Madam Deputy Chairman, it is perhaps a painful paradox that we are today
discussing the amendment of the Constitution to give the government a new legal
weapon to put down not an antagonist but a protagonist of a cause and that too
immediately after expressing our desire and willingness to meet the Chinese
aggressor round a table for negotiation. I have been listening with more than
extraordinary interest to the remarks made from both sides of the House.
Let me, at the outset, as a sponsor of the idea which you seek now to put down
by legal repression, give an analysis of the demand and its history, not, of
course, to reiterate my point of view but just to dispel some of the
misinterpretations that have been made of that demand.
One Hon. Member was saying that the demand for Dravidastan was based on what
Phizo demanded. The truth is far from it. Another member has stated here that
such fissiparous tendencies arose after the advent of independence. That is
coming very near the truth but not the truth itself.
The DMK is an offshoot of the DK. The DK has been in existence long before
independence and while there were wranglings, problems and policies as to the
future political setup, the DK, in which I was at the time acting general
secretary, presented a political formula for the South. It is only a corollary
to that that the DMK is enunciating.
Therefore, this has nothing to do with the acts of commission or omission of the
ruling party. It has nothing to do with similar or more ferocious demands in any
other part of the country. I would request members of this House, to at least
analyse the problem before they pounce upon the problem itself.
Secondly, I want to point out that so soon after expressing our willingness to
meet an aggressor should you not try, as members of this great nation, to
understand us before you try to ban the very propaganda itself? Are we so
debased that we should be treated as untouchables in the political arena? Is not
our demand serious that you should try to convince us, convert the people?
Are we not amenable to reason? Have you attempted that? That is my humble
submission to this House. Irrespective of party affiliations I am requesting
every one of the Members of this House to bestow their serious thoughts to this
aspect � whether we have been consulted, whether the ruling party has taken some
trouble to analyse our problem. I am mentioning the word �ruling party� because
most of the opposition parties have tried to analyse it. This morning one Hon.
Member was saying that the Communist Party was allied with us in this. To the
honour of the Communist Party I may say that when we approached them asking them
to accept our principle, they had the guts to say that they would not. But
electoral alliances or electoral adjustments have got nothing to do with
ideologies and therefore when we approached the Communist Party and other
parties we wee not acting in accordance with ideologies, but only with a view to
getting political alliances. It may be of interest to this House to know that
even now. This very day, the Madras Congress and the DMK in Madras have come to
an agreement over the mayoral election. Therefore political adjustment is one
thing, electoral alliance is entirely another thing and ideology is different.
An electoral alliance does not mean the surrendering of one�s ideology. The
Madras Congress is strong enough to uphold its ideology and the chief minister
of Madras is very strong in his conviction about the Congress ideology. I do not
want the Chief Minister of Madras or the Madras Congress to be misconstrued in
our debates. I am saying this just to point out there can be electoral alliances
without surrendering one�s ideology. But I am pleading for an understanding of
the ideology; I am pleading for an analysis.
Now, this Bill is brought forward to safeguard and maintain the sovereignty and
integrity of India. What the danger is to that sovereignty I do not know, and I
have not been told. Perhaps the Law Minister � I am sure that he is engaged in
drafting a new law and that is why he is not to be found in the House � if he
were here, would turn round and say:
�Know you not that there are fissiparous tendencies in this country? Know
you not that we have constituted a National Integration Committee for this
very purpose? Know you not that we are acting in strict accordance with the
suggestions of the National Integration Committee?�
am perfectly aware of the constitution, Madam Deputy Chairman, of the National
Integration Committee under the able leadership of Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, a
sturdy champion of India�s sovereignty and integrity, so sturdy indeed that as
Diwan of Travancore he announced the independence of Travancore and proclaimed a
pact with Pakistan.
Today fortunately for the Congress he is a non-aligned power and you have taken
him as the Chairman of the Committee. Let me request members of this House to
analyse how this Committee functions. It was charged with a mission to find out
how best to attain national integration, not merely to put down propaganda for
secession. It was given the mission to find out how best to forge national
integration. What are its constructive suggestions? What are its constructive
proposals barring the penal provision that they want to get from out of the
National Integration Committee�s deliberations?
