The eighteen chapters of this book appeared originally as eighteen installments of a series written by ‘Ekaki’ in the weekly Organiser, New Delhi, from June 5 to October 9, 1961. The nineteenth chapter, Choosing Between USA And USSR, was contributed by me to the Diwali 1962 issue of the Organiser which came out soon after the first wave of Chinese invasion on October 20, 1962. They have been reprinted with a few minor changes here and there.
While these articles were appearing in the Organiser, there was repeated demand from readers that the series should be brought out as a book as soon as it was complete and, if possible, translated into other Indian languages. A weekly magazine in Andhra, it was learnt later, was following the Organiser with a Telugu translation. In November 1962, Madaem Suzanne Labin, an international name in the campaign against Communism, offered to take up the series with publishers in France. It did not work out. Even now, full two years after the series was completed, frequent enquiries are received from friends asking when they can expect “that Krishna Menon Series” as a book.
It has not been possible to bring out this book before now due to a number of reasons. But this delay has in no way dated it. Subsequent events have only substantiated the central thesis presented in this series, namely that fellow-travelling Pandit Nehru and not Krishna Menon was the real author of those defence and foreign policies which led this country to a debacle in the face of communist China, and that if we wanted to change those policies and avoid greater debacles Pandit Nehru should be sacked. Krishna Menon has since been dismissed under the pressure of an outraged public opinion. But the policies for which he was held responsible are still there, leading the nation into a trap from which it will be a troublesome task to take her out. This series is, therefore, still relevant as a warning to the nation which is again becoming self-complacent and permitting Pandit Nehru to ride roughshod over voices of dissent, be they from within his own Congress Party or from other patriotic people.
I do not suffer from any illusion that this book will finally educated our people, particularly our intelligentsia, who have willfully remained ignorant of the realities of present-day international politics. Nor do I harbour the hope that our politicians win be easily cured of those romantic notions about other nations which have persuaded them to practise blackmail in peace and servility in war. I am placing this book before our people, as I did so many others, simply because I want to be true to my own impulse for action in terms of my own lights. Rest is in the hands of Him who sends Saviours as well as Scourges according to His own inscrutable Law.
I am not unmindful of the tragedy which has forced me to take up my pen against one of the foremost names in India’s fight for freedom. It is true that I have never been an admirer of Jawaharlal Nehru. It was as a teenager that I heard him shouting like an ordinary street bully and slapping a Congressman on the public stage simply because the mike had failed for a few minutes. I also saw him kicking and slapping our common people who had travelled long distances to have his darshan and touch his feet. I had sensed in him that snobbery which is so characteristic of our upstart “upper” classes and against which I have been in total revolt all my life. His admirers call him an aristocrat who has a right to be short-tempered and rude. For me, it is simply an absence of any culture, inherited or acquired.
Yet, Prime Minister Nehru is exactly as old as my own father. Normally, and in keeping with our Indian tradition, I should have been sitting at his feet and listening to words of wisdom dropping from his lips. It is a tragedy that it had to be otherwise. In a clash of larger loyalties, considerations of age and station have had to yield place to what I regard as weightier considerations. But lest people be led away by my polemics, let me confess that I have done what I have done with a very heavy heart. I still believe that Pandit Nehru can be as great an asset to India as he has been a liability, if he gives up his self-righteousness, admits his mistakes like Mahatma Gandhi whose company he kept for so many years, and stops haranguing others to march with the times while he himself remains a prisoner of outmoded categories of thought.
It was only as a result of first-hand political experience that I came to these conclusions about Prime Minister Nehru. They are the outcome of observation and contemplation of the political drama enacted in India after attainment of independence. Perhaps I would have never been able to see Pandit Nehru as a Soviet-addict, had I not been involved in a struggle against Communism which has been trying to engulf us all these years. I, therefore, think it proper to tell the story of that struggle which started in the second half of 1948 and which is far from finished as yet. Readers will thus be able to appreciate this series in its proper perspective. For, this series is only a sequel to a struggle waged in the past and, God willing, the forerunner of some more struggles in future.
The struggle started with a small pamphlet Let Us Fight The Communist Menace, written and published by Ram Swarup1 towards the end of 1948. It was an appeal to our political leadership to organise an “information service to supply objective data about communist Russia and the communist parties to the people” so that they may beware of the Soviet Trojan horse which was busy beguiling them towards a totalitarian tyranny unprecedented in human history. A publishing house, Prachi Prakashan, was floated in 1949 for the fulfilment of this objective. Its very first publication, Russian Imperialism: How to Stop It by Ram Swarup, was brought out in early 1950. It was blessed by Sri Aurobindo and recommended by Bertrand Russell, Arthur Koestler and Philip Spratt. Besides providing detailed data about the nature of Soviet society under Stalin, this book presented a thorough analysis of communist economic thinking which has been responsible for so much mischief and misery, and which has had such a strong hold over our thinking as a nation in recent years.
