. It would be well to begin with Mr. Tilak. He is dead. But while he was alive he was the most leading man in the Congress and exercised the greatest sway over it. Mr. Tilak was a Brahmin and belonged to the governing class. Though he had acquired the reputation of being the father of the Swaraj movement his antipathy to the servile classes was quite well known. For want of space I will cite only one instance of his mentality towards the servile classes. In 1918, when the non-Brahmins and the Backward classes had started an agitation for separate representation in the legislature, Mr. Tilak in a public meeting held in Sholapur said that he did not understand why the oil pressers, tobacco shopkeepers, washermen, etc.—that was his description of the Non-Brahmins and the Backward classes—should want to go into the legislature. In his opinion, their business was to obey the laws and not to aspire for power to make laws.

Next after Tilak I may take Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel. Here again, I will cite only one instance to indicate Ins mentality. In 1942, Lord Linlithgow invited 52 important Indians representing different sections of the people to discuss the steps that might be taken to make the Central Government more popular and thereby enlist the sympathy and co-operation of all Indians in war effort. Among those that were invited were members belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel could not bear the idea that the Viceroy should have invited such a crowd of mean men. Soon after the event, Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel made a speech in Ahmedabad and said [f.7]   :—

" The Viceroy sent for the leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha, he sent for the leaders of the Muslim League and he sent for Ghanchis (oil pressers), Mochis (cobblers) and the rest."

Although Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel in his malicious and stinging words referred only to Ghanchis and Mochis his speech indicates the general contempt in which he holds the servile classes of his country.

It may be well to know the reactions of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is a Brahmin but he has the reputation of being non-communal in his outlook and secular in his beliefs. Facts do not seem to justify the reputation he carries. A person cannot be called secular if he, when his father dies, performs the religious ceremonies prescribed by orthodox Hinduism at the hands of Brahmin priests on the banks of the river Ganges as Pandit Jawaharlal did when his father died in 1931. As to his being non-communal it is stated by no less a person than Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya that Pandit Nehru is very conscious of the fact that he is a Brahmin. [f.8]  This must come as a most astonishing fact to those who believe the Pandit to have the reputation of being the most nationally minded Hindu leader in India. But Dr. Sitaramayya must be knowing what he is talking about. More disturbing is the fact that in the United Provinces from which he hails and over which he exercises complete authority the ministers in the cabinet of the province were all Brahmins. Mrs. Vijaya Laxmi Pandit, the well-known sister of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, also seems to be conscious of herself being Brahmin by caste. It is said that at the All-India Women's Conference held in Delhi in December 1940, the question of not declaring one's caste in the Census Return was discussed. Mrs. Pandit disapproved [f.9]  of the idea and said that she did not see any reason why she should not be proud of her Brahmin blood and declare herself as a Brahmin at the Census. Who are these men ? What is their status? Mr. Tilak has the reputation of being the father of the Swaraj movement. Mr. Patel and Pandit Nehru come next in command in the Congress hierarchy after Mr. Gandhi.

Some might think that these are the individual and private opinions of the members of the Congress High Command. But that would be an error. Several cases could be pointed out in which such opinions have been acted upon in election campaigns run by the Congress.

'Ever since 1919 when Mr. Gandhi captured the Congress, Congressmen have looked upon the boycott of legislatures as one of the sanctions for making the British Government concede the demand for Swaraj. Under this policy, every time there was an election in which the Congress decided not to take part, the Congress would not only refuse to put candidates on the Congress ticket but would carry on propaganda against any Hindu proposing to stand for election as an independent candidate. One need not quarrel over the merits of such a policy. But what were the means adopted by the Congress to prevent Hindus-standing on an independent ticket ? The means adopted were to make the legislatures objects of contempt. Accordingly, the Congress in various Provinces started professions carrying placards with these significant and telling words: " Who will go in the legislatures ? Only barbers, cobblers, potters and sweepers." In the processions one man would utter the question as part of the slogan and the whole Congress crowd would shout as answer the second part of the slogan. When the Congressmen found that this was not enough to deter persons from standing for the elections, they decided to adopt sterner measures. Believing that respectable people would not be prepared to stand for election if they felt certain that they would have to sit with barbers, potters and sweepers, etc., in the legislatures, the Congress actually went to the extent of putting up candidates from these despised communities on the Congress ticket and got them elected. A few illustrations of this outrageous conduct of the Congress may be mentioned. In the 1920 election, the Congress elected a cobbler[f10]  to the legislature of the Central Provinces. In the 1930 election they elected in the Central Provinces two cobblers, [f.11]  one milkman [f.12]  and one barber, [f.13]   and in the Punjab one sweeper[f14] . In 1984, the Congress elected to the Central Legislature a potter[f15] . It might be said that this is old history. Let me correct such an impression by referring to what happened in 1948, in the Municipal elections in Andheri—a suburb of Bombay. The Congress put up a barber to bring the Municipality in contempt.

What a mentality for a Governing class I What a brazen facedness for a governing class to use the servile class for such an ignominious purpose and yet claim to be fighting for their freedom! What a tragedy for the servile class to take pride in its own disgrace and join in it voluntarily! The Sinn Fein Party in Ireland also boycotted the British Parliament. But did they make such hideous use of their own countrymen for effecting their purposes ? The campaign of boycott of legislature which took place in 1980 is of particular interest. The elections to the Provincial legislatures in 1980 in which these instances occurred coincided with Mr. Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha champaign of 1930; I hope that the future (the official historian, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, has failed to do so) historian of Congress while recording how Mr. Gandhi decided to serve notice on the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, presenting him with a list of demands to be conceded before a certain date and on failure by the Viceroy in this behalf, how Mr. Gandhi selected Salt Act as a target for attack, how he selected Dandy as a scene of battle, how he decided to put himself at the head of the campaign, how he marched out from his Ashram in Ahmedabad with all pomp and ceremony, how the women of Ahmedabad came out with Arthi and applied tilak (saffron mark) to his forehead wishing him victory, how Mr. Gandhi assured them that Gujarat alone would win Swaraj for India, how Mr. Gandhi proclaimed his determination by saying that he would not return to Ahmedabad until he had won Swaraj, will not fail to record that while on the one hand Congressmen were engaged in fighting for Swaraj, which they said they wanted to win in the name of and for the masses, on the other hand and in the very year they were committing the worst outrages upon the very masses by exhibiting them publicly as objects of contempt to be shunned and avoided.

