Subhas Chandra Bose (Haripura - 1938)

Imperial Policy of Divide and Rule

There is an inseparable connection between the capitalist ruling classes in Great Britain and the colonies abroad. As Lenin Pionted out long ago, "reaction in Great Britain is strengthened and fed by the enslavement of a number of nations." The British aristocracy and bourgeoisie exist primarily because there are colonies and oversea dependencies to exploit.

The emancipation of the latter will undoubtedly strike at the very existence of the capitalist ruling classes in Great Britain and precipitate the establishment of a socialist order in Great Britain. It is impossible of achineventment without the liquidation of colonialism. We who are fighting for the political freedom of India and other enslaved countries of the British Empire are incidentally fighting for the economic emancipation of the British people as well... Every empire is based on the policy of divide and rule. But I doubt if any empire in the world has practised this policy so skillfully, systematically and ruthlessly as Great Britain. In accordance with this policy, before any power was handed over to the Irish people, Ulster was separated from the rest of Ireland. Similarly, before any power was handed pver to the Palestinians, the Jews will be separated from the Arabs. An internal partition is necessary in order to neutralise the transference of power. The same principle of partition appears in a dferent form in the new Indian Constitution. Here we find an attempt to separate the different communities and put them into watertight compartments. And in the Federal Scheme there is juxtaposition of autocratic Princes and democratically elected representatives from British India. If the new Constitution is finally rejected, whether owing to the opposition of British India or owing to the resusal of the Princes to join it, I have no doubt that British ingenuity will seek some other constitutional device for partitioning India and thereby beutralizing the transference of power to the Indian people. Therefore, any constitution for India which emanates from Whitehall must be examined with the utmost care and caution.

Non-violent Non-cooperation

I believe more than ever that the method should be Satyagraha or non-violent non-cooperation in the widest sense of the term, including civil disobedience. It would not be correct to call our method passive resistanve. Satyagraha, as I understand it, is not merely passive resistance but active resistance as well, though that activity must be of a non-violent character. It is necessary to remind our countrymen that Satyagraha or non-violent non-cooperation may have to be resorted to again. The acceptance of office in the provinces as an experimental measure should not lead us to think that our future activity is to be confined within the limits of strict constitutionalism. There is every possiblity that a determined opposition to the forcible inauguration of Federation may land us in another bigcompaign of civil disobedience.

Role of Congress after Independence

I know that there are friends who think that after freedom is won the Congress Party, having achieved its objective, should wither away. Such a conception is entirely erroneous. The party that wins freedom for India should be also the party that will put into effect the entire programme of post-war reconstruction.Only those who have won power can handle it properly. If other people are pitchforked into seats of power which they were not responsible for capturing, they will lack strength, confidence and idealism which is indispensable for revolutionary reconstruction. It is this which accounts for the difference in the record of the Congress and Non-Congress Ministries even in the very narrow sphere of provincial autonomy... No, there can be no question of the Congress Party withering away afterpolitical freedom has been won. On the contrary, the party will have to take over power, assume responsibility for administration and put through its programme of reconstruction. Only then will it fulfil its role. If it were forcibly to liquidate itself, chaos would follow. Looking at post-war Europe we find that only in those countries has there been orderly and continuous pregress where the partywhich seized power undertook the work of reconstruction.

Planning in Free India

Though it may be somewaht premature to give a detailed plan of reconstruction, we might as well consider some of the principles according to which our future social reconstruction should take place. I have no doubt in my mind that our chief national problems relating to the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease, and to scientific production and distribution can be effectively tackled only along socialistic lines. The very first thing which our future national government will have to do would be to set up a commission for drawing up a comprehensive plan of reconstruction. This plan will have two parts-- an immediate programme and a long period programme. In drawing up the first part, the immediate objectives which will have to be kept in view will be three-fold: firstly, to prepare the country for self-sacrifice; secondly, to unify India; and thirdly, to give scope for local and cultural autonomy... We shall have to unify the country so that we may be able to hold India against any foreigh invasion. While unifying the country through a strong Central Government, we shall have to put all the minority communities as well as the provinces at their ease, by allowing them a large measure of autonomy in cultural as well as govenmental affairs... To promote national unify we shall have to develop our linqua franca and a common script... So far as our lingua franca is concerned, I am inclined to think that the distinction between Hindi and Urdu is an artificial one. The most natural linqua franca would be a micture of the two, such as is spoken in daily life in large portions of the country, and this common languagemay be written in either of the two scripts, Nagri and Urdu...With regard to the long-period programme for a free India, the first problem to tackle is that of our increasing population. I do not desire to go into the theoretical question as to whether India is overpopulated or not. I simply want to point out that where poverty, starvation and disease are stalking the land, we cannot afford to have our population mounting up by thirty millions during a single decade.If the population goes up by leaps and bounds, as it has done in the recent past, our plans are likely to fall through. It will, therefore, be desirable to restrict our population until we are able to feed, clotheand educate those who already exist... REgarding reconstruction, our principal problem will be how to erasicate poverty from country. That will require radical reform of our land system, including the abilition of landlordism. Agricultural insebtedness will have to be liquidated and provision made for cheap credit for the rural population. An extension of the co-operative movement will be necessary for the benefit of both producers and consumers. Agriculture will have to be put on a scientific basis with a view to increasing the yield from the land.

To solve the economic problem, agricultural improvement will not be enough. A comprehensive scheme of industrial development under State ownership and State control will be indispensable. However much we many dislike modern industrialism and condemn the evils which follow in its train, we cannot go back to the pre-industrial era, even if we desire to do so. It is well, therefore, that we should reconcile overselves to industrialization and devise means to minimise its evils and at the same time explore the possibilities of reviving cottage industries where there is a possibility of their surviving the inevitable competition factories. In a country like India there will be plenty of room for cottage industries, especially in the case of industries, including hand-spinning and hand-weaving, allied to agriculture.

Last but not the least, the State, on the advise of a Planning Commission, will have to adopt a comprehensive scheme for gradually socializing our entire agricultural and industrial system in the spheres of both production and distribution.

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