अभिनंदन ग्रंथ - (इंग्रजी लेख)-१५

All this is true and reflects the most obvious and popular impression. And still it is not suffi­cient. It does not seem to explain in any manner how all this was achieved within the short span of three or four years, nor does it throw light on the understanding and actions that have been responsible for it. The impression is one of achievements than of efforts, of results than of reasons. It is mostly a response to success and is hardly evaluative, which it cannot be unless it seeks to explain the success. For, success by itself is a norm of dubious value; it is sometimes dangerous and is always superficial. A proper appreciation of Chavan demands raising and answering the question: what is it that has suc­ceeded in his success, and what are its prospects in future ? It is the search for this answer that seems to be of basic significance today.

The first and one of the most striking elements in the answer lies to my mind not in the success of the Chief Minister ship but in the acceptance of it. The acceptance came in a situation when it was in every sense a thorny crown, when to rule was not to command or to respond, but to guide and to lead the people : to guide when few seemed to listen, to lead when no one was pre­pared to follow. The elite appeared in the streets shouting slogans and the mob threatened to rule. The elemental passions of the people, once roused, were respectors of none, but demanded of every­one that he fall in line or be crushed. The deci­sion to accept the responsibility in that context could be a completely thoughtless decision, unless it was an act of supreme moral courage and in­formed by deep democratic convictions, expressing in that background in the form of loyalty to Parliament and its decisions. Developments since then have amply vindicated the decision. It was obviously a case of the assertion of reason in an individual whose own emotions were against the decision he took.

But moral courage was not enough; the moral argument seemed to lie with the opponents. While it was possible to deal with everything else, it was difficult to answer the question as to why a particular group should have been chosen for treatment which was obviously different. It was futile to tell them that they were the chosen people, because they were believed to be the most mature people; for they were convinced that the difference in the treatment amounted to dis­crimination according them an inferior status. Parliaments are of course supreme, but they are also human and can and do commit mistakes; hence the sanctity of the right to get their deci­sions revised. Here therefore was a situation which demanded a very cautious, intelligent and sympathetic handling so that the argument may not be used for vindicating all sorts of actions. Reason had to be persuasive and appealing rather than sharp or assertive so as to ensure the soften­ing of emotions and the cooling of tempers. The people had to be taught that justice could be demanded only with clean hands and what was essential for it was faith in the potential goodness of man.