VI

 

This mentality of the Congress High Command towards the servile classes is enough to negative the theory that the supremacy of the governing classes in the Congress Provinces was an accident. There are other facts which also go to negative the theory of accident and which are set out in Table 23 (see page 226). They relate to the educational qualifications of the several classes of candidates selected by the Congress for fighting the elections. What does the table show ? It is crystal clear that in the case of the Brahmins the relative proportion of graduates to non-graduates is far higher than what it is in the case of non-Brahmins and the Scheduled Castes. Was this an accident or was this a matter of policy ? This sort of selection is marked by such a state of uniformity that it could hardly be doubted that the Congress High Command in selecting a candidate had a definite policy, namely, in the case of Brahmins, to give preference to & candidate who had the highest educational qualifications and in the case of the non-Brahmins and the Scheduled Castes, to give preference to a candidate who had the lowest educational qualifications. The difference in terms of graduates and non-graduates does not really reveal the real difference between the status and position of the Brahmin candidates and non-Brahmin candidates. The Brahmin candidates were not merely graduates but they were seasoned politicians of high repute, while the non-Brahmin graduates were raw graduates with nothing but the career of second class politicians behind them.

Why did the Congress select the best educated Brahmins as its candidates for election ? Why did the Congress select the least educated non-Brahmins and Scheduled Castes as its candidates for election ? To this question I can sec only one answer. It was to prevent the non-Brahmins—the representatives of the servile classes—from forming a ministry. It cannot be that better educated non-Brahmins were not available. What the Congress seems to have done is deliberately to prefer an uneducated non-Brahmin to an educated non-Brahmin.

 

Table 23

Classification of Brahmin and Non-Brahmin Congress Partymen by  Literaey

Provincial Assemblies

Castes

Total

Graduates

Non-Graduates

Matriculates

Illiterates

Not stated

Assam

 Brahmin

6

5

1

 

 

 

 

Non-Brahmin

21

15

2

1

9

 

 Brahmin

15

14

1

 

 

 

Bengal

 Non-Brahmin

27

21

4

1

7

 

Scheduled Castes

6

3

1

2

 

 Brahmin

31

11

5

8

4

3

Bihar

 Non-Brahmin

39

23

4

3

8

13

 

Scheduled Castes

1

1

4

10

 

 Brahmin

39

15

 

2

9

2

Central Provinces

 Non-Brahmin  Scheduled Castes

54

15

2

17 6

1

 

 Brahmin

38

16

2

3

4

13

Madras

 Non-Brahmin

90

31

3

1

7

61

 

 Scheduled Castes

26

1

1

1

14

 

 Backward Class

1

 

 

 Brahmin

11

6

1

 

3

1

Orissa

 Non-Brahmin

20

7

3

2

7

1

 

Scheduled Castes

5

-

5

 

 

And why ? Because from the point of view of the governing class, the uneducated non-Brahmin has two definite advantages over an educated non-Brahmin. In the first place, he is likely to be more grateful to the Congress High Command for having got him elected than an educated non-Brahmin is likely to be. In the second place, the uneducated non-Brahmin is less likely to join hands with the educated non-Brahmins in the Congress Party and overturn the ministry of the governing classes and form a non-Brahmin ministry. In the third place, the greater the number of raw non-Brahmins in the Congress the lesser is the possibility of the non-Brahmins in the Congress forming a competent and alternative Ministry to the detriment of the governing class.

Given these circumstances, can there be any doubt that the Congress " Fight for Freedom " is for the freedom of nobody except that of the governing class ? Is there any doubt that the Congress is the governing class and the governing class is the Congress ? Is there any doubt that when Swaraj came in 1937 in the form of Provincial autonomy, the Congress deliberately and shamelessly put the governing class in places of power and authority ?

 

VII

The facts set out above prove beyond cavil that the " Fight for Freedom " launched by the Congress has ended in perverting the aim and object of Indian freedom and that the Congress itself is a party to such a perversion. The result is an enormity, the character of which it would not be possible for the foreigner to realise unless he has an adequate idea of the social outlook and social philosophy of the Governing Classes in India.

Starting with the Brahmins who form a strong and powerful element in the governing class in India it is no exaggeration to say that they have been the most inveterate enemies of the servile classes, the Shudras (the old name for the non-Brahmins) and the Untouchables who together constitute about 80 or 90 percent of the total Hindu population of India. If the common man belonging to the servile clauses in India is today so fallen, so degraded, so devoid of self-respect, hope or ambition, and so lifeless, it is entirely due to the Brahmins and their philosophy. The cardinal principles of this philosophy of the Brahmins were six—to use a correct expression, techniques of suppression—(1) graded inequality between the different classes; (2) complete disarmament of the Shudras And the Untouchables; (8) complete ban on the education of the Shudras and the Untouchables; (4) total exclusion of the Shudras and the Untouchables from places of power and authority; (5) complete prohibition against the Shudras and the Untouchables acquiring property, and (6) complete subjugation and suppression of women. Inequality is the official doctrine of Brahmanism and the suppression of the lower classes aspiring to equality has been looked upon by them and carried out by them, without remorse as their bounded duty. There are countries where education did not spread beyond a few. But India is the only country where the intellectual class, namely, the Brahmins not only made education their monopoly but declared acquisition of education by the lower classes, a crime punishable by cutting off of the tongue or by the pouring of molten lead in the ear of the offender. The result is that for centuries the Brahmins have denied the servile classes the right to education. Even to-day the Brahmins exhibit the same hostility to their education. Mr. Baines, the Census Commissioner for 1891 in discussing the causes why education was not spreading among the masses said :

