Sardar Patel on the Political Situation

The Leader of Allahabad publishes an English version of a Hindi speech which Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel made at Benares on May 10. In it, he observed :

The Congress has no army. Its only power lies in truth and non-violence. There are dissensions, indiscipline and corruption in the Congress organization. Violence has increased in the country, both in British India and in States. Hindu-Muslim riots are occurring everywhere. In such conditions and atmosphere it is sheer folly to talk of ultimatum. The present is not a time for launching a satyagraha. If satyagraha is started there will be anarchy in the country.

The Sardar has rendered a valuable public service by this unambiguous and outspoken condemnation of the policy of ultimata and satyagraha. In our judgement and that of many others, the present-day developments, which he so accurately described, are the direct and expected consequences of the Civil Disobedience movement. But we, at least, we shall not start a controversy on that point. We welcome Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's plain-speaking and we recognise the public spirit and true concern for the country's peace and security, which has prompted his utterance. His address to the Bhavnagar State people's Conference also struck an entirely different note from what we have been accustomed to hear from Congress leaders. If the spirit of the address inspires the policy of the Congress towards the States, it should be easy for the latter to co-operate with British India in advancing national interests. The Sardar advised the rulers of States to follow the example of the King Emperor. This is the first time for many years that a Congress leader of the Sardar's standing has referred in public to the King Emperor. There is evidently a complete reversal of Congress attitude towards the States as well as to the British Government. It has taken nineteen years to realise that co-operation and not non-co-operation is the right way to national progress. But all's well that ends well.