Kids Corner

1984

The Seeds of Tyranny, Part II

Prof. PURAN SINGH

 

 

 

 

 

The following is the second half of an Open Letter dated October 21, 1928, from Prof. Puran Singh to Sir John Simon of "Simon Commission" fame.

The Simon Commission was appointed by the British government in 1927 to report on the working of the Constitution in India and to present recommendations for reforms. Its members were from the Conservative, Liberal and Labour parties. J. A. Simon served as chairman.

 

 

 A Bit of Brutal Frankness

Coming to practical problems which I am afraid the more you think about, the more theoretical and unpractical they grow, you would see some great minds become mad while thinking of India. The sign of madness is that they go on preaching but one fad.

You must agree with me that if we were a people and we had any power or if we were less civilised and more manly with some ground under our feet, you would not have entered our house and said : “Now boys be quiet, we run your home for your good.” You must admit that your proclamations are only political speeches which mean very little, because if you really wanted, you would have by these hundred years and more made us men fit for self-government.

As I have already pointed out, if this is not correct then you as a nation are hopelessly unfit for organising people to their political freedom. Hence, we think you only know how to run the Government and utilise the country in your own ways for your own good. Whatever may be the case, our suspicion is that you did not and perhaps do not mean to help us to freedom.

On your side, there are suspicions against us. If you arm us, we may revolt and be free. Of course if you had meant to give us independence you might have taken that risk. But you did not and naturally you would not.

The general man strength of this country is getting low every day in various ways. Defective education, slow and systematic economic drain, and want of opportunity for our being made armed soldiers for the defence of this country are a few amongst many. Dadabhai Narojee and William Digby say that India is being bled white. Lord Curzon supports them in the contention that India is the poorest country in the world. Imagine, if this country belonged to you in another sense, you would have secured long ago her economic independence. That indeed must be your first concern even if for doing it, you have to make India an English colony like Australia.

Why has Australia grown into a power in such a short time? The Indian thinkers should have given up their case for her political independence even in their “class rooms” of these mockeries of Legislative Assemblies, had they not come to the grim conclusion that because of our being helpless dependents, ground by your system or drainage of our wealth and consequently of strength, we cannot possibly secure our economic independence till we get rid of you.

It is the irony of fate that there may be prosperity in our budgets and in the trade statistics, but the masses are growing weaker and weaker for want of food. We the tillers of the soil are famishing. Millions there are who scarcely get one full meal a day. They are good soil for the growth of plague germs, malarial parasites, kala bazar [black market] and consumption. Man and woman material is fast decaying. This is the fundamental indictment against your policy of drift.

Closely connected with this policy is the academic knowledge being imparted to the youths of the country by our Universities. This knowledge falsely stimulates the intellects. The stimulated intellect wishes to surround itself with higher standards of life than the productive capacity of the country can permit or its undeveloped resources can afford. What is that strange system that does not change for the good of the people, aye for keeping them alive?

As I will show later, this has given birth to an artificial prosperous middle class in the country mainly made up of the variety of Government services. I, therefore, appeal to you to realise this situation as it is in reality, and do something substantial to avert this disaster. What use indeed are those ponderous unwieldy Royal Commissions on Industry and Agriculture that came and went.

You will see that the Agricultural Commission has clearly left the problem as it was. Their conclusions and suggestions are mere more yawns of an exhausted listener who has been made to hear so much volume of vague and vaporous opinions. It was not necessary that they should have come all the way and gone through all that travail to tell His Excellency the Viceroy of India that the Economic condition of the Indian farmer needs immediate looking after. The Commission on Industries came to the ridiculous conclusions of two more Imperial Services!

You must admit that this is not how living nations are doing their business of development now, nor how the Japanese would tackle a life and death problem like this.

Provision of cheap and good food to the millions of Indian farmers is more important than the declaration of the rights of the people. Much is being side shunted for purposes of political show. Allow me to put a little suggestion here. Mahatma Gandhi, for example, thinks that we men should spin like women and he repeats the gospel of khaddar, as I have said, like genius gone mad when thinking on the complex problem of Indian freedom. Thus, he wishes to give useful employment to the farmers to clothe themselves, but what use is clothing of men who are starving and have no strength for any extra employment?

Why is the dairy industry dying all over? It is a permanently agricultural occupation. There are no pastures provided.