The National Integration Committee, Madam Deputy Chairman, toured all over India
and had the courtesy of course to go to our state. It interviewed men of various
political persuasions but were not able to meet members of the DMK because by
that time the State Government of Madras had assigned to us apartments in the
Vellore Central Jail. That is the reason advanced by the National Integration
Committee for not meeting us but at that time, if the National Integration
Committee was interested in knowing our point of view, if they wanted to have
contact with us, the organizing secretary of the party, Mr. N.V.Natarajan was
outside the jail; Mr Manoharan, MP was outside; Mr Raja Ram was outside. They
could have got hold of any one of these people.
I do not mean that Dr. C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar should come to the jail to meet us.
He has had experience of putting others in jail and not going to jail himself.
So I do not expect him to come all the way to jail to meet us. We are very small
men. I do not want such a show of generosity from a Committee manned by such
stalwarts, but they could have taken the trouble to get into contact with some
people who were outside. Did they take that trouble?
I would request every member of this House to forget for a moment the fierceness
of our demand. Forget for a moment the dangerous consequences but please answer
me. I need no words; a slight smile, a happy twinkle, a friendly nod is enough.
Is it not common courtesy and democratic decency that the Committee should have
got into contact with the members of our party? No, they did not do that.
But they have given a statement and in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of
the present Bill it is said that they are strictly following what the National
Integration Committee has suggested. Therefore the genesis of the Bill is most
undemocratic. It is to bring home that point of view that I have taken this
trouble of taxing your patience.
Now, I will come to another point. The demand for Dravidastan has been
erroneously said to be dangerous and many of the leading lights of the ruling
party have been saying even months ago or weeks ago that they do not understand
what we demand. They do not understand and yet they understand that it is a
potential danger. How it is rational or logical or even political, I do not
It was in this House or in the other House � I do not exactly remember � that
the Home Minister was saying some months ago that all propaganda for secession
will be put down when it goes out of bounds, when its dimension grows to a
certain extent. Nobody sought any clarification because it was thought that any
propaganda for secession will be put down if it leads to any overt act, if it
leads to crossing the bounds of legality. That was stated by the Home Minister
some months ago.
What has happened in the intervening period? Have we become skull-hunters or
head-hunters? Did we indulge in any extra-legal activities? No. On the other
hand, as soon as the Chinese aggression took place we offered our unstinted and
spontaneous cooperation to the war effort.
I am very glad now that the Law Minister is not here, because when the very same
point was mentioned by the leader of our group in the other House, the Law
Minister stood up, not with a smile but with a stern face and waving his hands
majestically stated that it was all due to the Defence of India Act. The Law
Minister is entitled to uphold the potency of law especially when he is the
parent of it but in his anxiety to uphold the potency of law he has banished
from his mind common courtesy. I do not expect the Law Minister to give any
commendation to the DMK.
We have the people�s approbation in plenty and it cannot be strengthened by any
commendation from the Law Minister. I may mention here another fact. In his
anxiety to uphold the potency of law, he has minimized one other salient fact.
The present unity of purpose, the national upsurge is entirely due to the
ability and nobility of thought of the Prime Minister of India. That is more
potent than laws. Laws are after all corrective and preventive. The law says, do
not do this, do not do that.
That is not as effective as the mighty influence that the Prime Minister exerts
over the minds of millions irrespective of party affiliations. In his anxiety to
uphold the law, I do not know why the Law Minister should minimize the influence
that the Prime Minister exerts.
He could have at least stated that the cooperative spirit today to be found in
this country is due to the magnetic personality and the democratic liberalism of
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. I do not know what happens inside the Cabinet. If the
Law Minister�s statement were read by an outsider, what impression would that
create? That everyone will become so anti-national, anti-patriotic, that there
will be trouble. I would request the Law Minister to have a sense of proportion
when he makes assertions.
Apart from that, the Defence of India Act is not and cannot be the
conscience-keeper of the nation. It can only be the jail-keeper of the nation.
Therefore, if the DMK has come forward to offer its unstinted support to the war
effort, I do not expect a good conduct certificate from the Government for that.
I do not want reciprocity. I am pointing this out to ask if you do not find a
natural instinct, a spontaneous upsurge coming up in our minds. Should you not
allow this instinct to have a natural growth? And is this measure a sort of
manure? It is a damper and an irritant. Why not allow this natural instinct and
this spontaneous upsurge to have its full shape, to have its full blossom, to
have its full force? What is the urgency behind this measure? Why are you so
hasty? That is the point. And to bring home that point I was pointing out our
support to the war effort.