" The second influence antagonistic to a more general spread of literacy is the long continued existence of a hereditary class whose object it has been to maintain their own monopoly of all book-learning as the chief buttress of their social supremacy, Sacerdotalism knows that it can reign over none but an ignorant populace. The opposition of the Brahmin to the rise of the writer castes has been already mentioned, and the repugnance of both, in the present day, to the diffusion of learning amongst the masses can only be appreciated after long experience. It is true that the recognition by the British Government of the virtue and necessity of primary education has met with some response on the part of the literate castes, but it is chiefly in the direction of academic utterances, which cannot, in the circumstances, be well avoided. It is welcome too, in its capacity of affording the means of livelihood to many of these castes, as they have to be engaged as teachers, and are bound accordingly to work up to the State standard of efficient tuition. The real interest of the castes in question is centred on secondary education, of which they almost exclusively are in a position to reap the advantage."

The Congress politicians complain that the British are ruling India by a wholesale disarmament of the people of India. But they forget that disarmament of the Shudras and the Untouchables was the rule of law promulgated by the Brahmins. Indeed, so strongly did the Brahmins believe in the disarmament of the Shudras and the Untouchables that when they revised the law to enable the Brahmins to arm themselves for the protection of their own privileges, they maintained the ban on the Shudras and the Untouchables as it was without lessening its rigour. If the large majority of people of India appear today to be thoroughly emasculated, spiritless, with no manliness, it is the result of the Brahmanic policy of wholesale disarmament to which they have been subjected for the untold ages. There is no social evil and no social wrong to which the Brahmin has not given his support. Man's inhumanity to man, such as the feeling of caste, untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability is a religion to him. It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that only the wrongs of man are a religion to him. The Brahmin has given his support to some of the worst wrongs that women have suffered from in any part of the world. In India widows were burnt alive as suttees and the Brahmin gave his fullest support to the practice. Widows were not allowed to remarry. The Brahmins upheld the doctrine. Girls were required to be married before 8 and the husbands were permitted to claim the right to consummate the marriage at any time thereafter whether she had reached puberty or not. The Brahmin defended the system. The record of the Brahmins as law givers for the Shudras, for the Untouchables and for women is the blackest as compared with the record of the intellectual classes in other parts of the world, For no intellectual class has prostituted its intelligence for the sole purpose of inventing a philosophy to keep his uneducated countrymen in a perpetual state of servility, ignorance and poverty as the Brahmins have done in India. Every Brahmin to-day believes in this philosophy of Brahmanism propounded by his forefathers. He is an alien element in the Hindu Society. The Brahmin vis-a-vis the Shudras and the Untouchables is as foreign as the German is to the French, as the Jew is to the Gentile or as the White is to the Negro. There is a real gulf between him and the lower classes of Shudras and Untouchables. He is not only alien to them but he is also hostile to them. In relationship with them, there is in him no room for conscience and no call for justice.

The Bania is the worst parasitic class known to history. In him the vice of money-making is unredeemed by culture or conscience. He is like an undertaker who prospers when there is an epidemic. The only difference between the undertaker and the Bania is that the undertaker does not create an epidemic while the Bania does. He does not use his money for productive purposes. He uses it to create poverty and more poverty by lending money for unproductive purposes. He lives on interest and as he is told by his religion that money-lending is the occupation prescribed to him by the divine Manu, he looks upon money-lending as both right and righteous. With the help and assistance of the Brahmin judge who is ready to decree his suits, the Bania is able to carry on his trade with the greatest ease. Interest, interest on interest, he adds on and on, and thereby draws millions of families perpetually into his net. Pay him as much as he may, the debtor is always in debt. With no conscience to check him there is no fraud, and there is no chicanery which he will not commit. His grip over the nation is complete. The whole of poor, starving, illiterate India is irredeemably mortgaged to the Bania.

In every country there is a governing class. No country is free from it. But is there anywhere in the world a governing class with such selfish, diseased and dangerous and perverse mentality, with such a hideous and infamous philosophy of life which advocates the trampling down of the servile classes to sustain the power and glory of the governing class ? I know of none. It is true that the governing classes in other countries do not readily admit into their society those who do not belong to their class. But they do not refuse admission to those who have risen to their level. Nor do they prevent any person from rising to their level. In India the governing class is a close corporation unwilling to admit anyone who does not belong to it by birth and ready to use every means to prevent the servile classes from rising to their level.

 

VIII

There was a governing class in France before the French Revolution. There was a governing class in Japan before the seventies of the nineteenth century when Japan decided to modernise its constitution. In both countries the governing classes realising that it was an hour of national crisis decided to shed their ancient rights and privileges in order to make the transition from oligarchy to democracy smooth and easy.

In France, when the Revolution broke out and demanded equality the governing class in France voluntarily came forward to give up its powers and its privileges and to merge itself in the mass of the nation, This is clear from what happened when the States-General was called. The Commons got 600 representatives, while the clergy and the Nobles got 300 each. The question arose how were the 1,200 members to sit, debate and vote. The Commons insisted upon the union of all the estates in one Chamber and ' vote by head.' It was impossible to expect the clergy and the Nobles to accept this position. For it meant the surrender of their most ancient and valuable privileges. Yet a good part of them agreed to the demand of the Commons and gave France a constitution based upon liberty, equality and fraternity.

