In August 1942, people gave a mighty account of themselves. They showed patience and courage which were highly praiseworthy. But those efforts came to nothing, because our leaders were inefficient, unimaginative, unintelligent, incapable, purposeless—a MOB. I draw up the indictment.
From the beginning of the war in Europe and before it, when it was in the air they refused to admit it as a fact. To them, it was only a moral issue. Consequently, they only bewailed it, instead of doing anything about it, or taking an advantage of it. They defined their attitude towards it instead of defining their part in it and actively preparing for that part. They regarded the problem from all irrelevant angle2s. They looked upon it sentimentally, morally, when they should have done it intelligently, understandingly. Their international relations were based upon sentiments and sympathy, not upon policy and preparation. Jawaharlal Nehru refused to meet Mussolini on the ground that he had usurped Ethiopia, What a fine vent for his ‘democratic feelings’. But quite useless for planning India’s freedom, or being able to give concrete shape to India’s democratic feelings at some future time. In fact, it was criminal. Why can’t we see that we are responsible through our troops for the continued slavery of our neighbours, in the Middle East and the Far East. It would be the greatest service to those countries, objectively, if by restraining our immediate and subjective reactions and sympathies, we could do something about our own freedom and put a stop to the use of our troops to suppress the freedom movement of those countries.
In the face of the war and the threat of it, the Indian leadership just moralised and attitudinised. Their international politics came to this; They cried against Englandor France when they invaded, and cried for them when they were invaded—naive, lovable creatures.