As I said, we are very small men, but we happen to represent 3.4 million voters
in our country as against the five million voters who made the Congress the
ruling party in Madras. I hope I need not argue very much about the difference
between five and three. I assure this House that if you do not put dampers on
our progress, I assure this House that if you do not bring in legal repressions,
we are the next ruling party in Madras. And the central Cabinet Minister, the
Hon. C. Subramaniam, issued almost an invitation in his Coimbatore speech. He
said: �Give up separation, I would welcome you to form a Ministry.� It is to
such a party that you are denying the common courtesy, the democratic decency,
by not giving us an opportunity to place our point of view before the National
Integration Committee or even taking us into confidence.
The leader of the Communist Party, my esteemed friend Mr Bhupesh Gupta, has been
kind enough to put forward a suggestion. He said: �Why don�t all the democratic
forces and the nationalist forces unite together to counteract them?� I welcome
that. I would like to see whether the people accept my point of view or your
point of view. Why should you run away from that chivalrous contest? I would
even request Mr Bhupesh Gupta to consider whether it is not more politic to
consider converting us before counteracting.
Bhupesh Gupta: That is what I said. I will try.
I am very thankful to Mr. Bhupesh Gupta. Either his method of converting us is
not effective or it has not been as intense as he desires. But I would request
this House to suggest to the Government that a Consultative Committee be formed
with members of all political parties to come and have discussions. Correct us
if we are erroneous. Convince us if you have got solid facts. Convert us to your
point of view. Instead of that you are compelling us. Compulsion, especially
through law � I need not say it in a House where there are so many luminaries in
the legal profession � is the worst form of argument. When there are two ideas
contesting in the competitive market of public opinion, if you debar one idea
with legal force you are shirking that contest. And what was the statement being
issued by members of the Congress Party in our state right up to the
Tiruchengode by-election? They were saying this and it was repeated in this
One member, my friend Mr Bhupesh Gupta, stated that I am a solitary single
figure. Another member stated that we have no hold in Kerala, in Karnataka, in
Andhra. I do not claim to have converted or even to have got hold of an
appreciable dimension of support in those sister states. I never claimed that.
My only point is that when I am making this point it would be felt by those
territories, by those linguistic states. I never claimed that what I think is
being thought at Waltair or Hyderabad or at Mysore or in Trivandrum. I never
said that. As a matter of fact, I have not gone to these places. I have not
addressed any meeting in Hyderabad. I have not gone to Mysore to speak. And why
don�t you allow me to go there, why don�t you come along with me? I would even
make a sporting offer. Let there be a Consultative Committee of all the parties
and let us all tour the country to find out what the country needs. Convince me
and then say that my demand is unthinkable. But do not bring this measure and
then say what are you going to do with this measure?
My friend Mr Bhupesh Gupta was saying that we may go underground. Now, we always
remain on the ground. We propose not to go underground. But surely the sullen
discontent will go underground.
Bhupesh Gupta: That is what I said.
The sullen discontent will go underground, and that cannot be countenanced by
any measure. Political philosophy has not yet formulated a measure to fight out
hidden discontent in the minds of millions. And, therefore, by this measure you
are driving discontent, sullen discontent, sincere discontent, underground.
There is another point that I want to make. Why do you think that our demand
endangers sovereignty? Before answering that we should be very clear about what
we mean by sovereignty. The preamble to the Constitution says that the political
sovereignty rests with the people. Then legal sovereignty is divided between the
Federal Union and the constitutent units. Why don�t you take it that our scheme
is to make the states still more effective sovereign units? Why don�t you take
it in that light? Why do you think that the moment we demand Dravidastan, we are
cutting at the root of sovereignty? Sovereignty does not reside entirely in one
particular place. We have a federal structure.
That is why the framers of the Constitution wanted a federal structure and not a
unitary structure, because as many political philosophers have pointed out,
India is so vast � in fact it has been described as a subcontinent � the mental
health is so varied, the traditions so different, the history so varied, that
there cannot be a steel frame unitary structure here. My complaint is � and it
has been endorsed by the PSP member Mr Gurupada Swamy and others � that the
working of the federal structure all these thirteen years has created a sense of
frustration in the minds of the states. They feel they may not side with me,
that the states are fast becoming dole-getting corporations. They feel that they
are relegated to the background, and there is the very natural instinct in them
that they should be given more power.
