I should like to place before you for your consideration a fact of overwhelming importance and moral. A tota world war, a crisis, of the highest magnitude in human affairs has passed away without touching India in the least. We have the same political status as of old, we have the same masters—and, curiously enough the same leaders.
As against this static background, we have the picture of other countries, whose face is entirely changed. France and England inspite of their being victorious countries have experienced and accepted a new political outlook and class- configuration, at home. Coming to the people nearer home, whose problems are similar to ours in the Middle East and Far East, we find that they have woken up to a new political consciousness and, what is more, a new effort and action.
Consider this fact again. Just consider a total war which has changed the life of other countries, and was meant to change it, whether we wanted it or not. And consider the same war of the same total nature, which has left us where we have been. We are forced to the conclusion that something is wrong somewhere.
But didn’t we try to do something about it? Didn’t we launch a movement as early as 1942, to remedy the above-mentioned ‘wrong somewhere’? We are responsible for our actions but not for the results of those actions, for many times we do not determine them. We tried but, unfortunately, we failed.
Now, my friends, I want to bring home to your mind the fact that we failed. It is an unpleasant fact. But let us learn to look at facts, especially when they are unpleasant because it is the beginning and basis of any fruitful action and results. We cannot build upon make-believes.
If we agree that there was a war of a very universal and intense character which has left us stand still and from which we did not profit, so far as it lay in our powers, and if we also accept the unpleasant fact that we failed, when we exercised those powers, we should agree that there is room for stock-taking. Let us try to find out why we failed and how we could remedy the cause of failure.