Mahatma Gandhi, who is looked upon by the followers and the critics also as the greatest socialist of the twentieth century and who alone has given a workable alternative to Western Socialism, declared, “Socialism is a beautiful word and, so far as I am aware, in socialism in all the members and society are equal-none high, none low,” In the individual body, the head is not high be cause it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low be cause they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal, so are the members of the society. This is Socialism. In it, the prince and the presents the wealthy and the poor the employer and the employee, are all on the same level Their Socialism is as pure as crystal. It, therefore, requires crystal like means to achieve it. Impure means result in impure ends. Hence, the prince and the peasant will not be equalized by cutting off the prince’s head nor can the process of cutting off equalize the employer and the employ ed. Once cannot reach truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth.
“Therefore, only truthful, non-violent and pure hearted socialist will be able to establish a socialistic society in India and the world.”
Socialism needs positive approach
Socialism is not a negative concept. It cannot be achieved by means of sloganeering and sensationalism It will not descent from the heavens. Anti-discipline, anti-production anti-property and anti rich instances are not the prayer means to achieve it Accusations of the well-to-do sections as cruel exploiters and poisonous pest, appeal to the ill-clad and ill-fed to envy the rich and the plausible promises to improve their lot without positive, pragmatic and time-oriented programme will only serve as great hurdles in the way of social ism. To fulfill the “Solemn resolve” enshrined in our Constitution, to ensure food, clothes and shelter, to eradicate disease and squalor, to ameliorate the standard of living of millions of our less fortunate fellow-citizens, we must make a genuinely collective and concerted effort. Honest, hard, constructive and collective work by all, each according to his or her aptitude and talent alone can bring prosperity.
Socialism and Mahatma Gandhi and our present leaders
What Mahatma Gandhi had feared has come to pass. India is not only physically bifurcated, it is torn by hate, intrigues, greed and political rivalry on account of the personal whims of the self seeking politicians. The Indian political horizon is pitch dark, full of mean strifes under the gap of ideological conflicts. In this disarray of spirit, the main victims are the men in the street. If slogans, chants and catch words had the miraculous efficacy, India would have been the happiest land on the earth. But we know with. the help of our prudence that high word divorced from high actions rarely do any good to any one. The Congress has sharply divided itself into two factions, each calling itself the Congress. What the result of this spirit will be one cannot say. Both are blaming each other for the split. Both have held a session of the Indian National Congress at different places within a week of each other. They abused each other to their heart’s content. The have formulated the same ideas, and have adopted more or less similar resolutions, each varying with the other in its claim to be more socialistic and progressive Naturally, at this hour of national crisis we are reminded of Mahatma Gandhi and his methodology. The high sounding socialist programme that both Congress groups, ruling and organisation, have drawn up, are at other people’s expense, and do not touch themselves. The so called socialists who preached equality of income and ceilings on income in Bombay and Ahmadabad have in hesitation in enjoying huge perquisites at public cost. Central Ministers, who draw salary Rs. 2500/- a month and enjoy perquisites worth Rs. 17,000/- a month are but one example of the unmasked hypocrisy, Legislature are not lagging behind in the race of perquisites. The Prime Minister is leading the caravan of these socialists by spending thirty to forty thousand rupees on his maintenance per day. When he is on his official tour which he takes off and on in order to talk to the down-trodden from the nearest proximity, an amount of Rs. 1000,00 per day is incurred on him. Those who profess to follow Mahatma Gandhi should take a leaf out of his wood. He applied the result of his teachings and exhortation on himself and asked them, who cared to follow him, to do the same. His philosophy was primarily meant for his consumption. He traveled always in third class, lived in a hut and put on a minimum of clothing He used a stone, instead of soap for his bath, wrote his letter on little bits of paper. with little stumps of pencils, which he could hardly hold between his fingers, shaved with a crude country razor and ate with a wooden spoon from a prisoner’s bowel. Thus, he abridged the guilf between words and deeds. But our leaders talk of socialism, but appear eager to squander away the hard earned money of others and break their plighted word solemnly given to those who have study by them at the time of elections. Our leaders should keep in mind the words of Mr. Gokhale, “The tallest of must bend so that the exigencies of the situation may be satisfied” According to the latest implication. of socialism. Mr. Jagjivan Ram, a senior member of the Central Cabinet, is a true socialist because he forgot to submit his income tax returns for ten years. His forgetfulness should be accepted as an argument because he himself does not seem to be aware of his real and whole income.
Socialism and Equality
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru declared himself a socialist in 1929 when he delivered his Presidential address to the A.I. C.C. in Lahore On another occasion the said, “Our basic aim is to create an ideal Welfare State’ on a socialistic pattern a classless society in which there is no exploited, where there is no class conflict, regional rivalry or groupism. Our objective is the promote individual initiative and social and moral reorientation of our people. In short, we are to evolve an entirely new pattern of our social, cultural, ethical and economic outlook of our entire nation.” Socialism aims at and brings about equality among citizens but at the same time, as Pandit Nehru emphasis ‘individual initiative’ must be promoted and encouraged. The emphasis on equality of income and cry for ceilings result in a similar reward to the worker and the idler alike. After 50 years of bitter experience, the Soviet regime is realizing the necessity for in come differentials. As one Soviet economist, Prof. Alexander Birman put it, Why should loafers get the same pay as good and efficient worker?” Socialism has created a kind of warfare in Indian society. Every one seems to be in a smashing mood against those who are better off The cumulative effect of this has been pernicious. In the phenomenon broadly known as the Brain Drain, during the 1968-69, about 96,900 persons left India. The socialist politicians in this atmosphere are flourishing by evading taxes, and by be fooling the common men by raising slogans and catch-words. The hollow. socialism preached by the cunning politicians may lead the country from excellence to sub mediocrity and from poverty to pauperism in spite of her vast natural resources and the resourcefulness of the people.
Nationalization and Socialism
Nationalization is no solution to backwardness and poverty. A climate of competitive politics is dominating the country. Every politician is defending to be more socialist than the rest, and pressurizing to nationalize not only all banks but everything else under the sun in order to win popularity. Nationalization of banks has not improved the sorry plight of the common man.
India stands in urgent need of incorruptible leaders to introduce socialism. India is a democratic nation. Hence, she believes in the rule of law. Socialism in India has to be brought about through democratic values, not through those methods and tactics which are being practised by some leaders in West Bengal to which our Central Government is a mere witness. Our leaders are corrupt because corruption pays very handsome dividend. Corrupt practices in politic system primarily come from defection which goes unpunished. In fact, there is a very heavy premium on defection. The oldest party in the land, which should have set an example to the others, is busy rewarding trimmest, turncoats, opportunists and other assorted types of defectors. The great discovery of Conscience’ has created a problem of gross indiscipline in politics. Evil and good, both percolate from the surface to the bottom.