Home Land , (Editorial - 25-01-1959)
Anna has written about economy and status of Germany post WW II and What India as a country and what ruling govt led by Jawaharlal Nehru has to learn, correct and implement in India, in this article on 29th Jan 1959 edition of the Home Land magazine.
The German character, its strength and resiliency, its ability to get things done has been the mainspring of the recovery. They call this particular trait, as ‘Tuchtigkeit”. Those who are almost amazed at the spectacle of a broken nation becoming strong within ten years, ask, what factors have been responsible for working such a miracle; and after analysing the situation, they come to this irresistible conclusion, that the mainspring of recovery is this, Tuchtigkeit.
The solid fact remains, the ‘Stars and stripes’ flies over one part while the other part has the ‘sickle and hammer’ as its banner—but the other, and more important fact ought not to be minimised, and that is this: Germany has become strong and grows stronger. Of course the Western part swears by democracy while the Eastern part qualifies its democracy by the addition of the words ‘people’ and ‘plebescite’, but both the wings of Germany have become strong. The U.S.A. guides the destiny of Western Germany, while Soviet Russia has taken upon itself the task of shaping Eastern Germany. But the remarkable fact is, both these ‘zones’, though they put on the appearance of opposing military camps, have by now become economically strong and sound. That is a fact, at once spectacular and significant. It may even be cited as a classic example of the vanquished enslaving the victors. Both the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union vie with one another in helping Germany to become strong and stronger. They have to prove to the world that their respective system is perfect, that it alone could deliver the goods. Hence the Soviet Union spares no effort in rebuilding East Germany, and Uncle Sam becomes vigorous in his generosity in inculcating a new life into Western Germany.
Even the habitual dreamer would not have thought that a time would come when the Dollar and the Rouble, would be poured forth in abundance, to make the Mark gain strength and soundness. And yet it has happened, the Mark has become strong, Germany is today a country treading the path of prosperity and plenty.
“The economic recovery of Western Germany since 1948 has been spectacular. At the end of the last great war, Germany was a defeated and broken country with her economy disrupted by the ravages of the war, division of what was formerly a single economic unit, and an influx of 10 to 12 million refugees into a geographically restricted area. Her proud industrial edifice was damaged beyond recognition.
“But in less than ten years the economy of Western Germany has grown to be one of the soundest in Europe.... The standard of living attained the pre-war level and even higher; unemployment was reduced to a tolerable degree; balance of payments surpluses and international reserves grew very fast, her gold and foreign exchange reserves have risen.”
—writes Prof. S.K.Basu, head of the department of the Calcutta University.
The picture of Eastern Germany seems to compete with the portrait presented by Prof. Basu, in point of richness and colour.
“During our study tour we were highly impressed by the progress made by this young Republic during its nine years of existence. When one thinks that at the end of the Second World War, the big cities of Germany like Berlin and Dresden completely lay in ashes with their industry ruined, one will the more so admire the tremendous effort put up by the people of this Republic to rebuild their residences, industries and their economy. In spite of the division of their homeland the citizens of the German Democratic Republic, by their efforts, have not only built beautiful houses and shops, but also placed their economy on a sound footing. It is by dint of sheer hard work that their homeland is once again prospering. The young Republic stands firm on its feet and I am convinced that this country will once again take its place in the community of the nations of the world and throw its weight for the peace and happiness of the world.” —writes Mr.Krishna Tripathi of the Banares University, now studying at a Technical College at Dresden, East Germany.
The conclusions that each one of them would have arrived at, might be different.
One would perhaps put forward a strong plea for the Soviet system and the other might perhaps point out that the American system is most effective in making a country sound and prosperous.
But we are concerned, with an entirely different lesson, that could be drawn from both the of these pictures and that is this: there has been a tremendous recovery and resurrection and from out of the smoky sepulchre that was Germany has arisen, a new, virile, let us pray that it should not become vindictive Germany, and this is to be found in both the wings—under both systems. So the plain truth, to be recognised is, that though the help rendered by U.S.A. and Soviet Union, to a very great extent contributed for such remarkable recovery, the basic cause seems to be the character of the German people, their will, their drive and their determination.