Sardar Patel was one of the recipients of a copy of Russian Imperialism which had been sent to all political leaders of note including Prime Minister Nehru. He responded speedily and very sympathetically. I still remember that morning in the summer of 1950 when an emissary of the Home Ministry at New Delhi came to my house in Calcutta with a message from the Home Minister. “The Home Minister wants me to convey to you,” he said, “that if the work started by you is not encouraged and assisted right now, it will have to be done by the Indian Army one day.” That was very encouraging for our group. But, unfortunately for India, Sardar Patel did not live for long thereafter. The nation was fated, as it were, to see the day when its sons had to shed their blood in the snows of the Himalayas for no other reason than the folly of their Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. That story is too well known to need repetition here. But very few people know how seriously Sardar Patel had taken the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and what foresight was contained in the policies which he had formulated for the defence of our northern frontiers. Pandit Nehru was almost on the verge of leaving the Congress Party because he was finding it difficult to get reconciled to the Sardar’s resolve to fight communist aggression, outside and inside, to the last ditch.
As soon as Sardar Patel was dead, Pandit Nehru reversed the stand we had taken over communist aggression in Korea. That was the forerunner of a similar reversal over Tibet. It was in this context that Ram Swarup wrote his article, A Critique of India’s Foreign Policy, which was published in Mother India, a fornightly published by the Sri Aurobindo Circle at Bombay, on February 21, 1951. He floodit the false analysis on the basis of which our foreign policy was being formulated, and recommended a revision as follows:
“What is our foreign policy? It is difficult to be very exact about it but, summarised fairly, its premises are: that the world is divided between two power-blocs; that they are equally good and equally bad-more bad than good; that with very little to choose between the two, we do not choose at all but maintain an attitude of superiority and neutrality between them; that when we do have to choose we choose without alignment with any specific power-bloc and consider each happening and action on its individual merits or rather demerits.
“While we are essentially fighting for our own freedom and defence, this defence is closely bound up with the kind of world in which the continued defence of our freedom is automatically assured.
“The struggle that is being waged today is not primarily between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., though they are parties to the struggle as we all are, whether we like it or not. It is a deeper struggle, a struggle between forces of freedom, democracy, equal co-operation, economic advance through mutual aid and self-dependence on one hand and forces of darkness, slavery, fascism and progressive pauperization on the other. What we become tomorrow will depend on the outcome of this struggle, and the outcome of this struggle will depend on what we do and where we stand with regard to these basic issues today.
“We are faced with a situation in which we have been called upon to forget old quarrels in order to fight new dangers. It is suggested that the time has come when we must give up our peculiarly unrealistic and barren policy and base it on the recognition of the following solid facts:
1. that our freedom is at stake;
2. that this is a danger which we share with many free nations of the world;
3. that in the face of this global danger, a global strategy is needed;
4. that in order to make this global strategy effective, powerful and organic, it should be based on local strength and regional security.
“Not only do we stand for the defence of freedom and democracy in India and in the world, we also stand for redressing some old wrongs. We stand for the liberation of dependent countries, the economic advance of undeveloped areas, free communication between people of different countries. For achieving these positive values, we should base our conduct in international affairs on the following:
1. Support to the cause of genuinely nationalist movements of old colonies.
2. Support to the nationalist struggle of the newly conquered countries in East Europe.
3. Refusal to accord recognition to governments which capture power by abolishing parliaments and maintain power by disallowing all opposition. In cases where we are forced to accord diplomatic recognition to such governments owing to world circumstances, we should never place them morally on par with governments based on free, unimpeded elections.
4. Peace in the world is impossible so long as the people of the free world cannot speak directly and freely to the people beyond the Iron Curtain, and vice versa. This is the most important single obstacle to peace.
5. Economic development of undeveloped countries must be related to the needs and resources of these areas. While we in these areas can advance largely on the basis of our own efforts and sacrifices, we look to industrially developed nations to give such marginal catalytic help as is necessary. We on our part must educate our people to regard this step, if taken, as a friendly one which should be welcomed.”