The attitude of the governing classes in Japan during the period between 1855 to 1870, a period in which the Japanese people were transformed from a feudal society into a modern nation—was even more self-sacrificing than the attitude of the governing classes in France. As students of Japanese history know, there were four classes in Japanese Society: (1) The Damiyos, (2) The Samurai, (3) The Hemin or the Common folk and (4) The Eta or the outcasts, standing one above the other in an order of graded inequality. At the bottom were the Eta numbering a good many thousands. Above the Eta were the Hem in numbering about 25/30 millions. Over them were the Samurai who numbered about 2 millions and who had the power of life and death over the Hemin. At the apex were the Damiyos or the Feudal Barons who exercised sway over the rest of the three classes and who numbered only 300. The Damiyos and the Samurai realised that it was impossible to transform this feudal society with its class composition and class rights into a modern nation with equality of citizenship. Accordingly the Damiyos charged with the spirit of nationalism and anxious not to stand in the way of national unity, came forward to surrender their privileges and to merge themselves in the common mass of people. In a memorial submitted to the Emperor on the 5th March 1869 they said [f.16]  :—

" The Place where we live is the Emperor's land. The food that we eat is grown by the Emperor's men. How then can we claim any property as our own ? We now reverently offer up our possessions and also our followers (Samurai as well as ' common folk ') with the prayer that the Emperor will take good measures for rewarding those to whom reward is due, and for fining such as do not deserve reward. Let imperial orders be issued for altering and remodelling the territories of the various clans. Let the civil and penal codes, the military laws down to the rules for uniform and for the construction of engines of war, all proceed from the Emperor. Let all affairs of the Empire, both great and small, be referred to him."

How does the governing class in India compare in this behalf with the governing class in Japan ? Just the opposite. Unfortunately, the history of the struggle of the servile classes in India against the governing class has not yet been written. But those who know anything about it will know that the governing class in India has no intention of making any sacrifice not even on the altar of Indian Freedom for which it is thirsting. Instead, the governing class is using every means to retain them. For this it is using two weapons. First is the weapon of nationalism. Whenever the servile classes ask for reservations in the legislatures, in the Executive and in Public Services, the governing class raises the cry of ' nationalism in danger.' What are these reservations for ? To put it briefly they are intended to provide floorings below which the governing class will not be able to push down the servile classes in their struggle for existence. There, is nothing sinister and nothing wrong in this demand for reservations. How does the governing class react to them ? It loses no occasion to deprecate them and to ridicule them. People are led to believe that if they are to achieve national freedom, they must maintain unity, that all questions regarding reservations in the Legislatures, Executives and the Public Services are inimical to national unity and that, therefore, for anyone interested in national freedom it is a sin to support-those who ask for such reservation?. "That is the attitude of the governing class in India. It stands in glaring contrast with that of the governing class in Japan. It is a misuse of nationalism. But the governing class does not feel any compunction for such misuse.

The second means employed by the governing class is the writing of the lampoons and parodies calculated to pour ridicule on the demand for reservations. Such lampoons are by no means few and far between. Even the most respectable members of the governing class do not mind indulging in such compositions, Even Dr. R. P. Paranjape, now India's High Commissioner for Australia, who stands for an advanced type of liberalism, could not withstand the temptation of trying his hand in writing such a parody#. Among the parodies composed by members of the governing class his was the most colourful and had, when it appeared, excited the greatest resentment among the servile classes.

#The parody written by Dr. R. P. Paranjape appeared in a magazine called Gujarathi Punch 1m May 1926 under the heading " A Peep into the Future." As a specimen of this class of writing by members of the governing clam it is worth perusal. It is a satire based on certain incidents which are imagined to have occurred under the principle of communal reservation a. as the magazine if not easily available, I reproduce it below with a view to rescue it from oblivion:—

 

' A PEEP INTO THE FUTURE '

The following extracts are taken from reports of Commissions, records of police courts cases, judicial trials. Council Proceedings, Administration Reports, etc., issued between the year 1930-50 and are published for the exclusive benefit of the reader of the Gujarati Punch.

 

I

 

Report of the Royal Commission on the Government of India, 1930 :

We have given our closest consideration to the representations made on behalf of several communities in India. Taking the figures of the last census as our basis we can only give an approximate satisfaction to all the claims made before us, for it is not possible to give an absolutely accurate solution to the problem of constructing a machinery of Government unless every single person in the country is made a member thereof, the numbers of the several communities do not possess a common measure. We lay down the number 2375 as the fundamental number in the constitution and this number is divided into parts attached to the several communities as shown in the schedule attached to our report. The claims of each community will henceforward be represented by its proper number, and all appointments, memberships of various bodies, and in fact everything in the country will be awarded according to the proportion given in the schedule wherever possible. The Viceroy's Executive Council will consist of 475 members selected as far as may be according to one-fifth the numbers belonging to each community and there members will hold office for one year so that each community will have attained its exact share of membership in five years. There will be 125 Judges in each High Court, each judge holding office for one year, though according to this arrangement, each section will have obtained its exact share only after the lapse of 19 years. The number of other kinds of appointments will be determined on the same basis for the accurate adjustment of all claims.

To allow for the proper functioning of all bodies with these numbers as many existing Government buildings as may be necessary may be pulled down and rebuilt so as to be of the proper size.

 

II

(Notification of the Government of India, 1932)

In accordance with the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1931. His Majesty the King Emperor has been pleased to appoint the following 475 gentlemen as members of the Executive Council of the Governor-General :

267. Matadin Raman (caste Barber) member in charge of the Surgical Branch of the Medical Department.

372. Allabux Peerbux (Mahomedan Camel driver) in charge of the camel transport division of the Army Department.

433. Ramaswamy (caste, Andhra Sweeper) in charge of the road cleaning branch of the P.W.D.

437. Jagannath Bhattacharya (Kulin Brahmin Priest) in charge of the domestic section of the Registration Department.

 

IV

(Letter to all Local Governments, 1934)

In response to a resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly, with which the Government of India are in full agreement, I am directed to say that henceforward every appointment under Government should go by rotation to each community irrespective of the merits of the applicants.

 

V

(Notification in the Bombay Government Gazette, 1934)

The Government of Bombay will proceed to make the following appointments in December. The applicants for the several appointments should belong to the castes mentioned against each according to the rotation fixed by Government Order No.   , dated November 30th, 1934.

