At the commencement of the twenty-sixth volume of ‘Triveni’ I wish to convey my grateful thanks to friends everywhere who have made it possible for me to carry on this work for over a quarter of a century. The Silver Jubilee Number has been greeted warmly by the Press and the public. In an age of planning in diverse fields, ‘Triveni’ must find its place as an exponent of culture, promoting goodwill between the Indian States, and between India and other lands.
I shall, continue to be Editor of this Journal for some time, but the feeling is gathering strength within me that hereafter I should depend on younger persons to attend to the major portion of the work. While Sri B. Narasimha Rao, the Publisher, organizes the business side, Sri M. Sivakamayya, Vice-Principal of the Andhra Jateeya Kalasala, Masulipatam, and resident Associate Editor, will function as Joint Editor. His will be the responsibility to invite literary contributions, to prepare them for the Press, and generally to shape the Journal in the coming years. Sri Manjeri S. Isvaran of Madras and Sri K. Sampathgiri Rao of Bangalore, the other Associate Editors, have kindly agreed to become members of the Advisory Board.
In the new set-up, I expect to enjoy the rest and the leisure which I need so badly. It is the part of wisdom to realise that one’s energies ought not to be strained beyond measure.
During the hectic weeks when the elections to the Legislative Assembly of Andhra were being held, public attention all over India and even beyond was directed to the issues involved in the fight between the United Congress Front and the Communist Party. It was not the success or failure at the polls of individual aspirants to position that seemed to matter. The Communist Party of India claimed that Telengana and Andhra were their strong holds and that the capture of power in Andhra was but the prelude to the eventual establishment of Communist rule in the Republic of India. And then challenge was met at the all-India level. The coming together of the Congress Party and parties like the Praja and the Krishikar Lok–which had broken away from the Congress at the previous General Election–was an event of great significance. ‘Pandit Nehru, President Dhebar, Sri S. K. Patil and other top-ranking leaders made it their business to spread the message of the Congress Front, and to win an over-whelming majority for it. The fight was rightly envisaged as one between Democracy and the forces arrayed against it. Those forces had for the time being agreed to experiment with the Parliamentary programme. But their faith in extra-parliamentary methods, and their adherence to extra-territorial loyalties continued unabated. Their election speeches were not calculated to allay the legitimate fears of the ‘middle’ sections of the Andhra electorate,–that Communist rule would spell the violent uprooting of civil rights and the planting of an autocratic regime, functioning at the dictation of a foreign Power. The desire for ordered evolutionary Progress and for parliamentary institutions asserted itself. The brilliant success of the Congress Front was welcomed by lovers of Democracy. They heaved a sigh of relief, even while they recognised that certain sections of the people were solidly behind the Communists and had managed to poll nearly 30 per cent of the total number of votes cast at the elections, though the number of the seats won was only 15 in a House of 196.
The new Government of Andhra, under Sri B. Gopala Reddi’s leadership, is settling down to its many tasks in a spirit of friendliness to the entire people of the State and of hope to achieve the ideal of a Welfare State. Land reforms, hydro-electric projects, the eradication of unemployment, as well as the maintenance of peaceful conditions, are engaging its attention. To these are being added the cultural programmes which lend a meaning and a grace to the life of a citizen.
Sri T. Prakasam, one of the makers of modern Andhra, and its first Chief Minister, has had to accept the decision of the Congress High Command in the matter of the leadership of the Congress Legislature Party. But his position in Andhra public life is unique. To him go forth the love and admiration of two generations of Andhras, who owned him as leader and guide. The present Andhra Government would be honouring itself by recognising Sri Prakasam’s great services to Andhra and to India. They cannot confer a peerage, but a handsome pension ought to be forthcoming, with the unanimous approval of the Legislature.
Scholar, statesman and organiser of victory, Sir Winston Churchill has played a distinguished role in the history of our time. In office or outside, his was a career which always won public attention. He was a scion of the great ducal family of the Marlboroughs, and could himself have become a Duke in his own right. But like his predecessors in the Prime-Ministership, Pitt and Gladstone, he was essentially a democrat. The House of Commons was the chosen arena for the display of his marvelous oratorical gifts; the lively atmosphere of debate was, to him, as the breath of his nostrils. Party loyalties did not fetter him, and during critical periods in the nation’s history, he ploughed a lonely furrow. While everyone in India and England rejoiced at the conclusion of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 1930, Churchill was aghast at the sight of ‘a half-naked Fakir’ going up the steps of the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi and dictating terms to the august representatives of the British Empire. When the Government of India Act of 1935 was on the anvil, Churchill was almost alone in his opposition to any measure of self-government for India. Even a little prior to the passing of the Independence Act, he declared that he had not become the King’s Minister in order to preside over the dismemberment of the Empire. And yet his rooted conservatism did not prevent his acquiescing in the recognition of Indian Independence, when it became an accomplished fact. Being a realist he would accept a situation when it seemed inevitable.