Meanwhile, a discussion had developed within our group that the danger of a world war to stop Communism was as grave as the danger of Communism itself. Ram Swarup summed up the conclusions of this discussion in another article, Plea For A Fourth Force, published in The Statesman of November 18, 1951. He wrote:
“To-day the free world is faced with a dilemma; the defence of freedom against a very total evil which is Communism, and a world war which this defence apparently involves and which would mean a probable destruction of the human race. Can we escape or transcend this dilemma? Can we both save freedom and avoid a third world war?
“The escape generally sought is either in minimising the evil nature of Communism, or in denying the horrible nature of the atomic third world war.
“There is no question of soft-pedalling either the one or the other. War threatens the existence of the race, while Communism threatens the spirit of man, negates and denies it completely. This point should be well understood. Communism is not an evil in the ordinary sense of the term like violating some social convention of monogamy or property. Its horror is deeper, more deadly than any physical pain. The whole spiritual evolution of man is at stake. Fashionable pacifism which is blind to this fact must be rejected.
“But can we combine anti-communism with anti-war and integrate both with the positive forces of love and justice? And can we combine all these sentiments into an effective programme of action? A programme of action which while uncompromising on principles is still plastic and patient enough to discuss and undertake gradual measures and make piecemeal efforts.
“We believe that such a synthesis is possible; and in the world situation to-day it is eminently desirable.
“The premises of what may be called the ‘Fourth Force’ is that Communism is an evil which must be resisted, that due to the total nature of present-day war, a war is the least effective method of resistance, that the best way of resistance is the intellectual and moral mobilization of the common people. This resistance involves the following:
1. A vastly expanded informational-interpretative programme. People should be told about the true conditions in Soviet Russia and her satellite countries;
2. A special programme for converting the communists and the fellow-travellers, particularly those who believe in Communism because of its original generous impulses. They should learn that Communism has failed and they should be invited to start a reformist, revisionist movement from within;
3. Approaching communist leaders to encourage their giving up communist doctrines ex-cathedra, particularly those relating to tactics and strategy. So long as they believe in an amoral approach and primacy of ends over the means, they would always inspire fear and suspicion;
4. Calling upon the Soviet leaders to call off their local fifth-columns;
5. Calling upon the Soviet leaders to close down forced-labour camps, and introduce civil liberties and free elections in their country;
6. Calling upon the Soviet leaders to lift up the Iron Curtain. If there is no response, the free people should organise an international volunteer force ready to cross the Soviet borders;
7. Organising an agitational programme for a world Government among the peoples of the world. Non-governmental agencies may run their own candidates in local elections on the ticket of world Government. These agencies could also convene an experimental world parliament, its members being elected directly by the people. During the time the idea of a world Government matures, we should be working for greater regional cooperation and larger political units. For example, let India, America and the British Commonwealth come into some kind of loose federal relationship;
8. Promoting progressive disarmament and international control of all dangerous weapons;
9. Promoting equality of productivity between individuals and nations by working for population control, free economic aid, and exchange of techniques.”
A larger effort along these line was launched by our group in March 1952 from a new platform suggestively named Society for Defence of Freedom in Asia (SDFA). For, while the innate strength of the Western countries and the Atlantic Pact had stopped communist aggression and subversion in Europe and North America, the emergence of Red China had turned the whole of Asia into a battleground in which international Communism was making rapid advances., The Western Powers were bound to intervene in every country threatened by communist take-over, as they had already done in Korea, Indo-China and Malaya. No good could come, to any independent Asian nation out of that intervention. In the case of Asian nations still under foreign rule, it meant a postponement of the day when they could attain independence. It was, therefore, in the interest of Asian nations themselves to remove the basic cause of that intervention, namely a powerful communist movement bent upon seizing power by violence and subterfuge and tilting the world balance of power further in favour of the Soviet bloc.
The SDFA was a national platform on which people from all our patriotic political parties and non-political movements cooperated in the service of a common cause. It published many books, pamphlets, handbills and posters, and, as a friend who did not approve of its effort put it, “placed anti-communism squarely on the map of political India”. Although it did anti-communist work on several fronts, its main concerns were: (i) to start a peasant movement against Communism which has killed and enslaved vast peasant masses in Russia, China and East Europe, and for a prosperous countryside which programme was conspiciously missing from our Five Year Plans; and (ii) to awaken the nation against the communist danger developing all along our Himalayan frontiers in the wake of Red China’s occupation of Tibet.
Ram Swarup had written his book, Communism And Peasantry Implications of Collectivist Agriculture For Asia, in 1950 to serve as the plank of a peasants’ conference to be called for launching a peasant movement of our conception. But paucity of resources and other opportunities prevented us from going much farther than the publication of this “path breaking study” as the socialist leader and thinker, Ashoka Mehta, described it in 1954. The book received very good reviews.
