Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

The round table conferences were such attempts and

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The Round Table Conferences were such attempts, and, though they helped our rulers in some measure, they served a useful purpose by showing us clearly the division between the imperialist and the anti-imperialist forces in the country. Unhappily we did not fully profit by this lesson, and we still imagine that we can win over some of these imperialist groups to the side of Indian freedom and anti-im perialism, and in a vain attempt to do so we suppress our ideals, blush for our objectives, and tone down our activities. Meanwhile the decay of British imperialism in India becomes ever more apparent. It cannot, by its very nature, solve our economic prob lems and rid us of our terrible poverty, which it has largely itself created. It subsists on a normal fare of the fiercest repression and a de nial of civil and even personal liberty. It surrounds us with a wide net work of spies, and, among the pillars of its administration, are the tribe of informers and agents provocateurs and the like. Its services try to seek comfort for their obvious deterioration and incompetence by perpetually singing songs of mutual adulation. Argument gives place to the policeman's baton and the soldier's bayonet and prison and detention camp, and even our extraordinary finances are justified by the methods of the bully. It is astonishing to find to what depths of vulgarity our rulers have descended in their ardent desire to hold on to what they have got, and it is depressing, though perhaps inevi table, that some of our own countrymen, more interested in British im perialism than the British themselves, should excel at this deplorable game. So wanting in mental equilibrium are they, so obsessed by fear of the Congress and the national movement it represents, that their wishes become thoughts, their thoughts inferences, and their inferences facts, solemnly stated in official publications, and on which the majesty of the British Government rests in India, and people are kept in prison and detention camp without charge or trial. Being interested in psy- 391
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chology, I have watched this process of moral and intellectual decay and realized, even more than I did previously, how autocratic power corrupts and degrades and vulgarizes. I have read sometimes the re ports of the recent Assembly meetings and noted the great difference in tone and content between them and the Assembly of ten years ago. I have observed the forced attempts made to discredit the Congress by a reference to the Tilak Swaraj Fund with which I was connected for many years as secretary of the Congress. But, prepared as I was for much, even I was surprised at the insinuations made against our much-loved chief, Rajendra Babu, and the charges brought against the Behar Relief Fund.
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