For example, Government sells land in the Punjab colonies by auction to raise as much money as possible. This is helping the capitalist and killing the farmer. No lands have been reserved by the Government as open pastures for each village. Consequently it has become uneconomical to keep herds of milch cattle. This has led the farmer to adulterate his ghee with hydrogenised oils. If people could be helped by grants of large tracts of lands as pastures all over India, the home industry of ghee making would pay better than khaddar. They would have plenty of milk to drink. It is better to go nude but well-fed. When they are well-fed, khaddar making certainly can be an additional advantage and the womenfolk could spin like old Eve, and the poor masses could again throw up some coppice of life.

The very foundation of the society and the Government, the Indian tiller is being sapped. The permanent settlement system in Bengal has worked havoc. The Taluqdars of Oudh and the United Provinces are a kind of ransacking “permanent settlement of Bengal.” The Taluqdars are the middlemen between the tillers and the Government. They overtax them and overwork them. Practically, the middle class which should be consisting of the tillers and the farmers in this most agricultural country in the world, as we happily yet find a little in the Punjab, has practically disappeared in Bengal, in Bihar and in the United Provinces.

I am afraid it is also fast disappearing from the Punjab. Consciously or unconsciously, the Government has helped the rise of men of the type of the late Sir Ganga Ram in the Punjab, who are engines of destruction of the real middle class of wealth-creative labourers who form the back-bone of all nations of the world. And why have such men made millions? Because the Government is so hopelessly devoid of true experts. The experts of the Government gaped like wax toys in utter astonishment finding men like Sir Ganga Ram succeeding in lift irrigation which they had not even imagined as profitable.

Thus, when the flood is sweeping on the very foundation of the Government and society, the farmer and the tiller of the soil, will you sit to define the rights of the people or first save them from death?

The economic condition of the Indian farmer can be improved by the future Indian Constitution siding with the farmers and the tillers of the soil and not with the capitalistic combines and influences working in India or in England. Real improvements in Indian agriculture would come through the Constitutions and special Legislations and not through the so-called agricultural experts till the economic condition of the farmer goes up to a certain standard. The agricultural expert is of very little use to him.

The application of modern agricultural knowledge which is so far advanced and has become popular knowledge in other countries is a matter of propaganda for a long time yet in India. This propaganda reaches him through commercial concerns better than through these huge and luxurious Imperial departments of the Government of India. The very first thing is to abolish the Imperial Science Services and reorganise the Scientific Research. The Government Services should be reduced and expenditure on the remaining few and essential few must be cut down to very minimum. The Japanese Prime Minister is getting less pay than that of an ordinary Deputy Commissioner of India!

All salaries of the Government services form a part of the general plunder of the farmer and the tiller on whom the only addition to services, the class of lawyers, the Government contractors and suppliers should be considered parasites living on the revenues of the country. As said above, the Government servants and this class of people constitute an artificial middle class in India who keep up a show of prosperity. They are consumers of wealth and not the producers thereof. All the firework of prosperity is being displayed at the grim cost of the farmer’s body and soul.

A contractor who may not be able to earn by his own power even one hundred a month does manage, by some flunk, to make hundreds of thousands from the Government. The Government muddles up things when they find themselves being looted in broad daylight. For example, they start stores purchase department, not knowing that this service would add another middleman to the numerous middlemen between the Government and the manufacturers.

So, any remedy made out by the Government is generally worse than the disease. The Government is run on files, mostly very clean and well-written! All is well with the files, but the broad daylight waste is rampant.

Again the centralisation of all commercial concerns … the Railways, forests, store purchase, construction, buildings and roads … as Imperial services and departments is hopelessly costly and inefficient. The bulkiness of the country and its requirements needed splitting up of work, giving commercial concern to commercial people or to public companies. Failing to find English and Indian experts, commercial boards of international experts of all nations can be asked to come in and run these concerns in a pure business like way.

The policy of not bringing in foreign experts whenever required apparently either for political reasons or for reasons of jealousy to provide high billets only to Englishmen, tends to inefficiency that can never be found out by any Government however well-meaning and anxious for the welfare of the people.

But there is something rotten in the State of Denmark.

These very countrymen of yours manage things so well, say in Australia. One is driven to the conclusion - split up India, reduce the cost of administration, and increase the efficiency of the men who work in the systems. Ring out policy of false prestige and waste and ring the Policy of Honest Work for the uplift and development of the people. The greater the number of Government services, the more costly and less efficient the general administration. The hugeness of office work takes away the genius of Government for the efficient management of the State affairs.