As regards the security of our Himalayan frontiers, however, the SDFA was able to make considerable headway, thanks to the lead taken by Munshi Ahmed Deen and Professor Tilak Raj Chaddha of the Praja Socialist Party (PSP). A Tibet Committee was organised in August 1953 and a Tibet Day was observed in September that year when a demonstration and a meeting were organised in New Delhi.
In February 1954, the Tibet Committee called a Himalayan Borders Conference in New Delhi and it was resolved to hold such conferences in all parts of India till such time as our Government saw the danger and started doing something -about it. Another Conference did materialise at Patiala later in the same year.
But the programme could not be carried further than that because Prime Minister Nehru sprang a surprise with his Panchshila surrender over Tibet in April 1954, and the Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai movement misled the whole country soon after. In an atmosphere seething with pro-Chinese communist propaganda done by goodwill missions going to and coming from Peking almost every week, it became increasingly difficult for us to convey our as yet weak voice to the Indian people at large. We would have continued the battle and waited for better times, but for the bitter hostility shown by Prime Minister Nehru personally. It was perhaps the most painful experience of our lives to see the Prime Minister of a democratic country openly patronising the Chinese lobby led by the Communist Party of India, and angrily denouncing tried and tested patriots of a long standing in India’s freedom movement.
The communist press in India and abroad came out against the SDFA since its very inception. Both Pravda and Izvestia denounced it in their issues dated October 16, 1952.2 On October, 26,1952 the communist weekly in India, Cross Roads, opened its famous campaign with a full front-page story which sprawled over the entire back-page as well. R.K. Karanjia could not lag behind in inventing and spreading the standard communist lies about a patriotic effort aimed at exposing the communist game. His yellow sheet, Blitz, set a new record in rascalism in a matter of few months. One of us had to spend some time in analysing Karanjia’s “legitimate” sources of income through advertisements in the columns of Blitz. The results, published by D.F. Karaka’s weekly Current, silenced this “vox populi” for the rest of the SDFA’s tenure. He returned to the charge only after the SDFA was closed down in December 1955.
This communist hysteria gave us moral strength to wage the struggle with greater determination. We were really hitting the enemy where it hurt him most-the Soviet and the Chinese myths which were the only props of his false propaganda. Several years before Comrade Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders were free to agree with us publicly, we exploded the Soviet myth skyhigh and the explosion was heard throughout the length and breadth of India. The Russian and Chinese embassies started sending memoranda to our External Affairs Ministry protesting that their countries were being systematically “blackened” by the SDFA.
It took us some time to know the mind of Prime Minister Nehru about our anti-communist work. To start with, we were under the impression that like most of our busy politicians he had neglected his readings about the nature of Soviet society under Stalin. It did not occur to us that he was soon going to come out openly as an angry opponent of any effort to expose the Soviet myth. H.D. Malaviya, editor of the official Congress fortnightly AICC Economic Review, had started heaping abuses on us under the pretext of reviewing some of our publications. But it was misunderstood by us to be the personal predelections of a known fellow-traveller rather than the expression of an avowed party policy approved by the Prime Minister. Prem Bhatia of The Statesman, another spokesman for Soviet Russia, Red China and Krishna Menon in those days, had also displayed malice towards our work in the columns of that important daily. But that, too, we did not immediately interpret as the authentic voice of official India.
Several events were, however, getting linked in a chain which unmistakably led to Prime Minister Nehru. I summarise them below:
1. We were using a slogan - Communism bas nothing to offer but chains - on all our mail posted from our Calcutta office. The slogan had been duly applied for and approved by the General Post Office (GPO) when we bought a Franking Machine in June 1952. Early in 1953, Cross Roads published a photostat of this slogan on its front page, and a communist M.P. put a question in Parliament about its ‘propriety’ in view of India’s friendship with Soviet Russia, Red China, and other communist countries. The very next day, an inspector from the GPO barged into our office and took away the plate bearing the slogan without assigning any reason whatsoever. Several days later a letter from the Post Master General, West Bengal, lied that “the use of the slogan has not been authorised either in the Licence or otherwise”.
2. In August 1953, the SDFA organised a Tibet Committee which announced a Tibet Day to be observed in September. As many as 12 M.Ps including Professor N.G. Ranga were associated with the Committee. The Prime Minister came out against the Committee the day after it was formed. He called upon Congressmen not to associate with the Committee in any way. He put pressure on Ranga to resign from the Committee. The use of the Constitution Hall on Curzon Road was refused for the meeting organised by the SDFA on Tibet Day. But since the SDFA could not be stopped from its own course of action, the Prime Minister used the floor of the Parliament to denounce the organisers of Tibet Day, and threatened them with Government action.