When coupled with that there is the regional disparity and added to that is the
linguistic tangle. Do you not think, that it is very natural for men like us to
feel disillusioned, and that it is not very unnatural that we should think of
separation? Well, come to us half way and say we go so far and no further. But
when you say that, when you meet us halfway, give us proper answers to the
puzzles that are created not by us but by the working of the Constitution to the
detriment of the states. Did not the West Bengal government and the Union
government have to go before the Supreme Court on the issue of the coal mines?
The Law Minister happens to come from West Bengal. Are the Bengalis fully
satisfied? Constitutionalists as they are, they have to abide by the Supreme
Court decision, and if my friend, Mr Bhupesh Gupta, were not of Communist
persuasion, he would perhaps be the first to champion the cause of West Bengal.
I bow my head to the national instinct of the Bengalis.
Bhupesh Gupta: I did champion it here.
Dr. B.C. Roy: I knew it.
I am very sorry you have lost the battle. What I want to say is that the working
of the federal structure is in such a way that the states are feeling more and
more frustrated, and their demand is to make the Union Government think that
there should be a review of the Constitution, a reappraisal of the Constitution.
And in that I am supported by a very presentable personality, a personality who
can, when he wants, get out and get into the Cabinet. I am referring to the Hon.
Mr. T.T. Krishnamachari, Minister of Economic and Defence Coordination. On
September 8, 1962, delivering an address in one of the institutions in New Delhi
I memory of a great soul, the late lamented Feroze Gandhi, he has stated that as
framers of the Constitution they have failed to incorporate a provision for a
decennial review of the Constitution. Not only that, he said that public opinion
should assert itself for that. Well, why do you take me as a Naga? Take me as a
guardian of public opinion and come along with me to the states and find out the
opinion of the people in the states.
Well I do not think that I want to place any difficulty or trouble in the way of
any member of the ruling party, but without mentioning names I may say that many
of the members of the ruling party in Madras may swear by the sovereignty and
integrity of India, but whenever they find one of their proposals not taken up,
whenever they find that they are not allotted the amount they need, they think
about me. (Interruption). That is why Annadurai is demanding support.
Deny me a steel plant in Salem, I rise up there. Deny Tuticorin its development,
the DMK comes in. Therefore, you should take the DMK as the spearhead of the
opposition to the unitary nature of the federal structure of this Constitution.
As elder members of parliament, why should you take this into the jungle? Lift
it up to the highest political arena and allow it free play; make the federation
become a real federation.
Then some of the members may turn around and tell me, �You are taking about
separation�. Mr. Bhupesh Gupta was saying that it was unthinkable. Even if
others are not aware of it, Mr. Bhupesh Gupta should be aware of the Soviet
Constitution. It allows the prerogative of separation and yet they are not
raising a hue and cry that their sovereignty is in danger. (Interruption)
Mr. Bhupesh Gupta seems to take the bad out of the Soviet Union and not the good
out of it. I would request him and persuade him to see that the very mention of
separation is not a danger to sovereignty. Not only that, even granting that our
propaganda for separation endangers sovereignty, what should a democratic party
that controls the Government try to do? Should it not go to the people? Does not
our preamble say that sovereignty rests with the people? It is the people who
have created the Constitution. It is to them, the repositories of our political
rights, that you should appeal.
I go to the people with confidence. I would request members of the ruling party
to assure your Government about your capacity, about your ability to counteract
me by educating the public. Why do you give up your rights? You as members of
the ruling Party and as responsible public men should suggest to the Government,
�Do not intervene between us and the public. If Annadurai carries on a
propaganda for separation, we are alive to that danger. We shall meet the people
and make the people understand the venomousness of the propaganda.�
May I request members of this House to give an amount of respect to the common
man as a democrat? Do not think that the common man can be deluded by anybody.
