Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

This hard course of training has given them self

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This hard course of training has given them self-reliance and efficiency and strength to persevere; it has provided them with the very qualities of which a long and emasculating course of authoritarian government had deprived the Indian people. Of course, the Congress movement, like all mass movements, had, and has, many undesirables fools, inefficient^, and worse. But I have no doubt what ever that an average Congress worker is likely to be far more efficient and dynamic than another person of similar qualifications. There is one aspect of this matter which Government and its ad visers perhaps do not appreciate. The attempt to deprive Congress workers of all jobs and to shut avenues of employment to them is wel comed by the real revolutionary. The average Congressman is no toriously not a revolutionary, and after a period of semirevolutionary action he resumes his humdrum life and activities. He gets entangled either in his business or profession or in the mazes of local politics. Larger issues seem to fade off in his mind, and revolutionary ardor, such as it was, subsides. Muscle turns to fat, and spirit to a love of security. Because of this inevitable tendency of middle-class workers, it has always been the effort of advanced and revolutionary-minded Congressmen to prevent their comrades from entering the constitu tional mazes of the legislatures and the local bodies, or accepting whole-time jobs which prevent them from effective action. The Govern ment has, however, now come to their help to some extent by making it a little more difficult for the Congress worker to get a job, and it is thus likely that he will retain some of his revolutionary ardor or even add to it. After a year or more of municipal work I felt that I was not utilizing my energies to the best advantage there. The most I could do was to speed up work and make it a little more efficient. I could not push through any worth-while change. I wanted to resign from the chair manship, but all the members of the board pressed me to stay. I had received uniform kindness and courtesy from them, and I found it hard to refuse. At the end of my second year, however, I finally re signed. This was in 1925. In the autumn of that year my wife fell seriously 120
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ill, and for many months she lay in a Lucknow hospital. The Congress was held that year at Cawnpore, and, somewhat distracted, I rushed backward and forward between Allahabad, Cawnpore, and Lucknow. (I was still general secretary of the Congress.) Further treatment in Switzerland was recommended for my wife. I welcomed the idea, for I wanted an excuse to go out of India myself. My mind was befogged, and no clear path was visible; and I thought that, perhaps, if I was far from India I could see things in better per spective and lighten up the dark corners of my mind.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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