3. The Prime Minister had perhaps become wiser about the futility of these direct methods in a democratic country by the time the SDFA organised the first ever Himalayan Borders Conference in February 1954. So he resorted to indirect and insidious methods. The Himalayan Borders Conference was to be denied publicity in the Press under pressure from the Prime Minister’s office. The event, however, happened to be so important that the Press could not ignore it. Now the Prime Minister was really desperate. So when a second Conference started taking shape in Patiala a few months later, he ordered Colonel Raghubir Singh, the then Chief Minister of PEPSU, who was closely associated with the Conference, to withdraw his support. The Colonel obeyed but not without confessing to the organisers that he was doing so under pressure from the Prime Minister.
4. In April 1954, Prachi Prakashan had rented a stall in the Government sponsored Industrial Exhibition at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, for selling its own and SDFA’s publications which were always in good demand among our politically conscious intelligentsia. Such stalls had been rented by Prachi Prakashan in several Puja celebrations at Calcutta in 1952 and 1953. A stall at the Kalyani Congress session in January 1954 had shown record sales. Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and Shri Morarji Desai, the Chief Minister of Bombay, had visited the stall and recommended our publications to our people in comments they wrote on the visitors’ book. The communist press in Calcutta had all along raised a hue and cry against these stalls but its harangues as well as threats had so far failed to force the sponsors of Pujas and other exhibitions-private agencies-to deny us the normal facilities which the Communist Party of India itself had always enjoyed. But its outrary succeeded with the Government sponsored exhibition. A two-column attack on the stall was frontpaged in the Calcutta communist daily, Swadhinata, on May 10, 1954. The paper particularly mentioned several books written by me on communist China. On May 11, an official of the Publicity Department, Government of West Bengal, asked our workers to close the stall. I myself had a talk with him in the evening that day. He offered to refund the entire rent we had paid for the duration of the exhibition but was absolutely firm that the stall should go. But as we refused to oblige him voluntarily, he issued an official order on May 20 for closing the stall immediately. We had no alternative except removing our books and furniture when we were told that they will be dumped on the street outside. The whole thing was very intriguing because the Government of West Bengal had so far been far from hostile to our work. Enquiries revealed that there was pressure from New Delhi where the communists had represented their case to the Prime Minister.
5. In February 1955, I received an invitation to attend the forthcoming Conference of the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League in Formosa. I sent the entire correspondence - including a very warm letter written to me personally by President Chiang Kai-shek - to our External Affairs Ministry, saying that I would accept the invitation only under advice from them. Months passed and not a word came from New Delhi. Meanwhile, I had applied for a passport to the regional Bureau at Calcutta because I wanted to have the document in hand in case I was advised to go. Normally, a passport is issued by the regional passport Bureau to citizens residing in its jurisdiction. But when I approached the Bureau after more than two months to find out the status of my case, they told me confidentially that my case was receiving attention from the Prime Minister himself. I wrote an urgent letter to the Prime Minister on May 3 and followed it up with a telegram. My plane ticket for Formosa had already arrived. It was only on May 21 that I received a one-line memorandum from the Ministry of External Affairs stating that “Mr. Sita Ram Goel is hereby informed that passport facilities applied for cannot be granted”. But hundreds of communists and fellow-travellers had been granted passports during this very period and very speedily, for joining delegations which were going out to various communist capitals almost every week.
Having thus become aware of the Prime Minister’s attitude towards our work, we enquired from friends in the Congress Party and the Government as to why he was so hostile. They told us that, the Prime Minister did not mind our anti-communist work as such but only disliked our “propaganda” against Soviet Russia and People’s China which countries he was trying to befriend in pursuit of his foreign policy. They also assured us that so far as he was concerned, we could safely assail the Communist Party of India, but assailing the communist countries was a different matter because that embarrassed India’s stand in international affairs.
We wanted these friends to find out a way in consultation with the Prime Minister by which we could fight the Communist Party of India without exploding the Soviet and the Chinese myths which were its only stock-in-trade. We did not insist on our democratic right to criticize India’s foreign policy which we disliked. In fact, none of our publications had commented on India’s foreign policy so far. But we received no guidance from our Congress friends, or the Prime Minister. Nor was the assurance that we could assail the Communist Party of India without arousing opposition from the Prime Minister, meant seriously. For, when we exposed communist infiltration in Kashmir, we were accused of doing propaganda for Pakistan! The fact that we had advocated full and final integration of Kashmir with India, was conveniently forgotten. Our response to vile attacks on us by fellow-travellers crowding the numerous communist fronts was interpreted as a “slader campaign” against “respectable citizens”. It was as strange phenomenon indeed that all these “respectable citizens” happened to be famous fellow-travellers like Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao who in those days was advocating the Chinese path very aggressively, and shouting from the platform of the India-China Friendship Association that all those who criticised China were enemies of the country.