Mr.Wallich has observed that the German character, its strength and resiliency, its ability to get things done has been the mainspring of the recovery. They call this particular trait, as ‘Tuchtigkeit”. Those who are almost amazed at the spectacle of a broken nation becoming strong within ten years, ask, what factors have been responsible for working such a miracle; and after analysing the situation, they come to this irresistible conclusion, that the mainspring of recovery is this, Tuchtigkeit.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, has been busy all these years, attempting to get this mainspring! Yet it is still eluding his grasp. The deeper his ardor in this attempt, the more distant seems to be the goal. He harangues, cajoles, sermonises, scolds, expresses sorrow,—but touch what chord he might, this Tuchtigkeit still remains elusive. Pandit Nehru, takes the people along with him to those modern shrines, the dams and projects, in the hope of inculcating this spirit of drive and determination in their minds—but the people remain unresponsive and like the proverbial love-sick hero. Pandit Nehru pours forth his anguish at times, and even talks of retirement!
We hasten to say, that we write this, not to deride this great man, not to belittle his effort, nor to doubt the honesty of purpose in his actions, but only to point out that, this failure to get the mainspring should make Pandit Nehru, to bestow some deep thought about the efficacy or otherwise of the methods he has been following till now.
He should find an answer to this question—of course it is a tormenting one—why is it, that in spite of his sermons and appeals presented in poetic garb and even prophetic style, the people have not come forward to become partners in this pilgrimage? Why was he not able to get the best in them, and gear it to the machinery for recovery? Why is it that the masses look on passively and even doubtingly at these new projects and programmes?
Blue prints and brochures are for the chambers; for the hut and the hovel something more real and intimate is needed, if the people are to evince keen interest in all these activities that go by the name of reconstruction. They should ‘feel’ that all these activities are for them, for giving them better, newer and fuller life. And this could not be achieved by sleepy discourses at costly seminars, not certainly through addresses studded with statistics. They should hear the melody, however feeble it might be! They should be made to see the approaching dawn! They should feel that things are taking better shapes and turns. They should be made to get implicit faith in the mission, not through preaching but by precepts. When they find their rulers sweating for them, then would they be thankful, and become willing and enthusiastic partners in the great task of resurrection.
But the sight they are asked to witness, is appalling. They find the old old ways, followed by the new rulers, with an added amount of arrogance. They find red tape becoming redder, and the distance between the rulers and the ruled widening. They find plutocrats don on the patriot’s attire and boss over the people. And how could they be enthused? They find all around them strange happenings! They find no intimate contact with the measures undertaken by the government. Hence there is lack of warmth, and from such a people, Pandit Nehru could never get this, Tuchtigkeit.
Instead of spotting out this cause, Pandit Nehru begins brandishing hot epithets, when others dare to point out certain failures and shortcomings.
No nation rises to its full stature, no people arise to put forth their best efforts, unless they are convinced and captivated by an ideal placed before them. And what is the ideal Pandit Nehru is able to place before the people?
A curious mixture of different systems, hastily assorted, loosly packed but lavishly labelled! That cannot awaken the energies in the masses.
Placing an ideal alone is not enough; the rulers should at every step and turn prove to the people, that they are true to the ideal presented, that they are following a sure path, and that the goal is not receding. Nothing should be said or done, that would make the people doubt the honesty of purpose behind the attempts.
We are not interested in presenting platitudes. We but write thus, because, the people have got quite the contrary feelings about most of the governmental activities and hence they do not offer their active support to schemes, presented by the planners.
Bluntness is sometimes permissible and this is a problem wherein, one should be quite frank. Despite denials and protests from those who are placed on the pedestal, the people feel that the Congress regime has become the barmaid to big business. The people think that all schemes are so manipulated that the Big Business would get the most out of them.
