President of Next Congress

Sardar Patel

Mahatma Gandhi having persisted in his refusal to accept the presidentship of the next session of the Indian National Congress, Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel who received the next largest number of votes from the Provincial Committees having likewise declined the responsibility, and new nominations not being permissible according to Congress rules, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was elected at the meeting of All India Congress Committee held at Lahore last week to the office. It was a case of more or less Hobson's choice with the Committee. The result has been received with enthusiasm by few and with frank misgivings by some organs of public opinion. Pandit Jawaharlal's own position is not an easy one. To the country at large he stands for independence of the British connection, but he is himself in the position of a captive balloon held down on one side by the pacific idealism of Mahatma Gandhi and on the other by the political realism of Pandit Motilal Nehru. The reasons given publicly by Mahatmaji are not necessarily all his reasons for insisting on the Junior Pandit's election this time to the Congress Presidentship. Politics, national as well as international, is now-a-days largely a matter of gestures, and Pandit Jawaharlal's presidentship is a gesture to the British Government. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru may be described as being the most moderate of extremists and Mahatma Gandhi has doubtless calculated the value of his co-operation in keeping the independence school within the bound of practical politics. On the whole, the choice is perhaps the best in the circumstances. 

Courtesy : INDIAN SOCIAL REFORMER - October 5, 1929