Another explanation of the Prime Minister’s hostility was that the SDFA had become a platform for parties opposed to the Congress. But we could not help it. We had started with a wide support in the Congress as the letters on our files from leading Congressment could prove. These Congressment had to fall silent and avoid all association with us under pressure from the Prime Minister. We did not go in search of people from the opposition parties. We found anti-communist patriots wherever they existed and were prepared to participate in the movement. The fact that most of them belonged to the opposition parties was not a portent of any partisan spirit on our part but a sad reflection on the state of the Congress organisation. Moreover, the Prime Minister refused to see that some sections of the opposition parties were also opposed to our effort. We were far from representing the official position of any opposition party. Nor did we have a complete political platform which could satisfy the opposition friends associated with us. In fact, some of these friends had accused us of being soft towards the Congress Party and the Government.
It was intolerance, pure and simple, towards any anti-communists effort which had persuaded the Prime Minister to become hostile towards our effort. His hostility went on mounting up as he saw our work having an impact on public opinion. Finally, Prem Bhatia was chosen to express the official opinion in his weekly column, The Political Scene, in The Statesman. He wrote as follows on August 7, 1955:
“Over a period of some years now a group of indigenous MacCarthies have been operating in India, sometimes subtly, through rumour and scandal, but mostly by means of scurrilous writing. No means are repugnant to their conscience. ‘Letters to the Editor’ are manufactured by the dozen, other people’s views distorted, misquoted and tom out of context and vile personal attacks launched in the crusading spirit of the farway idol whom they seek to emulate. My own information is that the Government of India has a dossier of the activities of such authors, journalists and writers of ‘Letters to the Editor’ and their connexions.
“Here is yellow journalism in one of its worst forms. Most of these ‘journals’ have small circulations, and whenever one of them makes a personal MacCarthy attack, the victim is obligingly supplied with a free copy of the publication with a neat printed slip on the cover inviting attention to page so-and-so. Essentially, the object of the attack is the Prime Minister’s foreign policy, but placing discretion above valour, they direct their fury at correspondents whose professional decency may prevent them from engaging in an unclean controversy or who may be frightened into silence and discouraged from doing their job with honest objectivity.
“In the present stage of India’s political development, the greatest amount of freedom of thought and expression is an essential requirement of our progress, but the main condition is an honesty of motives. Admittedly, political reporting has to be objective to win respect or influence public opinion, but objectivity does not necessarily mean either a crusade against one Power bloc or the other.
“In any case, Indian MacCarthies may soon find themselves left out in the cold as East-West tension decreases, much the same as the Communist Party of India will find itself out of step with the fountainhead of its inspiration if it does not quickly adjust itself to changed conditions. Meanwhile public opinion must beware of our Little MacCarthies and the Government take note of their modus operandi, which extends from personal blackmail to pontifical lectures on objective journalism.”
It was an ultimatum from the Prime Minister whose unofficial spokesman Bhatia had become in those days. I wrote to Bhatia on August 22: “Anyone can easily descend to your level and call you a Russian agent, opportunist and all sorts of bad names in terms of that swearology to which the communists have given currency. But I do not believe in that technique and I do not use it. My only appeal to you is to practise a little charity and do a little self-examination before you feel so self-righteous and so cocksure. I am praying for your soul.”
It was true that ‘Letters to the Editor’ written by our team were quite frequent and were published in many newspapers and periodicals of standing. That was our cheapest way of reaching large sections of our people. But we had no way of preventing the communist side from joining the debate in the same columns. Nor was the press reluctant to publish their side of the story. It was not our fault that the other side, although boasting all the time that it had many outstanding scholars in its ranks, did not try to rebut our facts and arguments. Compared to the far-flung communist phalanx, we were only a few. Their utter failure to refute the solid facts and straight logic presented us, could mean only one thing, namely that they had no case and had been selling plain lies for years. Prem Bhatia could have grasped the situation, had he used his own mind and some calm reflection. But time-servers have no minds of their own. They bark whenever and on whomsoever their masters bid them to do so. It is a great pity that people like Prem Bhatia continue to pass as “veteran joumalists”.3
Events in the political firmament of India were now moving very fast. Pandit Nehru’s foreign policy had been approved by the whole country which had been swept off its feet by a flood of foreign dignitaries visiting New Delhi every now and then. Nobody seemed to notice that the Communist Party of India was in the vanguard of those who supported this foreign policy most vociferously. If the fact was pointed out by some doubting Thomases like ourselves in the SDFA, pat came the stock reply that the Communist Part had seen the error of its own ways and the wisdom of Pandit Nehru’s policies. Some enthusiasts went even so far as to believe that Pandit Nehru’s influence was fast spreading in the international communist movement and bringing about basic changes in communist theory and practice.