To use a military metaphor, the present Government of India with its variety of Services is like the army in the trenches without the general staff behind. The Government looks like an emergency Government even in time of peace. The Government shows huge profits of these departments, but never considers at what comparative cost. It is wrong to be satisfied with the declared profits. Can those profits be made still more and at a very much less cost? Could not the land-tax be decreased and the tillers of the soil given relief. What is the meaning of a policy that makes profits and spends on the consuming and unproductive artificial middle class?

In commercial departments, to lend the security and prestige of the Government service leads to excessive corruption as in the case of Railways, and to neglect of duty and general inefficiency as in the case of the so-called Research Departments in India. Scientific Research should never be departmental. It should be surrounded by the whole world’s critical atmosphere where no third class mediocres be able to breathe.

To make Imperial Departments of science and scientific enquiry is immoral, considering that no Government can well criticise its experts. Research should be handed over to the Universities. The Universities should not be merely examining bodies as they are at present in India, but great cultural world-centres. They should be not Indian but International in the greatness of their teachers and in the quality of their work done by their laboratories and their luminaries. The staff should rise or fall by their international reputation. The merest tyros are put in charge of the Research Departments.

My plea is that you should define in the new Constitution the real and limited function of the Government. Running business concerns as Imperial Departments should be discouraged. Scientific Research, as said above, of India should be under the Universities of fame, under the governance of men whose reputation for honest, scientific work is beyond doubt. What use is any Scientific Council of Government officials? The great men can bear no yoke. It is men of true scientific independence and of the unbiased scientific mind that shall control research. Surely not the mere file-makers and Imperialistic experts.

The Proposed Remedies

I have pointed out what occurs to me as fundamentally wrong in the Constitution of the people and the Institutions of the Government of India. I have drawn your attention to the economic condition of the people who are the back-bone of the Government and how the Government unnecessarily feeds its huge bulky and inefficient services at the cost of the ryot. There is the false glitter of an artificial middle class in India, which consists of Government servants and parasites.

What are the remedies then? It is for you to find them out and not end as did the Industrial and Agricultural Commissions.

Let us look at the remedies proposed by more brainy people than myself. The remedy proposed by Gandhi is “khaddar, non-violent, non-co-operation and eventually civil disobedience.” He, too, however, has seen the scene of Walpugris night in India. The witches on the heath are against him.

In India alone you have mob-war on the Sikh-made mutton and the Muslim-made mutton, on music before the mosque, on the killing of cows! They are the ephemeral vapours of the witches’ cauldron. The impossible condition attached with Gandhi’s remedy is self-sacrifice without an end. All self-sacrifice in political matters is for the gain of political ends. When these advantages are never in sight, self-sacrifice in such matters can never become the religion of the people.

Gandhi wishes to make the politics of India some such religion which can only be the impossible religion of a few Christ-like men, and of the minds who can never stoop down from those heights.

And the Nehru draft. The Hindu has bowed down to the wind. It is ushering in of civil anarchy in which the one community wins the head and all others lose the tail. In fact, the Muslim has floored the Hindu by creating a Kohat and a Lahore for him. Mahatma Gandhi and others all say as India is not homogeneous for there is the Muslim, this is the best compromise under the critical local conditions.

Supposing you were to go and leave the country, there would set in an anarchy, in which all communities will have an equal opportunity to fight to any fate of freedom or eternal slavery. And the Hindu-Sanskrit culture and intelligence will be put again to a military test. One Khilji did walk over from Delhi to Cape Comorin with a few armed soldiers unopposed by the Hindu millions. He who occupied the Punjab occupied the whole of India with one pitched battle near Delhi or Agra. This is the history of the Hindu’s defence of his country and himself.

The same is the case today. He who governs the Punjab governs the whole of India. In the Nehru Constitution, the Muslim has completely defeated the Hindu.

The great anarchy, creative of equal opportunities for all and the victory of one community over all others, is not to come, but this incipient consumption-like civil anarchy is welcomed in the Nehru Constitution by all kinds of men! It shows how in their zeal for mere tall talks on national work, they are blind to the practical effects of their proposals on the governed masses.