1.     Chief Engineer for Irrigation (Sind) : Kunbi from North Kanara.

2.     Professor of Sanskrit, Elphinstone College, Bombay: Balachi Pathan from Sind.

3.     Commandant of His Excellency's Bodyguard: Marwari from North  Gujarat.

4.     Consulting Architect to Government: Wadari (wandering gypsy) from the Deccan.

5.     Director of Islamic Culture : Karhada Brabmin

6.     Professor of Anatomy : (Grant Modical College) Mahomedan Butcher.

7.     Superintendent of Yeravda. Jail : Ghantichor.

8.     Two organisers of prohibition: Dharala (Kaira District Bhil) (Panch Mahals).

 

VI

(Report of a Case from the High Court, 1935)

 

A.B. (caate Teli) was charged with the cold-blooded murder of his father while he was asleep. The judge summing up against the accused, the jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Before passing sentence the judge asked the pleader for the accused if he had to say anything. The pleader, Mr. Bomanji, said he agreed with the verdict but that according to Law the accused could not be sentenced at all, much lew sentenced to death, as during the current year seven Telis had already been convicted and sentenced two of them with death, that several other communities bad not yet reached their quota of convictions as given in the Government of India Act, who the Telis bad already reached theirs. His Lordship accepted the contention of the defence pleader and acquitted the accused.

 

VII

(Extract from the ' Indian Daily Mail,' 1936)

 

Annaji Ramchandra (Chitpavan Brahmin) was found wandering in the streets of Poona with a long knife attacking whomsoever he met. When brought up before the Magistrate he was shown by the police to have been recently let off from the Mental Hospital. The Superintendent of the Hospital in his evidence said that Annaji bad been in the hospital as a dangerous insane for three years, but as there was the quota for the Chitpavanas and as the inmates belonging to other communities bad not finished their year-quotas be could not keep him any longer and show any special favouritism to the Chitpavans and he had therefore let him off according to Government Order No…  in the Medical Department. The Magistrate ordered Annaji to be discharged.

 

VIII

( Extract from the Report of the Administration of Jails in the Bombay Presidency, 1937)

In spite of every precaution the numbers in the jails did not correspond to the quotas fixed for each community. The Superintendent had already asked for instructions from Government with a view to remedying the discrepancy.

Resolution of Government: Government view with serious displeasure this grave dereliction of duty on the part of the I. G. of prisons. Immediate steps should be taken to arrest and put in jail as many members of the various communities as are required to bring their quotas up to the proper level. If enough persons required cannot be caught, a sufficient number of in mates should be let off to bring down all to the same level.

 

IX

(Proceeding of the Legislative Council, 1940)

Mr. Chennappa asked: Has the attention of Government been called to the fact that class list of the recent M.A. Examination in Pali do not show the proper quota for mang-garudis ?

The Hon. Mr. Damn Shroff (Minister of Education) : The University Registrar reports that no candidate from among Mang-garudis offered himself for examination.

Mr. Chennappa: Will Government be pleased to atop this examination until such a candidate offers himself and if the University disobeys the order of Government to take away the University grant and amend the University Act ?

The Hon. Member: Government will be pleased to consider the suggestion favourably. (Cheers).

 

X

(Extract from ' The Times of India,.' 1942)

The Coroner Mr.  was suddenly called last evening to inquire into the death of Ramji Sonu at the J. J. Hospital as the result of a surgical operation. Dr. Tanu Pandav (Caste Barber) deposed that he had conducted the operation. He wished to open an abscess in the abdomen but his knife pierced the heart and the patient expired. Asked whether he had ever carried out any operation of this nature before, he said that he was appointed as the principal surgeon to the hospital only one day before as it was then the turn of his community and that he had never held a surgical instrument in his hand before except a razor for shaving. The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure ' best ' by the Jews ? There can, hardly be any doubt as to the correct answer to these questions. Class qualifications can never be ignored. Man is not a mere machine. He is a human being with feelings of sympathy for some and antipathy for others. This is even true of the ' best ' man. He too is charged with the feelings of class sympathies and class antipathies. Having regard to these considerations the 'best' man from the governing class may well turn out to be the worst from the point of view of the servile classes. The difference between the governing classes and the servile classes in the matter of their attitudes towards each other is the same as tile attitude a person of one nation has for that of another nation. Persons of the governing class in parodying the demands of the servile classes seem to forget that the difference between the governing class and the servile class in India is of the same nature as the difference between French and Germans, Turks and Greeks or Poles and Jews and the reasons why one will not tolerate the government of the other although it may be of the ' best ' men are the same in both cases.

The governing class in their attempt to ridicule the demand also forget by what means it has built up their power. Let them refer to their own Manu Smriti and they will find that the ways they got their power were very much the same as the imaginary resolutions suggested by Dr. Paranjpe. A reference to Manu Smriti will show that the view that Brahmins, the chief and the leading element in the governing class, acquired their political power not by force of intellect—intellect is nobody's monopoly—but by sheer communalism.  According to the Laws Manu Smriti the post of the Purohit, King's Chaplain and Lord Chancellor, the posts of the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court and the posts of Ministers to the Crown were all reserved for the Brahmins.  Even for the post of the Commander-in-Chief the Brahmin was recommended as a fit and a proper person though it was not in terms reserved for him. All the strategic posts having been reserved for the Brahmins it goes without saying that all ministerial posts came to be reserved for the Brahmins. This is not all. The Brahmin was not content with reserving places of profit and power for his class. He knew that mere reservation will not do. He must prevent rivals shooting up from other non-Brahmin communities equally qualified to hold the posts and agitate and blow up the system of reservations. In addition to reserving all executive posts in the State for Brahmins a, law was made whereby education was made the monopoly and privilege of Brahmins. As has already been pointed out the law made it a crime for the Shudra, i.e. the lower orders of Hindu Society to acquire learning, the infringement of which was followed by not only heavy but cruel and inhuman punishment such as cutting the tongue of the criminal and filling his ear with hot molten lead. Congressmen cannot escape by saying that these privileges no longer exist. They must admit that while the privileges have gone the advantages derived from their continuance over several centuries have remained. Nor can Congressmen honestly turn down the demands of the servile classes as Communalism knowing full well that a worst form of communalism had been the recognised means adopted by the Brahmins for acquiring power and that if the servile classes are to-day driven to ask for safeguards it is because the Brahmins in order to maintain their privileges passed laws which made it a crime for them to acquire learning or property. Surely what the servile classes are demanding is not half so bad as was done by the Brahmins for their own aggrandisement and for the perpetuation of their own domination.

