ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Right Retreat

Letter from South from Volume XIV, Nos 51 & 52, December 22, 1962.

In Madras the other day a great demonstration and meeting were jointly organised by the Congress, Communists and some other parties. What was striking about this meeting was the frontal assault against the Swatantra policies and Rajaji. The latter was rather uncomfortably reminded of the fact that only a few months ago he had backed a resolution calling for India’s unilateral disarmament – scarcely the best way of being prepared to repel Chinese aggression. It was almost being taken for granted by the Swatantraites that nobody would have the courage to question the wisdom of its sage. But it was done and to a wildly enthusiastic concourse.

As a result of these moves and counter-moves against the background of a genuine mass sentiment in favour of national mobilisation through radical measures, some sort of a political stalemate appears to have been reached. The Rightists have made political progress but after an initial advance, have been contained. The Left holds its own and is beginning to mount the attack. But the centre, which is the bulk of the Congress leaders and cadres, seems as yet to be content to remain the centre! It is not yielding to the Right but neither is it out to counter it. It snipes at the Left while accepting its support but is by no means ready to forge anything resembling an united front. Basically it just sits tight.

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