He may not be well versed especially in law but he has got a sound and robust
common sense. He knows how to distinguish between cheese and chalk, and when you
bring in this measure, you are passing a vote of no-confidence against the
common sense of the entire nation. Why not leave the issue to the people? Let
them decide. Do not think that I along with a handful of people in the party can
delude the people or mislead them. The Law Minister in the other House gave an
argument which I can only say would please teenagers.
So long as sovereignty rests with the people, they should be the proper
authority to decide upon issues. Since the federal structure has been to a
certain extent debased and taken into the unitary structure, the demand for
separation can be viewed in consonance with the discontent of the other states.
I was pressing that point that even granting that our propaganda is dangerous,
the members of the ruling party should try to counteract us. And even granting
that they are relinguishing their right, I would request the members of the
House to consider whether, to counteract that propaganda, curtailment of the
fundamental rights is necessary. I would ask the House to consider that point.
Of course, I am conscious and perfectly aware that fundamental rights are not
absolute and that there are limitations.
Parliament has got every right to restrict them. These are the elementary
principles. One need not take much trouble to understand them. But some trouble
should be taken to understand that the emphasis should be on the rights and not
on the limitations and that is why in our Constitution it is stated in very
clear terms, that the restrictions ought to be reasonable. My honest submission
is that the restrictions are not reasonable, not reasonable in the sense that
firstly, you have not analysed the problem; secondly, you have not tried to
understand us; thirdly, you have not given us alternatives and fourthly, you
have not taken the people into your confidence. It may not be in the legal
sense, but in the political sense the restrictions that you have placed are not
And coming to the fundamental rights, I was saying that the Law Minister was
giving a very funny argument in the other House. He said that if fundamental
rights were to be allowed to have their full sway, some people might use those
fundamental rights to invite the Chinese themselves. What I want to point out
is, why should the Law Minister or, for that matter, any member discount the
ability of the public to judge things for themselves? Would the public
countenance anybody getting on the platform and saying, �We welcome the
Chinese?� No. Our people may not be well-versed in the sections and in the
chapters of the Constitution but they know how to differentiate between good and
evil. And that is why in spite of so much enslavement by a powerful imperial
power, the people were ready to come forward when there was a call for fighting
for freedom. Don�t minimize your abiding faith and confidence in the public.
And as regards the fundamental rights, the argument presented by the Law
Minister in the other House, as I have said, is far removed from not only truth
but also from all seriousness. But, as I said, limitations can be placed and
Parliament is empowered to place limitations. But all these limitations should
be in consonance with the extraordinary circumstances warranting such
limitations. I argue, I submit that there have not been any extraordinary
circumstances warranting such a limitation. In fact, in the Motilal Nehru
Committee, I think in the year 1928 Pandit Jawharlal Nehru has stated very
clearly that we should not only get out fundamental rights but guarantee to the
people that those rights will not be withdrawn under any circumstances. Note
these words, Madam Deputy Chairman, and through you, I would request members of
this House also to mark all these words: �under any circumstances�, we may have
grown weaker since, I can understand it.
But has an extraordinary circumstance arisen to warrant these restrictions? No,
and arguments have been put forward that circumstances may arise, that the DMK
might not have crossed the legal bounds but yet the tendency to creat mischief
is there, the tendency to create danger is there and we should put down with an
iron hand even that tendency. I do not think that I have time enough to talk
about the place of the phrase �tendency� in the legal field and jurisprudence
known to the legal hierarchy. But I would say this that one of our best legal
luminaries, Mr Justice Patanjali Sastry, has stated that it is better to allow
certain noxious branches to have a luxurious growth rather than to attempt to
cut off and sap the vitality of the plant. That is one of the judicial
pronouncements about fundamental rights and its limitations.
And in America there are many Supreme Court judgements. Of course, we are not
bound by them but they point to the liberality of thought that can be found in
democratic countries. At one time, in one of the states, New York I think, when
a new law was brought in that those who wanted to become teachers should take an
oath there that they would be loyal to the Constitution and that they would be
loyal to the political institutions, the Governor of New York stated that such
an abridgement of the fundamental rights was unnecessary and vetoed it. I think
that we should follow or at least try to shape our thoughts according to the
liberal traditions built up in other democratic countries.
