French have been maintaining a Republic,but in their heart they were nourishing a sort of 'Dualism.' This dualism confuses those who do not distinguish between what the French practise and what they preach.
General De Gaulle is himself an embodiment of this 'dualism'.
General De Gaulle took over as president of France by 1st week of June , 1958. This article titled “Frencheria” written immediately after that in the magazine " Homeland" against him citing he refuse the self governance to Algeria, colonized by France.
The leading politicians of various countries have begun courting General De Gaulle.
Letters are being sent, invitations issued and interviews are sought for.
President Eisenhower set the ball rolling by announcing to the world that he had intimate contact with the General during the war years. Though the President did not present it as an argument, there was a sort of suggestion.
The British Prime Minister, it is expected, will take the earliest opportunity to meet the General and discuss matters of common interest.
General De Gaulle, having secured power, is now able to attract the attention of many a leader, and he ought to be secretly chuckling at the sort of sheepishness that has got hold of the top-men of various countries.
It is common knowledge that not one of them could feel inwardly happy at the emergence to power of General De Gaulle - which heralds but a dictatorship. But when once it has become a 'fait accompli' most of them are attempting to get the best out of the worst.
As a matter of fact, the French people themselves stood by the General only because, to stand up against him meant something more terrible — civil strife and chaos. Most of the top men of various countries were not prepared for this 'coup'—in fact none got much hint of the coming event. Moscow press now claims that it knew about the coming event long ago. At the most, it could be but a sort of conjecture. To many outside France, the event came as a shock, for, they were not prepared to witness this strange sight — Republican France rearing up a Dictator! But those who analyse the situation in France and also the mental make-up of the French people, get this consolation that after all, the French got what they deserve.
The French people have been maintaining a Republic of course, but in their heart they were nourishing a sort of 'Dualism.' As a commentator has pointed out, the French people are fervent patriots but they invest their money abroad. French deputies deliver fiery speeches against Algerian Nationalists, but would at the same time ferociously oppose any attempt at new taxation—even though it is to be spent for maintaining French hold over Algeria.
This dualism confuses those who do not distinguish between what the French practise and what they preach.
General De Gaulle is himself an embodiment of this 'dualism'.
He decries the parliamentary system — especially party system and asks for unbridled power for a specific period from the parliamentary institution itself. He denounces party system, but at the same time has formed a cabinet composed of leaders of various parties. And he would fret and foam, if anybody were to point out the paradox in his policy. For, he, like all French men, is under the influence of 'dualism.'
It is again this dualism that is responsible for the 'policy' being pursued by him with regard to the burning problems confronting France.
Much hope was generated as soon as the General assumed power, but his tour of the trouble spot—Algeria—has as yet to yield any tangible result.
Algeria refuses to submit to French autocracy any longer. The National upsurge there has got the 'blessing' of freedom-loving people all over the world. Deeds of valour and self-sacrifice are the order of the day in Algeria. The struggle for freedom has already taken a very heavy toll.
General De Gaulle, before assuming power, was thundering forth that the rulers at France were blundering. He was at pains to explain that the policy of suppression would not solve the problem. But having seized power, what is the solution he offers?
General De Gaulle, is not prepared to concede 'freedom' - the birth-right —for the Algerians. On the other hand he says with definiteness and furious determination that France would not walk out of Algeria. He thunders forth that Algeria is a part of France!
But that was exactly what the others in France were saying, one would like to point out. True! But General De Gaulle says, that he is going to transform Algeria into Frencheria! He would treat Algerians as equals, as Frenchmen—they would be granted equal rights, citizenship, their voice would be respected just as that of any French voice!
Instead of granting self government to Algeria, General De Gaulle wants to reshape it as Frencheria!
This could but aggravate the situation. It is not for getting equal rights, or a new name and status that the Algerians are waging a relentless struggle.
Algeria is a separate country, peopled by an entirely different Nation. They refuse to remain as the subjects of France. They demand freedom and Independence. But General De Gaulle offers them a decorative title—Frencheria.
Perhaps, the General feels that there is nothing illogical in this. Dualism has become a mode of thought and action with the French. Hence it is, that General De Gaulle, speaks about the legitimate aspirations of the Algerians and at the same time says that France is not going to abdicate its obligations.
Neither in Algeria nor in France, has this policy been received with much enthusiasm. Even those who speak with warmth about the bold and swift action of the General, fail to find enthusiastic hope in the scheme adumbrated by him. At the best, it is a bait which Algerian Nationalists would not face; at the worst it is a sort of quibbling. There are already many in France who ask with amazement, what benefit they got from a change. The problems remain as acute and as inflammable as ever—and they have but added one more problem, the emergence of an extra-parliamentary person at the helm of affairs. General De Gaulle has been granted extra-ordinary powers for a period of of six months. But what power could possibly intervene to prevent the General demanding more powers for an indefinite period? When all the political parties were forced by circumstance to yield to the pressure tactic of General De Gaulle, what kind of check could there be in future if the General begins to assume dictatorial garb? Already the tone is that of a dictator—he but allows the Parliament to hear him speak. What could the deputies do if one fine day General Gaulle says into them.
"You have sat too long here for any good you have done. Depart, I say and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"
Did not Cromwell thunder forth in this strain, before the Long Parliament? What answer could the French Parliament present, if and when General De Gaulle passes his scathing order,
"Depart, I say!"
(22-06-1958) , Homeland