But we in the SDFA had closely followed those intra-party discussions of the communist movement in India which formed the background of communist support to “progressive” Congressmen led by Pandit Nehru as against “reactionary” Congressmen led by Morarji Desai, B.C. Roy, etc. The communists had absolutely no doubt that Pandit Nehru’s foreign policy was serving their best interests and paving their way to power. In fact, this foreign policy was a communist plot planted in the heart of the Congress Party and the country through the agency of a fellow-travelling but popular Prime Minister.
It was in this atmosphere that I voiced the misgivings of our group in two articles published in the Organiser, one in August and the other in November, 1955. In the first article I traced The Sources of Communist Power in India. I summed up: “Our foreign policy, especially after the grant of American military aid to Pakistan, has become a powerful motive which simultaneously props up the Soviet myth and the American spectre. The Government of India now frowns upon efforts to explode the Soviet myth in the name of goodwill towards a ‘friendly nation’. The outstanding newspapers in this country are increasingly employing communists and fellow-travellers in responsible positions to please the Prime Minister. Even a paper like The Statesman has been forced to accept an inveterate fellow-traveller like Prem Bhatia (who writes under various guises) as its reporter and columnist.4 Quite a few editors and journalists have changed their tone, if not their opinion, to suit the Prime Minister’s taste. In my opinion, the refusal of the opposition parties at this juncture to attack Nehru’s foreign policy and the increasing influence of Communism in the country will prove ultimately the most disastrous event in the history of India. Whether the refusal is an outcome of confusion, cowardice, or calculation is immaterial.”
In the second article, Nehru’s Fatal Friendship, I traced the history of countries like Spain, France, Czechoslvakia and China which had permitted their communist parties to grow strong under the pretext of friendship with the Soviet Union. There was a warning in the following words:
“‘I want with my vote to support Henderson in the same way as the rope supports a hanged man’, wrote Lenin in what is considered to be his maturest work, namely Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, first published in June 1920. And this has been the guiding principle not only of the communist parties in their ‘united front’ tactics, but also of the Soviet state in its ‘friendly’ relations with other states.
“Ever since the signing of the U.S.-Pakistan Military Aid Agreement, our Government has, to all intents and purposes, abandoned its policy of neutrality and entered on a phase of enthusiastic friendship for the Soviet Union and its satellite, Red China. Whether there was a prediscposition for this change, and the U.S.-Pak Agreement provided merely a handy excuse, is a larger question which I do not want to discuss here. But this much is clear that our Government has recently started making earnest endeavours to popularise Soviet Russia and its satellites as a first step to inhibiting all efforts, howsoever small, at an objective estimate of these countries and their professed religion of Communism. Scores of official delegations and missions have been recently swarming towards the Soviet Union and Red China, and one can discover a note of unity in their praise for the communist countries such as can only be masterminded by a deliberate propaganda effort. That effort is very much obvious in the news bulletins over the All India Radio and the documentaries released by the Ministry of Information for display in thousands of our cinema houses.
“Those who have made a close study of Communism, the Soviet Union, and the history of the international communist movement can see in this new policy nothing but disaster and ruination for independent, democratic India. I know that these people are scoffed at as ‘Indian MacCarthies,’ ‘reactionaries obsessed with the spectre of social revolution’, ‘American Agents’ and ‘enemies of India’. I also remember that the very same scoffers has used the very same technique when they denounced people opposed to the Muslim League and its slogan of Pakistan as ‘communalists’, ‘agents of British imperialism’, ‘disruptors of national unity’, and so on. The Muslim League triumphed and Pakistan became a fact because the nation allowed the scoffers to triumph. It is an irony of history that the same people who created Pakistan are today leading the country into another disaster, this time in the name of opposition to Pakistan!”
But the warning went in vain. Politicians were drunk with power, social workers with the success of their own pet projects, and businessmen and industrialists with an unprecedented plunder in the name of fulfilling the “socialist plan”. The public at large had been completely drugged by communist propaganda patronised by the Prime Minister. Slowly, the voices of warning also fell silent.
