...he that laboureth  right for love of Me

Shall finally attain! But, if in this

Thy faint heart fails, bring Me thy failure!

–The Song Celestial


‘The Triple Stream’ 1




This Double Number


Towards the middle of April, the decision was taken to publish Triveni from Madras instead of Bangalore. Through the good offices of Sri K. Chandrasekharan, Sri S. Viswanathan. Proprietor of the Central Art Press, kindly undertook to print, publish and manage the journal, leaving me free to devote my attention to the editorial work. The arrangements connected with the change-over to Madras caused some delay. To make up for lost time, we are publishing a Double Number for April and May. Subsequent numbers will appear on the 5th of every month. The number for June, however, will be published on the 20th.


The Editorial Office will continue to function in Bangalore, with Sri K. Sampathgiri Rao to help me on the editorial side as usual. Prof. A. Srinivasa Raghavan, the distinguished scholar in English and Tamil, has honoured me by accepting the Associate Editorship. He and Sri K. Sampathgiri Rao make a rare combination, and I look forward to a period of renewed energy and achievement for Triveni.


The cover has been designed by a young artist, Veluri Radhakrishna, who passed out of the Madras School of Arts with merit, and is now working on the Telugu Daily, Andhra Patrika. The tongues of flame, symbolic of the Light of Wisdom, are more pronounced in this design. May that Light guide the steps of Triveni!


The Veeresalingam Centenary


A hundred years have gone by since the birth of Veeresalingam, scholar and reformer, and, in a very large measure, maker of modern Andhra. On April 16, the centenary was celebrated all over Andhra, and any whose mother-tongue was not Telugu participated in the functions paid homage to the memory of one who endeared himself to millions by his selfless endeavours in various fields for half a century. The ladies were particularly eloquent in their tributes. In her message, Srimati Sarojini Devi recalled how Pantulu Garu officiated at her marriage with Major Govindarajulu Naidu of Hyderabad. Srimati Radhabai Subbaroyan mentioned, in moving tones, that but for her father’s association with the great reformer he could not have summoned courage to marry her, a Brahmin girl of Karnataka, to Dr. Subbaroyan, a non-Brahmin of Tamil Nad.


In the present number of Triveni, Sri K. Punnaiah, a front-rank journalist, acknowledges that his outlook on life was transformed by his early contact with the idol of his dreams. As journalist, Veeresalingam championed many causes and made journalism the instrument of a high purpose–the uplift of man. In Telugu literature, Veeresalingam heralded a new era and wrote the first novel, the first satire, and the first autobiography. He edited the Telugu classics and translated extensively from Sanskrit and English. He evolved a prose style which set the standard to subsequent writers, till Sri Gidugu Ramamurti Pantulu won his great fight for ‘living Telugu’ and the members of the Sahiti Samiti perfected the new medium of expression.


There are just two other names which can stand alongside of Veeresalingam’s, when the history of Telugu literature within the last hundred years comes to be written,–Guruzada Appa Rao, author of Muthyala Saramulu (Garlands of Pearls) and Kanya Sulkam, and Sri Venkata Sastri, greatest of modern poets, who helped the transition from the age of the Prabandhas to that of the great modern lyricists like Sri Rayaprolu Subba Rao and Sri D. V. Krishna Sastri.


While Veeresalingam and Appa Rao are no more, Sri Venkata Sastri is happily with us still, and, though past eighty, his intellectual powers are unclouded and his interest in literary pursuits unflagging. There is talk of appointing a Poet–Laureate for Andhra. Veeresalingam, Appa Rao, and Venkata Sastri were the giants of our literary renaissance. While we enshrine the first two in our grateful memory, let us crown Venkata Sastri with the laurel crown.