If it is not the collapse of the Hindu, on what principle, by the way, should Sindh be separated from an advanced province like Bombay and made into a backward pure Muslim province? And why should the Sindhi merchant, mostly Sikh and Hindu, who trade all over the world be compelled to agree to it for the sake of the Nehru draft and an academic agreement? If that principle is granted why should not the Central Punjab be made into a Sikh Province? Because the Majha and Malwa Sikhs have so far not created a Kohat and a Multan, what else?

The Nehru Committee has ignored the Sikh because he is not as many in numbers as the Muslim. But conquerors like Ahmad Shah acknowledged the Sikh as the only entity in the Punjab. Perhaps it was Nadir Shah who remarked “from this Nation comes the odour of Sovereignty.”

The English commanders, one after the other have spoken in glowing terms of the outstanding bravery, chivalry and the upright character of the Sikh soldier. The present Commander-in-Chief in India once remarked that he would trust his wife and daughter for their safety to a Sikh soldier.

And it is in the Punjab that the misls of the Sikhs were formed. A Sikh chief would throw his saddle in a village or a town and thenceforth it will be his private estate. The Punjabi Hindu could not oppose the Sikh saddle. Under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Punjab was never a Muslim province, but a Sikh province. The Muslim ministers of the Maharaja remained faithful to the last, while the Hindu and the Brahmin ministers proved traitors.

It may be remembered, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sardar of the Sikh misls, was invited by the Muslim choudhries of Lahore to come and be their king. Hari Singh Nalva struck terror in the den of the lion. The Frontier Pathans still say to their crying children “Harya Ragla” - “Hush, Harya has come !”

How can the Nehru Committee today extinguish such a community by a stroke of the pen? Is this their Hindu fairness? Sindh must be separated because that is the Muslim demand, and the Sikh is but a Hindu, ignore him. The Hindu, if he were a man, should have stood up for the Sikh and proposed the separation of the Central Punjab as the Sikh Province.

It is all non-violent civil anarchy giving all advantages to a powerful and well-combined community who shows the mailed fist.

Let me say openly if the Sikh Jats [peasants] get into their heads that they can have a province to rule, they will die to a man and create many Kohats. The Sikh knows how to fight for his rights, but why should such activities at all be inspired by the Nehru report?

Let us take the population basis and the adult suffrage on which the whole of the theoretical reasonableness of the Nehru Report is being preached, broadcast.

In this country, where one powerful Zamindar of Bengal has thousands of his galley slaves to sweat for him for a starving pittance, where even in the most virile Punjab, the secret of agricultural prosperity in the most prosperous irrigated colonies in the perpetual indebtedness of the tiller who gets but the barest subsistence and works more for keeping his flesh and blood together than to earn a wage that may make life worth its joys, and is under the thumb of the moneylender, what an absolutely hypothetical value is attached in this Report to the voter as if he were an old Athenian peasant or a Roman citizen!

With the old Roman citizen, as even with the Greek peasant, the political sense was, so to say, the sixth sense. An illiterate voter would go and ask a literate citizen to write down for him the name of his chosen candidate. He behaved as a citizen. Even then, we know how the oratory of the Anthonies and others swayed the political-minded mob. And exactly similar is the case in England and other Western countries now.

For ages, the masses of this country have been terror stricken, not only by the foreign invaders, but by the habitual and slow daily tyranny of the little Neros of India, the Indian Kings and Zamindars and the Bankers and have been driven like the bleating sheep that are led to the slaughter house. It is simply sickening to find such an uninformed population made as the basis of an adult vote. And when practical modern administrators of experience laugh at the schoolboy-like proposals of the Nehru Committee, the ill-organised noise of the Congress Camp, utters a hooting shriek.

However able these Hindu lawyers of India may be to make the purely academic debates hot and saucy in the Assembly chamber, they cut a sorry figure in practical administration. The Japanese statesman has the same poor opinion about the quality of this highly intricate Hindu intellect.

It is an open secret how an audacious A.D.C. and some of the Secretaries made the late Lord Sinha uncomfortable. I dare say a Sikh Sardar or a Muslim Zamindar of the Punjab would have known better how to sit in that chair.

What is then the significance of the Nehru Report when it is vitiated by the fundamental mistake of determining power to vote by mere population and mere adult suffrage in this country where it is impossible to get an independent voter?

M.K. Gandhi has failed to give a remedy.