In the light of what has been said, it will be found that the Fight for Freedom led by the governing class is, from the point of view of the servile classes, a selfish, if not a sham, struggle. The freedom which the governing class in. India is struggling for is freedom to rule the servile classes. What it wants is the freedom for the master race to rule the subject race which is nothing but the Nazi or Nietchian doctrine of freedom  for superman to rule the common man.

 

VIII

The foreigner who wishes to know the what and where for of Indian politics and desires to make a contribution to the solution of the problems arising out of it must know the basic considerations which lie behind Indian politics. If he fails to have a full grasp of them he is bound to be at sea and cannot but be the sport of a party which may happen to capture him or captivate him. These basic considerations of Indian politics are : (1) The philosophy and outlook of the governing class in, relation to the servile classes (2) The relation of the governing class to the Congress and (3) The raison d'etre of the political demands of the servile classes for constitutional safeguards.

Regarding the first enough has been said to enable the foreigner to form his own opinion.  The thesis I have endeavoured to present and to support with facts and arguments may be simply stated. It maintains that the only way to ensure that a sovereign and independent India will be a different India in which there will be no servile class doing duty to the governing class, is to frame a constitution which will by proper safeguards, circumscribe the power of the governing class to capture government and to put a limit upon its predatory powers. This is what the Untouchables are urging and this is what the Congress is opposing. The whole controversy between the Congress and the Untouchables centres round the question of constitutional safeguards. The issue is: Is the constitution of India to be with safeguards or without safeguards for the Scheduled Castes? The foreigner does not realize this to be the issue nor does he realize that the alleged representative character of the Congress is absolutely irrelevant to the issue. The Congress may be a representative body but that has nothing to do with the decision of the issue, whether the constitution of India should or should not contain any safeguards for the Scheduled Castes. For the decision of this issue, the representative character of the Congress is beside the point. The decision can rest only on the basis of needs and the question that will be relevant is: Do the Scheduled Castes need the safeguards they have been asking for? The foreigner is not justified in supporting the Congress as against the Scheduled Castes on the ground that the Congress is a representative body. The foreigner is, of course, justified in asking the Scheduled Castes to prove their case for safeguards. He is even justified in saying that the existence of a governing class is not enough and that they must further prove something that the governing class in India is so vile, so wicked, so entrenched that it will not yield to the forces of adult suffrage. Such a stand it is proper to take and the Scheduled Classes are prepared to face it. For, beyond doubt, the governing class in India does occupy a different position in India than it does in other countries of the world. In other countries, there is, at the most, a hyphen between the governing class and the rest. In India, there is a bar between the two. A hyphen is only separation. ; but a bar is a severance with interests and sympathies completely divided. In other countries, there is a continuous replenishment of the governing class by the incorporation of others who do not belong to it but who have reached the same elevation as the governing class. In India, the governing class is a close corporation in which nobody, not born in it, is admitted. This distinction is very important. In the case where the governing class is a elose corporation, tradition, social philosophy and social outlook remain unbroken and the distinction between masters and slaves, between privileged and unprivileged continues hard in substance and fast in colour. On the other hand, where the governing class is not a close preserve, where there is social endosmosis between it and the rest, there is a mental assimilation which makes the governing class more flexible, its philosophy less anti-social. On realizing the truth behind these distinctions, a foreigner should be able to see that mere adult suffrage while it may suffice to hold the governing class in check in other countries, cannot have, in India, that effect and that consequently those parties in India like the Untouchables who are advocating additional safeguards in the constitution, are more worthy of support for their anxiety to make free India safe for democracy, than the Congress which opposes such safeguards and which aims to place free India in the hands of a governing class.

The facts bearing on the second consideration have also been fully set out. From these facts he should be able to see how intimate is the connection between the Congress and the governing class. They will explain why the governing class in India has placed itself in the vanguard of the Congress movement and why it strives to bring everybody within the Congress fold. To put it briefly the governing class is aware that a political campaign based on class ideology, class interests, class issues and class conflicts will toll its death knell. It knows that the most effective way of side tracking the servile classes and fooling them is to play upon the sentiment of nationalism and national unity and realizes that the Congress platform is the only platform that can most effectively safeguard the interest of the governing class. For if there is any platform from which all talk of conflict between rich and poor, Brahmin and Non-Brahmin, landlord and tenant, creditor and debtor which does not suit the governing class, can be effectual banned it is the Congress platform which is not only bound to preach nationalism and national unity which is what the governing classes want and on which their safety entirely depends, but which prohibits any other ideology in-consistent with nationalism being preached from its platform.

If these two considerations are grasped, the foreigner will not find it difficult to understand the third namely the raison d'Ítre of the political demands of the servile classes.

The reservations demanded by the servile classes are really controls over the power of the governing classes. Even in European countries there is a demand for controls over the powers of certain classes of society.  There is control on producers, distributors, money-lenders and landlords. If the necessity for controls over the power of certain classes is admitted in countries where there is much greater degree of homogeneity and identity of interests than there exists in India, a foreigner should not find it difficult to appreciate. The reservations do no more than correlate the constitution to the social institutions of the country in order to prevent political power to fall into the hands of the Governing class.