This, then, is the background against which this series was written. I had time between 1955 and 1960 to read the writings and speeches of Pandit Nehru which I had neglected earlier because he had never impressed me as a thinker of any consequence. It was in this way that I discovered for the first time the basic convictions of Jawaharlal Nehru, “the jewel of India”. I could understand at last why Pandit Nehru had behaved the way he did. Normally, a fellow-traveller loses his appetite and sleep whenever the worth of his Soviet Fatherland is questioned. So the fellow-travelling Pandit Nehru was behaving according to his fundamental mental makeup, which is that of a self-righteous bully who surrounds himself with bourgeois luxury and flirts with Communism.
But all honour to the Prime Minister for showing the courage of his convictions. There have been only a few others who could combine their private convictions with public courage. If this country ever goes down, it will not be due to Prime Minister Nehru’s fellow-travelling follies, but because of the cowardice of the other Indian leaders. I am sure that Pandit Nehru would not have dared go that far in pursuit of his policies had he been challenged by a healthy democracy inside the Congress Party and a free and frank debate in the country at large. In a way, aft of us are as guilty, if not more, as Prime Minister Nehru. But the time for undoing that guilt is not yet past. We can still restore to this country and the Congress Party the freedom of debate and discussion over all those matters in which die Prime Minister chooses to be a contesting party. The communist conspiracy has never survived a democratic debate.
I take this opportunity to ask my countrymen to recall the names of those patriots who came together in the SDFA and did their utmost to fight the floods let loose by Jawaharlal Nehru in collaboration with the Communist Party of India-. My mind goes back to those days when Har Bhajan Singh, Brij Mohan Toofan, Bhajan Dasgupta, Jaswant Singh, Som Prakash Shaida, Samir Das, Jaigopal, Jagdish Mehta, Yudhisthir, Santosh Sahrai, Prem Pal Bhatia, Amlendu Dasgupta and Pran Sabharwal of the PSP; Naresh Ganguli, Dinkar Dange, Ajit Bhattacharya and Devi Singh Rana of the Jana Sangh., Binode Bihari Chakravarty and Gopal Mittal of the Congress Party; Vishwajit Datta of Bengal Volunteers; Gauri Shankar Mohta, C. Parameshwaran and J.G. Tiwari in their individual capacity as scholars; and many others from all parts of the country and belonging to all shades of patriotic opinion, came together and served a common cause.
I am also reminded of the goodwill which many outstanding leaders and men of note in our public life showed for the SDFA all along. It was very encouraging indeed to know that we had with us the blessings of Acharya Kripalani, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Jayaprkash Narayan and Ashoka Mehta. Dr. H.C. Mukherjee, Governor of West Bengal, and Mr. A. J. John, Chief Minister of Kerala, appreciated our work and gave us words of good cheer. Sajani Kant Das, editor of Sonibarer Chitti from Calcutta, was an unfailing friend to whom we could always go in moments of difficulty. Amal Home, Director of Publicity, Government of West Bengal at one time, was always sympathetic and helpful. Professor Balraj Madhok and Prabhakar Faizpurkar of the Jana Sangh stood by us squarely. The reviews of our publications which Philip Spratt frequently wrote in the weekly Mysindia from Bangalore assured us that we were keeping along the right path in tracking down the communist conspiracy of which only a few have had a better first-hand knowledge than he. And there were many others who were equally friendly but who may not like to be named now.
In the end, I should like to express my heartfelt gratitude towards K.R. Malkani and L.K. Advani of the Organiser who gave ‘Ekaki’ freedom to say in their “fascist” paper what the “free press” in India was not prepared to publish. They might not have always agreed with what ‘Ekaki’ wrote on so many matters. But they are perhaps the only editors who are convinced about a person’s right to say what he wants to say provided he can fortify his case with facts and figures. They took meticulous care to publish these articles as ‘Ekaki’ wrote them, and used their specialised skill to display them to the best effect.
SITA RAM GOEL
October 16, 1963
Not to be confused with Ram Swarup Sabharwal who has recently dropped his surname who has added an “a” to his first name and made it “Rama”, and who smiles Meaningfully when asked if he is the same Ram Swarup who organised and led the biggest battle against Communism. Rama Swarup is now a representative of the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League in India. [He was in front-page news in 1986 when he was taken into police custody for investigation as a spy in the service of foreigners. ↩
Both papers named Brij Mohan Toofan of the PSP and the present author as the “chief conspirators. ↩
Para added in 1993. ↩
I was mistaken about Prem Bhatia. It turned out that he was not a fellow-traveller but only a time-server. Fellow-travellers have some convictions. Time-servers have none; they have the powers that be. (Footnote added in 1993.) ↩