Pandit Moti Lal Nehru has not asked you to leave the country, as he should have done, to violent anarchy, but wishes you to set in that form of consumption which would naturally eat up the weaker communities. It would be the same thing if you agree with Nehru’s draft or make yourself a similar one with a few modifications, both will be useless unless you re-divide India into four or five Harmony-Presidencies with all communal power well nigh equally balanced. If the wise acres tell you that this re-division is impossible, then no Democracy can be made to work equitably in India. Better put back the hands of the clock and bring in one efficient, impartial, stern but benevolent dictatorship.

What Should the Englishman Do?

So there is no remedy as far as thought devoid of fiery imagination can go penetrating the details of human affairs in India and the details that have been here for centuries as rigid facts.

I now come to what the Englishman should do under the circumstances.

To be brief, if he is a Cromwell, he should frankly say not only to India, but say so in the face of the nations of the world: “O, Indians! Do your damnedest, we will govern you as we like. Go away. On what grounds and in what way is India more specially yours than ours? Aryans conquered it, they have gone. We occupied it when you were all fighting amongst yourselves, we will occupy it as long as we can. Come. We will die to a man and govern you as best we choose.”

After this proclamation, he, the Cromwell, will guide Government of India on a new basis of that benevolent and bias-less autocracy of his Puritan type. Abolish all religious superstition, all social iniquities, all backward tendencies of these diseased people by law put into force at the point of the bayonet.

Guru Gobind Singh made a living people out of these willy nilly johnnies by a moral power. Let his idea be now carried out by a military power. The writer [Katherine Mayo] of Mother India has written scandalously, as Gandhi says like a drain inspector. But what use is writing "Unhappy India" and "Father India" in reply?

We must frankly admit all those shames are inherent in the constitution of our society and admit that we are mostly as she [the author of "Mother India"] says. The way out of it is not any reply to her, but a change like the one coming over Afghanistan and Turkey. Let military law do with us what so far moral law has not been able to do.

And if he is a Bentham, or a Burke, then certainly he shall make no compromise with miserable political conditions in India as the Nehru Committee has done in a most miserable way, and as they expect and wish you might follow. It is an enslaved country from centuries and all these communal conditions have come about under encouragement of one kind or another from the subtle tone of administrative machinery.

Also, denominational education of Aligarh, Benares, Lahore and Amritsar have added fuel to the fire. The lure of coveted Government services and powers of municipal chairs and authority of District Boards have added to the flame. As a straightforward Englishman, bent upon doing substantial service to the people of India, in helping them to self-Government and Independence, you must discourage all such conditions that have artificially created communal differences. There is no doubt, wrong administrative partialities shown at different times to one or the other community are responsible for these miseries.

Due to these partialities shown directly or indirectly, the people surmise that your policy is divide and rule. You must put a stop to all this nonsense. In the new Constitution, there shall be no compromise of any kind with one community or the other. Your Constitution must afford equal opportunities to all who live under it.

The truly Democratic Constitution should not allow one community to get into power and work mischief through the democratic institutions to crush the other. In the grant of your New Constitution, the right of all people should be equal in the eye of law. Public services shall not be demoralised by selection of candidates on any communal basis. No more shall English servants of the Crown take sides. Deterring punishments shall be freely meted out to those who might in any way corrupt the services.

The crux of the introduction of the truly democratic Government in the country is the question of franchise and such franchise that would automatically and mechanically make the electorate non-communal. You are expected by afflicted lovers of the progress of the Indian peoples to determine it under the Indian conditions.

I may just suggest that the question of franchise cannot be properly settled nor a non-communal general electorate be made possible and efficiently workable without taking away the great errors of history which have been made by your countrymen in making provinces and sub-divisions in India.

The Nehru Committee has taken lying down the arbitrary and imaginary administrative lines that are supposed to divide one province from the other. Wipe out the provinces as they are for a universal franchise based on equitable ground by which no one community should be able to dominate. So far, imagination has been lacking in removing these errors because your nation went on adding one province after another to their Empire and went on making little bits into separate administrative units.

Under pre-Reform autocracy, such divisions worked fairly well. And any divisions could work well under a strong Central Government. With the democratic institutions and the Provincial Autonomies coming in, these divisions need another casting. And the principle of dividing provinces on the communal basis is axing the very root of the political progress in the country. It is simply un-statesman-like to treat Sindh, North-Western Frontier and Bengal as the Muslim-majority provinces when these provinces can be either split or lumped up into better working divisions than the present ones.