Churchill had a feeling that he was a man of destiny. When things seemed to go wrong during the second World War, he did not hesitate to organise the anti-Chamberlain movement, and to take over power at the helm in order to win victory for Britain and her allies. He was following in the footsteps of Lloyd George who displaced Asquith in the first World War. While Churchill was a great believer in peace, he would always keep the powder dry. He would never set himself be taken unawares.
This hero of modern Britain leaves the high office of Prime Minister of England to Anthony Eden. And Eden has to face a general election, and maintain himself in power.
The future of Literature and the Fine Arts in India has become a matter of absorbing interest to the Government of India which has in recent years organised its Academies, with the cooperation of leading writers and artists from the different States. Some of the States have also sponsored similar Academies within their respective spheres. But while the Five Year Plans and the Community Projects receive ample attention from the public, these Academies have not so far penetrated into the lives of the people. New values have to be shaped, even while the old ones are re-asserted through line and colour, through music and poetry. There is a gulf between the generation which is resting on its laurels and the one that is passing through a phase of unrest and uncertainty. This is true of all realms of creative endeavour.
In this period of transition, when a people who have won their political freedom are seeking to express themselves through Art and Letters, there is need for a co-ordination of effort between the representatives of different schools. Such co-ordination is being hindered by the importation into the field of culture of warring ideologies which prevail in the political and economic spheres. It is not necessary to enter into a detailed discussion of the conflicting claims of literature and propaganda. But it must be obvious to thinking persons that the rift between the old and the new is bound to affect adversely the cultural life of the country.
If the Academies could widen the scope of their activity and arrange group conferences in different parts of the Indian Union, the resulting contacts may be expected to bridge the gulf. The effort must be to bring together not merely the representatives of divergent linguistic regions, but also the divergent groups within each region. The award of prizes, the publication of anthologies, and the conferment of titles are indeed of great importance. But in addition to recognising persons of proved merit, it is necessary to create the conditions in which poets and artists who have yet to achieve distinction can pursue their activities with the certainty that the seniors are watching their work with sympathy. Fellow feeling and the evolution of correct standards will pave the way to a re-integration which is not very much in evidence today.
The Three-Year Degree Course
For the first time after the attainment of Swaraj, an attempt is being made to reorganise the system of higher education which had been the target of virulent criticism during the time of the national struggle for independence. Though it is a mere structural change that is envisaged immediately; it may provide the psychological impetus to plan afresh and effect an improvement in the standards of our schools and colleges, so as to equip them for the great task of national reconstruction.
The proposed changes are the addition of one year to the secondary school course, the abolition of the Intermediate course, and extension of the first Degree course to three years. The objectives seem to be: (1) to utilise the additional year in the secondary school course to make adequate provision for separate training for students whose educational career will cease with the secondary stage, and prepare them for some useful vocation, (2) to provide those who proceed to the University with the academic and linguistic training necessary to qualify them for admission to the academic and professional courses of the University, and (3) to raise the standards of attainment of our graduates through education of a real University grade.
It is to be hoped that the valuable reports of the University Education Commission and the Secondary Education Commission, and other reports available, will receive due attention at this stage and their various recommendations carefully considered in framing the syllabuses and regulations for the new courses. Wise decisions have to be taken on the various issues that arise, after full discussion and consultation with all the parties concerned. There is every reason to hope for valuable results provided the changes are introduced gradually so as to avoid undue dislocation or inconvenience. The Central and State Governments should come forward with liberal financial assistance to the managements of all educational institutions affected, to enable them to adapt themselves to the new situation. The first Degree course has to be organised as a general educational course, avoiding over-specialisation and reserving specialisation to the post-graduate stage. Adequate arrangements for real and effective tutorial work in the Colleges will ensure active participation by the student in the educational process, and the full exercise of his faculties through individual effort under the guidance and supervision of the teacher.