After so much of explanation of facts and arguments I do not think it will be difficult for the foreigner at least to believe that there is another side to the Congress propaganda, if he is not prepared to agree with the point of view herein presented. It would indeed be a sad commentary on the character and intelligence of a foreigner who even after his having gone through the facts and figures given above was not able to cultivate a cool and a dispassionate attitude towards those who do not share the Congress point of view.

 

IX

There is a tragic side to the foreigner's view of Indian politics to which it is impossible not to make a reference.   The foreigners who take interest in Indian politics fall into three groups. The first group is aware of the social cleavages which rend Indian politics, cleavages of majorities and minorities, Hindus and Untouchables and so on. Their main object is not to solve these cleavages by appropriate constitutional safeguards and to open the way to constitutional advancement of India but to use these cleavages to block constitutional progress. The second group of foreigners are those who pay no attention to the cleavages, who care a button what happens to the minorities and to the Untouchables. They are out to support the Congress demand and would fulfil it without bothering about safeguards. The third group consists of tourists who come 'to do' India and learn about its politics if possible overnight. All three are dangerous people. But the third group is the most dangerous from the point of view of the ultimate interest of the Indian people.

That there should be foreigners of the tourist sort who cannot understand the intricacies of Indian politics and who therefore support the Congress on no other ground except that which Mr. Pickwick gave to Sam Weller—to shout with the biggest crowd—is quite understandable. But what annoys most is the attitude of the leaders of the British Labour Party, heads of radical and leftist groups in Europe and America, represented by men like Laski, Kingsley Martin, Brailsford and editors of journals like the Nation in America, and the New Statesman in England championing the cause of the oppressed and the suppressed people. How can these men support the Congress passes one's comprehension. Do they not know that the Congress means the governing class and that the governing class means the Congress ; Do they not know that the governing class in India is a Brahmin-Bania combine ? That masses are drawn in the Congress only to be camp followers with no say in the making of Congress policy ? Do they not realize that for the reasons for which the Sultan could not abolish Islam or the Pope could not repudiate Catholicism, the governing class in India will not decree the destruction of Brahmanism and that so long as the governing class remains what it is, Brahmanism which preaches the supremacy of Brahmans and the allied castes and which recognises the suppression and degradation of the Shudras and the Untouchables as the sacred duty of the State will continue to be the philosophy of the State even if India became free ? Do they not know that this governing class in India is not a part of the Indian people, is not only completely isolated from them, but believes in isolating itself, lest it should be contaminated by them, has implanted in its mind by reason of the Brahmanic philosophy, motives and interests which are hostile to those who are outside its fold and therefore does not sympathise with the living forces operating in the servile masses whom it has trodden down, is not charged with their wants, their pains, their cravings, their desires, is inimical to their aspirations, does not favour any advance in their education, promotion to high office and disfavours every movement calculated to raise their dignity and their self-respect ? Do they not know that in the Swaraj of India is involved the fate of 60 millions of Untouchables ? It would be impossible to say that the leaders of the British Labour Party, that Kingsley Martin, Brailsford and Laski whose writings on liberty and democracy are a source of inspiration to all suppressed people, do not know these facts. Yet if they refer to India, it is always to support the Congress. It is very, very seldom that they are found to discuss the problem of the Untouchables which ought to make the strongest appeal to all radicals and democrats. Their exclusive attention to Congress activities and their utter neglect of other elements in the national life of India shows how misguided they have been. One could well understand their support to the Congress if the Congress was fighting for political democracy. But is it ? As every one knows, the Congress is only fighting for national liberty and is not interested in political democracy. The party in India who is fighting for political democracy is the party of the Untouchables who fear that this Congress fight for liberty, if it succeeds, will mean liberty to the strong and the powerful to suppress the weak and the down-trodden unless they are protected by constitutional safeguards. It is they who ought to receive the help of these radical leaders. But the Untouchables have been waiting in vain for all these years even for a gesture of good-will and support from them. These radicals and leftists in Europe and America have not even cared to know the forces behind the Congress. Ignorant or unmindful one does not know, but the fact remains that these leftists and radical leaders have been giving blind and unquestioning support to the Congress which admittedly is run by capitalists, landlords, money-lenders and reactionaries, only because the Congress calls its activities by the grandiloquent name of  "Fight for Freedom." All battles for freedom are not on equal moral plane for the simple reason that the motives and purposes behind these battles of freedom are not always the same. To take only a few illustrations from English History. The Barons' Rebellion against John which resulted in the Magna Charta could be called a battle for freedom. But could any democrat in modern times give it the same support which he would give say to the Levellers' Rebellion or to the Peasant's Revolt in English History, merely because it could logically be described as a battle for freedom ? To do so will be to respond to a false cry of freedom. Such crude conduct would have been forgivable,  had  it proceeded from groups not  intelligent enough to make a distinction between freedom to live and freedom to oppress. But it is quite inexcusable in radical and leftist groups led by Messrs. Laski, Kingsley Martin, Brailsford, Louis Fisher and other well-known champions of democracy. When pressed to explain why they don't support Indian Parties which stand for true democracy, they are reported to meet the charge by a counter question. Are there any such parties in India ? Insist that there are such parties and they turn round and say : if such parties exist, how is it the Press does not report their activities ? When told that the Press is a Congress Press, they retort : how is it that the foreign correspondents of the English Papers do not report them ? I have shown why nothing better can be expected from these foreign correspondents. The Foreign Press Agency in India is no better than the Indian Press.   Indeed it cannot be better. There are in India what are called foreign correspondents. In a large majority of cases they are Indians. Only a very few are foreigners. The selection of Indians as foreign correspondents is so made that they are almost always from the Congress camp. The foreign correspondents who are foreigners fall into two groups. If they are Americans they are just Anti-British and for that reason pro-Congress. Any political party in India which is not madly Anti-British does not interest them. Those who are not in the Congress will testify how hard it was for them to persuade the American War Correspondents who trooped into this country in 1941-42, even to entertain the possibility of the Congress not being the only party, much less to induce them to interest themselves in other political parties. It took a long time before they recovered their sanity and when they did, they either abused the Congress as an organisation led by impossible men or just lost interest in Indian politics. They never got interested in other political parties in India and never cared to understand their point of view. The situation is no better in the case of foreign correspondents who are Britishers. They too are interested only in that kind of politics which is first and foremost Anti-British. They are uninterested in those political parties in India whose foremost concern is to make a free India safe for democracy. The result is that the foreign press provides the same kind of news about Indian politics as does the Indian Press. These reasons cannot be beyond the ken of these radicals. Correspondents or no correspondents, is it not the duty of radicals to keep in touch with their kindred in other parts of the world to encourage them, to help them and to see that true democracy lives everywhere ? It is a most unfortunate thing that the Radicals of England and America should have forgotten the class to whom they owe a duty to help and have become the publicity agents of Indian Tories who are just misusing the slogan of liberty to be fool and befog the world.