The real work of genius should be the system of conditioning the franchise in such a way as to balance power. As long as the military power and the army are with the Central Government, this balance of power can be effectively secured in all the new Harmony Presidencies. It goes without saying that for a real and effective change some hard discipline is essential for some time to let the new change settle to function properly.

I would suggest not only to make the Constitution impartial and non-communal, but to so divide India administratively that the joint electorate may be possible on non-communal basis in a foolproof way. The franchise should be granted under certain limits of revenue-paying capacity, education and the human substance, also on the soldier yielding capacities of different peoples.

With the new division of most harmonious provinces and with the new limits of franchise, the elected bodies would be coming forth to work the new Constitution in a non-communal manner befitting sensible men and true citizens.

My point is to so re-divide the country that there may be a fairly balanced opportunity for all communities and castes and the franchise may be so limited and elastic that best representatives of all communities may have equal chances. Thus, either bring in true Western conditions of running the democratic institutions by completely ignoring the communal differences not in a theoretical way but in a practical manner, considering the local conditions of prejudice and ignorance and tenant slavery, or go back to benevolent autocracy of a dictator.

The latter is impossible now.

It would be ridiculous in the eyes of the civilised world if you do not grant us Dominion Status forthwith.

Therefore, the only possible alternative is to give a foolproof franchise to secure the balance of the political power that manifests itself most acutely and effectively in the selection of the state servants. If this is done, the various minorities may also be let alone to take care of themselves.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would request you not to be so small as to be partial in any way to any community and not to be so large as to give over India into the hands of one powerful community and thus reduce the other minor communities to eternal slavery even under democratic Institutions.

By cutting up the country into Muslim provinces and Hindu provinces, you would be only introducing a slow eating consumption of civil anarchy which could kill the weaker communities. Where the Hindus prevail, Muslims shall suffer and where the Muslims prevail, the Hindus shall suffer. And as I have already said virile communities like that of the Sikhs may risk to fight to death to ask for a purely Sikh province.

The moment is great and the English people have to show a political imagination which they have not shown so far.

I pray the Highest in you may help you to rise to your full moral stature and you may be able to surprise the Indians with your New Constitution. Give a franchise on the new-India-nation-making basis and let the limits of the franchise be such as no one community may swamp the majority of votes. It is simply unwise to build the New Constitution on the population basis. It is the worth that counts.

A race horse is worth a million of donkeys. And in determining these limits, your genius has to come into full play. Wipe out by your Constitution the Hindu and the Muslim as such and bring in conditions in which the “Indian” may become possible, who may truly represent the dumb driven masses of India.

The Nehru Committee has drafted a Compromise Constitution on the crater of an active volcano.

I, therefore, appeal to you to recommend a Non-communal Constitution. Secure the economic Independence for us as it is being achieved, say in Australia. Reduce the bewildering varieties of Government services and the Neroic cost of administration. Let the tiller of the soil be relieved of excessive taxation by reducing the overhead charges to a minimum.

Only then will the economic condition of the tillers of the soil go up and a real middle class of the wealth-creative labourers come into being.

Yours sincerely,

Puran Singh

 

 

Courtesy: Puran Singh Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab.

First published on sikhchic.com on June 30, 2011. Re-published on June 5, 2017.

Conversation about this article

1: Bibek Singh (Jersey City, U.S.A.), June 30, 2011, 6:56 AM.

Very thought provoking!

2: Gur Singh (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.), June 30, 2011, 8:22 AM.

Tells highly of the author who wrote it. Must read for every Indian.

3: Devinder Singh (India), June 30, 2011, 10:22 AM.

"... the masses of this country have been terror stricken ... and have been driven like the bleating sheep that are led to the slaughter house. It is simply sickening to find such an uninformed population made as the basis of an adult vote." When Anna Hazare said this month that the Indian voter is simply bought for a saree or 500 rupees, he was derided by the PI (public intellectual). Actually the condition holds. Mamta Banerjee won Bengal by simply transferring to herself the marxist cadres wholesale. Villages in 'democratic' India still vote en bloc. A political party has simply to pocket the sarpanch. But to trust an unprepared populace with unconditional adult franchise was far-sighted. The voter has with time learned the power of his vote. That people vote on communal lines is a cultural failing.

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