Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Among those who have served in the indian civil

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Among those who have served in the Indian Civil Service or other imperial services there will be many, Indians or foreigners, who will be necessary and welcome to the new order. But of one thing I am quite sure: that no new order can be built up in India so long as the spirit of the Indian Civil Service 283
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pervades our administration and our public services. It will either succeed in crushing freedom or will be swept away itself. Only with one type of state is it likely to fit in, and that is the fascist type. Even more mysterious and formidable are the so-called Defense Services. We may not criticize them, we may not say anything about them, for what do we know about such matters? We must only pay and pay heavily without murmuring. In 1934 Sir Philip Chetwode, Commander-in-Chief in India, told Indian politicians, in pungent military language, to mind their own business and not interfere with his. Referring to the mover of an amendment to some proposition, he said: "Do he and his friends think that a war-worn and war-wise race like the British, who won their Empire at the point of the sword and have kept it by the sword ever since, are to be talked out of war wis dom which that experience brings to a nation by armchair critics. . . .?" He made many other interesting remarks, and we were informed, lest we might think that he had spoken in the heat of the moment, that he had carefully written out his speech and spoke from a manuscript. A politician and an armchair critic might wonder if the claims of eminent generals for freedom from interference are valid after the ex periences of the World War. They had a free field then to a large extent, and from all accounts they made a terrible mess of almost every thing in every army British, French, German, Austrian, Italian, Rus sian. Captain Liddell Hart, the distinguished British military historian and strategist, writes in his History of the World War that at one stage in the war while British soldiers fought the enemy British generals fought one another. Politicians, like all other people, err frequently, but democratic poli ticians have to be sensitive and responsive to men and events, and they usually realize their mistakes and try to repair them. The soldier is bred in a different atmosphere, where authority reigns and criticism is not tolerated. So he resents the advice of others, and, when he errs, he errs thoroughly and persists in error. For him the chin is more important than the mind or brain. In India we have the advantage of having produced a mixed type, for the civil administration itself has grown up and lives in a semimilitary atmosphere of authority and self-sufficiency, and possesses therefore to a great extent the soldier's chin and other virtues. We are told that the process of "Indianization" of the Army is being pushed on, and in another thirty years or more an Indian general might even appear on the Indian stage.
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