The sooner they get out of this fog created by the Congress and realize that democracy and self-government in India cannot be real unless freedom has become the assured possession of all, the better for them and the better for the people of India. But if they persist in giving their blind support to the Congress on the basis of an empty slogan without examining its relation to facts and intentions, I for one will have no hesitation in saying that far from being the friends of India they are a positive menace to the freedom of the Indian masses. It is a pity that they do not seem to distinguish the case of a tyrant who is held down and who pleads for liberty because he wants to regain his right to oppress and the case of an oppressed class seeking to be free from the oppression of the tyrant. In their hurry to bring freedom to India they have no time to realize that by siding with the Congress what they are doing is not to make India safe for democracy but to free the tyrant to practise his tyrannies. Is it necessary to tell them that support Congress is to let tyranny have freedom to enslave?

 

Contents                                                                            Chapter X

 

 [f.1]History of Greece, Vol. Ill, p. 347.

 [f.2]Labour and Parliamentary Democracy—A lecture delivered on 17th September 1943 to the All-India Trade Union Workers' Study Camp held in Delhi.

 [f.3]The Traveller Ludovico Di Varthema who came to India in the middle of the 16th century and visited Malabar saya :

" It is proper and at the same time a pleasant thing to know who these Brahmins are. You must know that they are the chief persons of the faith, as priests are among us. And when the king takes a wife he selects  the moot worthy and the moat honoured of these Brahmins and makes him sleep the first night with his wife, in order that he may deflower her. Do not imagine that the Brahmin goes willingly to perform this operation. The king is obliged to pay him four hundred to five hundred ducats. The king only and no other person in Calicut adopts this practice."—Voyages of  Varthema (Haklayat Society), Vol I, p. 141.                    

Other Travellers tell that the practice was widespread. Hamilton in his Account of the East Indus saya:

" When the Samorin marries, he must not cohabit with his bride till the Nambourie (Nambudri) or chief priest, has enjoyed her, and if he pleases he may have three nights of her company, because the first fruits of her nuptials muat be a holy oblation to the God she worships and some of the nobles are so complacent as to allow the clergy the same tribute; but the common people cannot have that compliment paid to them, but are forced to supply the priests places themselves."—Vol. I, p. 308.

Buchanan in his Narrative refers to the practice in the following terms : " The ladies of the Tamuri family are generally impregnated by Nambudries ; although if they choose they may employ the higher ranks of Nairs; but the sacred character of the Nambadries always procures them a preference."— Pinkerton's Voyages, Vol. VIII, p. 734.

Mr. C. A. Innea, I.C.S., Editor of the Gazetter of Malabar and Anjengo, issued under the authority of the Government of Madras, says :

" Another institution found amongst all the classes following the marukak-kaitayam system, as well as amongst many of those who observe makkattayam, is that known as  “Tali-tying wedding " which has been described as " the moat peculiar, distinctive and unique " among Malayali marriage customs. Its essence is the tying of a tali (a small piece of gold or other metal, like & locket. on a string) on a girl's neck before she attains the ago of puberty. This is done by a man of the same or of a higher caste (the usages of different classes differ). and it is only after it has been done that the girl is at liberty to contracts sambandham. It seems to be generally considered that the ceremony was intended to confer on the tali tier or manavaiiin (bridegroom) a right to cohabit with the girl; and by some the origin of the ceremony is found in the claim of the Bhu-deuas or " Earth-Gods." (that is the Brahmins), and on a lower plane of Kshatriyas or ruling classes, to the first-fruits of lower case womanhood, a night skin to the medixeval droit de seigncies''--Vol. I, p. 101.

 [f.4]A Week With Gandhi (1943), p. 41.

 [f.5]The facts summarised in those Tables are taken from the issue for July 15 1939, of Information, an official publication issued by the Government of India

 [f.6]This table represents the position as it stood in May 1939 and as reported in the Issue of July 15, 1939, of the Indian Information. Question mark indicates inability to classify whether Brahmin or non- Brahmin.

 [f.7]Quoted by Mr. J. E. Sanjana in Sense and Nonsenss in Politics—Serial No. XII in the Rast Rahabar (a Bombay Gujarati Weekly) of 14th January 1945.

 [f.8]See his Invitation p. XVI to Jawaharlal Nehru by Y. G. Krishnamurti.

 [f.9]Quoted by Sanjann in Sense and Nonsense in Politics—Serial No. XII in the Rast Rahabar, dated l4th January 1945,

 [f10]Fagnwa Rohidas

 [f.11]Guru Gosain Agamdas and Babraj Jaiwar.

 [f.12]Chunnu.

 [f.13]Arjun Lal.

 [f14]Bansi Lal Caudliari

 [f15]Bhagat Chadimal Gola.

 [f.16]Quoted in Romance of Japan by James A. B. Scherer.