India’s ‘Federal’ Language


The Committee of Indian Vice-chancellors chose the right expression when they referred to Hindustani as the ‘Federal’ language, and contrasted it with the local or State language, the language of the different Units of the Union, whether Provinces, or Indian States, or Unions of States. Within recent months confusion has been caused by certain advocates of Hindustani making exaggerated claims on its behalf. They pleaded that Hindustani should be the medium of instruction in all Indian Universities and also the ‘State’ language–they obviously meant the language of courts and Government offices–all over the Indian Union. In a patronising tone, they were willing to ‘encourage’ the local languages and to let the remain as the media of instruction to the end of the High School stage. They were obsessed by the notion that Hindustani must step into the play so long held by English. Indians who speak languages other than Hindustan naturally insist that in the provincial or ‘State’ sphere, as opposed to all-India or ‘Federal’ sphere, their languages which possess highly develop literatures should be the media of instruction in their respective Units, right up to the end of the University stage, as well as the languages of the highest law courts and Government departments. This consummation must be expedited by the early formation of linguistic Provinces. The State languages will then come into their own, and speedily develop into first-rate modern languages, with literatures forging ahead and taking rank with the best in the world, Non-Hindustanis have no wish to let the Federal language usurp the functions which normally, and in a sensible scheme of readjustment, belong to the different Indian languages.


The Vice-chancellors have wisely recommended that the media of instruction at the University level should be the local State languages, and that examinations for the Federal services should be held in those languages. But every member of the Federal services and every University student will be required to pass a test in the Federal language and provision will be made for the optional study of the Federal language and its literature in every Indian University. While at the High School level, the Federal language will be a compulsory second language with English as an optional third language, the position will be reversed at the University level–the Federal language becoming the optional third and English compulsory second.


It is matter for gratification that the Vice chancellors, with their wide experience and grip over fundamentals, have accorded to the State and Federal languages, and to English, the places which are their due. The Government of the Indian Union must implement these recommendations, and set at rest the wild fancies of well-meaning but fanatical advocates of Hindustani. These forget that Hindustani is but one among a dozen Indian languages, and that the non-Hindustanis have made a great concession by agreeing to adopt Hindustani as the Federal language. Let there be Hindustani by all means, but within the limits set by the legitimate claims of other Indian languages, and of an international language like English.


The Hyderabad Tangle


While the cause of Indian nationalism has triumphed by the formation of new Unions of States like Rajasthan and Madhya Bharat, Hyderabad is still a running sore. At the moment, negotiations which ought to have terminated on May 25, are being prolonged. The delaying tactics of the Nizam and his advisers, coupled with the nefarious activities of Kasim Razvi’s armed bandits, have set the world wondering whether the Government of India will ever come to a decision. Mir Laik Ali continues to fly between Hyderabad and Delhi. For the hundredth time he consults the Nizam and once again meets Nehru and Mountbatten at Delhi. He returns to Hyderabad, promising to be back in Delhi by the ‘weekend’ for further consultations. He postpones the journey to Delhi with a view to finding out the reactions not only of the Nizam but also of the Majlis Fuehrer. And all the while, the vast majority of the citizens of the State live in fear of death and dishonor. Along the borders, villages are burnt property looted, and Indian citizens murdered or maimed. The latest outrage is the wanton attack on the Bombay Mail, passing through the Nizam’s territory.


Rumour has it that the Nizam is anxious to be treated on a different basis from his brother Highnesses, for isn’t he ‘exalted’ over them? He will have association with the Indian Union but not accession. There should be parity between eighty-five and fifteen! And medieval autocracy must continue, with just the minimum touch of democratic forms.


Further negotiat1ons must be deemed a waste of valuable public time, and a prolonged play of the war of nerves. The Indian Union ought not to wait a moment longer. If the Nizam will neither accede nor abdicate, the Indian Government, acting in the name of the democratic forces of a free India, and in the interests of peace and ordered progress, suppress the Razakars, liquidate the Nizam, and integrate Hyderabad with the Indian Union. The Andhras, the Maharashtrians, and the Kannadigas are all vitally interested in the speedy solution of the Hyderabad problem. Millions who speak these languages are held in bondage by the Nizam. India cannot remain half free and half-slave; Hyderabad cannot any longer continue its strangle-hold.