If, instead of that, you say, �Well, we have the power to annihilate, annihilate
any opposition party, today the DMK, tomorrow the Communist Party, the day after
the Jana Sangh,� you have got that power, well carry on. But remember where any
government depending for its solidarity and supremacy only on legal repression
went. And what the result would be, I need not remind you. Even today, we found
on this side of the House, Mr Bhupesh Gupta wanted not only the DMK to be
countered but the Jana Sangh to be counteracted because to him the Jana Sangh is
a communal party. And the PSP has stated that the Communist Party is more
dangerous than the DMK, so we come in handy.
If you allow the ruling party to get into the temptation to restrain or restrict
freedom of speech and expression, it may be aimed at the DMK today, but what
gurantee is there that it may not be aimed at other parties tomorrow? For that
the ruling party need not argue. We argue outselves. The PSP argues for
restricting the Communists; the Communists argue for restricting the Jana Sangh.
The more the merrier for the ruling party. Therefore I would request members of
this House to look at this problem as a problem of restriction of fundamental
rights. Let the members of the ruling party at least say that they can stoutly
oppose us in our propaganda; let them come forward at least to convince me and
on that ground, if they can, let them oppose this Bill in toto. Because my
friend, Mr Bhupesh Gupta, has said that he is accepting it in principle. Another
friend of mine, Mr Gurupada Swamy, has said that he is accepting it as an
overall objective, which means that they realize the consequences of such
restrictions. I would request them to take into consideration the consequences
of such a law rather than the party at which it is aimed. It has been stated,
Madam Deputy Chairman, that freedom of expression and thought should not be
restricted in a democratic society if members of the ruling party are confident
not only about themselves but about the people.
�One of the most important purposes of society and government is the discovery
and spread of truth on subjects of vital concern. This is possible only through
absolutely unlimited discussion�� As Bagehot points out, ��once force is thrown
into the argument, it becomes a matter of chance whether it is thrown on the
false side or the true, and truth loses all natural advantages in the contest.�
I would request the Government not to establish silence by coercion or force but
to establish concord by talking in the language of the heart. I therefore appeal
to the members of the ruling party to stand by the fundamental rights, and to
maintain your right to educate the public, instead of bringing in a legislation
which is in the nature of a penal provision to put down all thought and all
expression of dissent or difference.
My point, Madam Deputy Chairman, is this: I appeal to the members of the ruling
party to suggest to their government that a measure of this sort is unnecessary,
is undemocratic, and it cuts at the very roots of fundamental rights. I am not
referring to the fundamental rights in the Constitution, but to the fundamental
rights of Congressmen. They are not made a party to this issue. They are asked
to stand aside. The measure says, �Annadurai should be counteracted. You have
failed in that. Let me come in.� This sort of passing a vote of no-confidence
against the ability and capacity of the Congressmen of Madras, for whom I have
the greatest respect. You seem to minimize their importance. That is my trouble.
You seem to feel that they are incapable of counteracting this. This is the
tragic situation, and therefore it is that I would request the members of the
ruling party to suggest to the Government, �Here we are, stalwarts, to fight any
fissiparous tendencies. Leave us to look after Annadurai, such a small, puny
figure. A mere look, an emphatic word, is enough to scotch that fellow.�
Say that to your party, to your Government, and withdraw this Bill because it
means not only now but for all time to come, it will be said that a situation
arose in India wherein the Government of India had to bring forward an amendment
to the Constitution to counteract a small group or, to borrow a phrase from my
friend Mr Bhupesh Gupta, to counteract a single solitary man. I would say this,
that the Bill is aimed at not only the DMK but at others also. My point is, I am
concerned with the party to which I belong.
If there are other representatives who may be talking equally in this way or if
there are representatives of this ideal who have submerged that ideal for their
selfish ends, I am not concerned with them. My point is to present the point of
view of the DMK; it may be aimed at others also. But if you look at the dailies,
weeklies and if you go to hear speeches from political platforms, they will be
pointing out only the despicable DMK, not others.
Finally, I would appeal to the sponsor of this motion to drop it in the name of
democracy, in the name of political decency, in the name of having abiding faith
in the ability of the people to eschew evil. And if he is not able to free
himself from the temptation completely, let me at least request him to defer
consideration of this measure till the period of stresses and strains is over;
controversies should be kept in the background. And if the sponsor of the
measure is not able to comply even with that request, Madam Deputy Chairman,
please allow me to register my protest against the ruling party�s methods, moves