On seeing dams, real or models, the people are nor thinking about the irrigation facilities generated, but only about the contractors who have become fat because of these works! When the Congress propagandist, loyally enough, preaches about seed farms, the people are instantly reminded of ‘so and so’ who, because of his intimacy with Congress bosses, sold out unfertile lands for abnormal prices. When ministers exhibit their ability by quoting figures proving that production in the agricultural sector has increased, the people look askance, because they find the cost of living becoming heavier day by day. When the up-country leaders talk about Unity, the people wink at one another for, they are instantly reminded of the tussle going on between one linguistic group and another. No announcement enthuses them. No achievement seems to satisfy them, for, they have not felt these things. It is one thing to be ‘told’ and an entirely different thing to feel about it. And what is termed Tuchtigkeit can spring forth only when the great mass of the people ‘feel’. That is woefully lacking here.
“Who says that the Congress has become the barmaid to Big Business? And how dare one utter such words?” thunders forth the Congress propagandist. And the theorist amongst them even asks. ‘Pray what do you mean by Big Business?’
Of course the people see all around them, the spectacle of the rich becoming richer, and hence conclude that the regime is after all aiding and abetting Big Business. But they cannot present any analytical reasoning to prove, what they see. That is why the Congress propagandist puts the tickling question, ‘prove your accusation?’
Fortunately for the masses, an expert and recognised authority comes forward to present the reply, with devastating candidness.
“Big Business means the 650 to 800 men who control between them all the large concerns in the Country”—writes, Mr.Gorwalla, in the Eastern Economist.
It is this phalanx that has taken hold of the Congress regime.
“The close affiliation the Congress party has always had with Big Business has become even closer since its accession to power. Big Business fills the party chests. Ministers becoming friends with and adopting the outlook of Big Business get further and further away from the people. The influence of Big Business is obvious in matters like food and housing policy, leniency shown to large tax evaders and in fact directly or indirectly in almost every sphere of governmental, economic activity.”
How are the Congress bosses, going to defend themselves? Mr.Gorwalla is emphatic and logical.
A critic attempted to pen a defence, and he asked Mr.Gorwalla to substantiate his statement.
“Here is the testimony of the Finance Minister of the government of India, given in a debate in Parliament in March 1957”
—writes Mr.Gorwala and refers to the statement of the Finance Minister, in which he confesses having given a licence to an individual knowing full well that he is a black-marketeer.
“I know that the man to whom I gave the licence was going to do black-marketing. I knew taxes were not being paid; I knew huge profits were being made because we gave quantitative protection of a black-market nature. I knew we were bleeding the consumer white,... I and my government did it in the interests of the country”
This is what the Finance Minister said:-
On analysis anybody could find the unpardonable crimes committed.
A licence is given to a black-marketeer.
The Minister grants the licence knowing full well that he is a black-marketeer.
The Minister knows that the licencee makes huge profits, and evades taxes.
The Minister admits that he is bleeding the consumer white.
This is the state of affairs, and how could the people show any respect for the very many schemes adumbrated by a regime, which abets black-marketing.
We did it all in the best interest of the country, pleads the Finance Minister, and no one with an iota of justice and fairplay would munch such a shabby explanation.
Mr.Gorwalla compares such a regime to a night-watchman, turning a help-mate to the burglar; the bosses in the Congress camp would be furious, but how could they escape such a comparison! Their Finance Minister admits having granted a licence to a black-marketeer.
Instances such as this are many and grow in a menacing manner. Nepotism and corruption are to be found in all spheres. The various audit reports bear ample testimony to this sorry state of affairs. And yet, the Supremo, takes no care to curb this evil. In fact he considers this to be such a small affair as not to merit his attention.
When the people find the regime so sordid, they naturally become disgusted, and keep aloof from the activities chalked out by such a regime.
Hence it is, that the nature and amount of drive and determination shown by the German people, is not to be found here, and consequently all those grandiose schemes for the reconstruction of the country bear no fruit, and the country finds itself burdened heavily with increased taxes and loans.
The greatest asset, that any government could and should attempt to get, is the willing, enthusiastic and spontaneous co-operation of the masses, but the acts of commission and omission of the present regime are of such dimension, that it has almost forfeited its right to demand the ‘Tuchtigkeit’
(Editorial - 25-01-1959)