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Jawaharlal Nehru and Motilal Nehru in 1929A leader who does not know his followers must necessarily come a cropper. And that is what has evidently happened in the case of Pandit Motilal Nehru. Not only has the Pandit’s authority and popularity vanished all of a sudden, he is fast becoming the most hated person in the very camp of which he was the accredited leader till but a few weeks ago.

To the thoughtful mind and the discerning eye, there is perhaps, nothing much to be surprised at in this unexpected turn of the wheel. In the very nature of things, there could be no permanency about the idols of the market place, for the people who crowd around and offer incense are invariably of the order who readily lend themselves to the easy way of impulsive emotions and are subject to no influences of a sober and steadying character.

In the case of the Allahabad Pandit, other factors have also been at work to oust him from the throne of grace. His Madras adherents, for instance, have for long been chafing under his yoke, not because the yoke was heavy in itself, but almost entirely because one among them was so blinded by his irrepressible self-love and conceit that he could see no reason why he should be pulling the car instead of sitting inside it. Thanks, however to the shrewdness of the other followers of the Pandit, who knew what the Iyers and Iyengars were out for and who consequently refused to play into their hands, the Pandit was able to hold his own hitherto.

But now, by a perverse irony of fate aided in its operation, it is said, by some very clever pulling of wires from behind by Mr. Gandhi – the Pandit has rubbed almost all the sections of his followers the wrong way. He has decreed that all the members of the legislatures belonging to his school of thought should immediately tender their resignations in protest against the action of the Viceroy in extending the life of the Councils, and not only that he has also thrown out a broad hint that the wisest and the most patriotic among the Congressmen could do no better than confine themselves hereafter to constructive work from outside the Councils.

Certainly, people whose one ambition in life has been to hobnob with the high and mighty in the seats of authority and whose one nightmare has been to face the country, cannot be expected to have a good word for a ‘leader’ who, unmindful of their feelings and susceptibilities, their hopes and fears, would throw them to the wolves – possibly to be devoured and to be heard of no more! Of course, theoretically, everyone is agreed that logic and commonsense are on the side of the Pandit’s view, but what is the use of either when the one leads to self-annihilation and the other to dreadful oblivion! However, we shall wait and see how things will shape themselves in the end.

(Revolt, 14 July 1929)

Jawaharlal a fool?

At a meeting of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee held on Saturday the 10th August, the president Mr. S. Srinivasa Iyengar, has indulged himself in indecent language quite unworthy of the South Indian patriot of the Sriman type. We are giving below some of the Sriman’s words, which the Brahmin journalism of our province has purposely omitted to publish.

He observed:

“. . . I am not a communist, though I took part in the committee appointed for the Defence of the Meerut Conspiracy case. But I declared that the ‘impertinent’ Jawaharlal Nehru should have no connection with it. He wrote to me impertinently without having any regard for me. He is a fool. I never take any notice of such fools . . .”

The Sriman has poured similar vituperations on many an occasion like this. His favourite ‘fool’ was once applied to Mr. Gandhi. And now it is a pity that Mr. Jawaharlal has fallen a prey to the terrible curse uttered from the holy mouth of the divine Sriman. The monopolist newspapers have surely thought it wise to shield the Sriman’s haughtiness by observing a serene silence over the matter.

We know, Mr. Jawaharlal, whatever his political ideas may be, is not one of those orthodox elements of the monopolist clan who parade the land in the name of the Congress. We pity the Sriman’s mind which loses its equilibrium on moments of rough weather in the political horizon. Poor Sriman!

(Revolt,18 August 1929)

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