We have Independence,but No Morality!
Yet another Independence Day!
Yet another year of unimaginable Scams,Rapes,Politicians’ Goondaism
All in the name of Mahatma Gandhi..!
We have Independence to be Immoral!
I wd like to recall here a few incidents for posterity’s sake of Stalwarts of India and their Very Highlevel Morality&Integrity in Public Life…with the hope they might inspire an youngster or Two!
1.Lal Bahadur Sastri is foremost in this as I was a witness in 1964 when he owned Moral responsibility for a Train Tragedy in Ariyalur,near Trichy,went in the midnight(Immediately when the accident occurred)left his Resignation letter on PM Nehru’s table ,parked his official car and walked Home!
2.I have witnssed a Congress Stalwart,Kakkan,who was a Minister in Kamaraj’s Govt and after the 1967 debacle,he used to come once in a way to meet my father in Ramnad from Madurai by Bus!My father used to put him in a Jutka(Horse driven cart)to go to the Bus stand!Kakkan I know very well is an embodimentof simplicity,unassuming shyness,soft spoken by nature..
Compare him with a color Dhoti wearing corporation councillor of Today!
3.V.O.Chidambaam Pillai was born in a walthy Family..Thats why he was able to start a company ‘Swadeshi Steam Navigation Co.,”with Ships running between Tuticorin&Thalaimannar,Challenging the Britishers..
He lost all his wealth due to his involvement in the fredom struggle and he wrote in his biography when he died
“I owe…this shop so much money,this chettiar..so much..”
People cried beyond words when they read about these Debts of a man born with silver spoon!
4.VVS Iyer..was a great revolutionary from Trichy ,got gold medal in th High School xamns,was a master of Latin Language,who went to UK to get the Barrister Degree.Since he refused to take the Oath in the name of the King,he was to be arrested.He escaped the British warant by disguising as a Muslim woman in a Burkha and escaped to France,from there to Cairo and from there along with Muslim Pilgims he reached Pondicherry.He started the first Independent Movement in UK along with Vir Sarvarkar and continued his ferocious attitude towards the British even in Pondicherry when he was instrumental in creating revolutionaries like Vanchinathan,who killed the Tinnevely Collector Arthur Ashe at point Blank and killed himself later on.The letter Vanchinathan had written prior to his suicide is as below:-
“I dedicate my life as a small contribution to my motherland. I am alone responsible for this. 3000 youths of this brave country have taken an oath before mother Kali to send King George to hell once he sets his foot on our motherland. I will kill Ashe, whose arrival here is to celebrate the crowning of King George in this glorious land which was once ruled by great samrats. This I do to make them understand the fate of those who cherish the thought of enslaving this sacred land. I, as the youngest of them, wish to warn George by killing Ashe who is his sole representative and has destroyed the Swadeshi shipping company and several other freedom fighters by subjecting them to severe torture.
Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram”
I donot know how many Tamilians have heard about VVS Iyer who has translated Thirukkural in English,have written several commentaries on Ramayana,Guru Govind Singh and others during his imprisonment.
He tried to save his daughter in Mundanthurai falls when he also died along with her..A real revolutionary who was so close to VOC&Bharathi!
5.My Father has been an example of exemplary simplicity&Honesty and he changed his life style after 15th August 1947 from a suit to a Dhoti!He started in 1950 Vivekananda Hostel in Ramnad exclusively for poor SC/ST boys from near by villages(even upto Rameswaram there was no school in those days,that’s why Abdul Kalam came to Ramnad for schooling)and gave them free stay and free education as well.
The link below’Mayalagu’&’Karmegam’ will give you an idea of the type of students my father had created..
One incident comes to my mind about his high level of Integrity..
1965..He was a sitting MLC representing the teachers constitency and he was close to A.L.Mudaliar in the council as ALM liked his English extempore speeches.ALM was heading the panel to recommend best Teacher of Tamil Nadu for Presidents’ Award and the procedure was for the District Teachers Association to recommend two names based on meit and from those names,the panel will choose the best & recommend to the Govt.My father was the Ramnad District Teachers’ Association President and the meeting held at De Britto High School decided to recommend someother name,as my father ‘refused to recommend his name despite unanimous request by all committee members to put his name,as he said
“how can I recommend my own name?”
AL Mudaliar was surpised to find my father’s name missing in the list of names.He was furious and asked the reason from District association Vice Presidnt at De Britto,who explained ‘how Rajah Iyer refused to recommend his own name.’
ALM asked the VP to convene another urgent meeting ‘in the absnce of Rajah Iye&recommend his name.’
That’s how my father got this President’s Award in 1965!
My father used to laugh.. “I don’t know what wd have happened if I got it in 1966..I wd have had to receive the award from President VV Giri!”
These episodes are all meant to make human beings more&more moral and Dharmic..
They are as much important as we read Bagavad Gita or Bible on a daily basis..
Independence doesn’t give you permission to be Immoral!