The Governor-General Designate


To seek out the wise philosopher and make him king is an ancient recipe for the ills of the body politic. The Nehru Cabinet acted on this maxim and recommended C. R’s name for the Governor-Generalship of the Indian Union. With Nehru as Prime Minister and C. R. as Governor-General, India can hold her head high, and recall the historic association of Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya. Very likely, the Puranic pair, Sri Ramachandra and the sage Viswamitra, affords a better parallel.


C. R. was often spoken of as Gandhi’s possible heir, while Gandhi himself mentioned Nehru. But heirship in a democratic Republic is not one and indivisible and the statesmen at the top in India are all of them inheritors of the Gandhian tradition of idealism and loyalty to Truth. It is significant that the standard is being set by two high-souled individuals like C. R. and Nehru who differ widely in their mental and emotional make-up. But do they not represent, in diverse ways, the quintessence of Gandhism?


It is not often that contemplative students of the mystery of life and of what lies beyond life, are called upon to fill the highest position in a State. Janaka in ancient India, and Marcus Aurelius in ancient Rome were princes born in the purple. C. R. had a humbler origin. This commentator of the Kural and the Gita took an active part in the three-decade struggle for the country’s freedom, and, at the end of it all, becomes the’; first servant of the Nation.


C. R’s appointment has been widely welcomed. The hope has been expressed that he will play a decisive role in establishing harmonious relations between India and Pakistan. Like the skilful physician who stanches the blood and heals the wounds, C. R. must inaugurate’ an era of friendly understanding which will enable the twin-States to forget the recent, ugly past and start on a career of fruitful development.


Triveni sends affectionate greetings to the Governor-General designate, who was a valued contributor. And Triveni hopes that the ‘bags of charcoal’ he carries on his back will soon turn into caskets of the far-famed diamonds of Golconda!


A Bereaved Sister


I wish to convey, through Triveni, heart-felt condolences to Srimati Savitri Ammal, the lady Member of the Advisory Board and a daughter of the late V. Krishnaswami Aiyar. Her husband, Sri Pattabhiraman, passed away on the 12th of May after a prolonged illness. Sri Pattabhiraman was an M. A. of the Madras University. A keen student of English and Tamil literatures, he was for a time Assistant Professor of English in the Benares Hindu University, but ill-health compelled him to resign. He was associated with Sri K. S. Venkataramani in the conduct of a brilliant though short-lived Tamil Literary weekly, the Tamil Ulagam. I remember with gratitude that he was the first among the inmates of the ‘Ashrama’2 to contribute to Triveni. And it was he that passed on to me Srimati Savitri’s earlier articles in English. Her essay on Jane Austen made a special appeal to me, as I am an admirer of that skilful interpreter of English life. This was followed by a study of Sita and Draupadi in the manner of Mrs. Jameson’s ‘Shakespeare’s Heroines’. Her close acquaintance with the Sanskrit classics and her command of chiseled English prose lent distinction to that study of two of ancient India’s greatest heroines.


When an Advisory Board was formed for Triveni in 1930, I requested Srimati Savitri to be a member. Her diffidence was overcome by her (brother Chandrasekharan’s persuasion. Since then, her interest in Triveni has been warm and sustained. Besides original writing and book reviews, she rendered some of C. R’s Tamil essays into English for Triveni, and won that fastidious scholar’s praise. Her contribution to Tamil literature, by way of short story, literary criticism, and translation of English writers like F. W. Bain has been remarkable.


That this gifted sister has been bereaved, and that her broad intellectual forehead is no longer adorned by the auspicious vermilion mark, is matter for personal sorrow to me. I know she is brave and philosophical, and will acquire the strength to pass through the valley. She owes a duty to the country, and should seek to discharge it by renewed service to the cause of literature and art.


1 May 28.

2 V. Krishnaswami Aiyar’s residence in Mylapore, Madras.