A Voice from India: Asoka Mehta

Asoka Mehta, the socialist leader of India, resigned this past September from Mrs. Gandhi's cabinet, in protest against its failure to take a strong stand of protest against the Russian...

...Therefore, let no attempt be made to deceive people by using these words...
...For me, it is a matter of deep sorrow and abiding regret that our Parliament is the onlyParliament in the world that has gone on record saying that there has been no violation of theUnited Nations Charter...
...Gandhi's cabinet, in protest against its failure to take a strong stand of protest against the Russian intervention in Czechoslovakia...
...They have to find a leadership acceptable to someone outside their country...
...That is what that country is being called upon to do...
...What is the crime that Czechoslovakiahas committed...
...I also claim tobe a humble writer...
...If ever such a situation comes, we shall emulate that illustrious example...
...In this country, there is full freedom of speech and full freedom of the press...
...This is theonly tribute I can pay to Czechoslovakia...
...This the Soviet Union calls counterrevolutionary...
...As a humble writer, I would like to convey to the writers in Czechoslovakia that they can raze the structure, but they cannot destroy the spirit...
...God forbid, that our country should ever facethis kind of situation...
...But if it ever does, I hope and trust that our people and Parliament would behave in the manner in which the Czechoslovak Parliament and people have done...
...There are many writers here...
...It is our failure...
...It has given freedom of the press and freedom of expression...
...It was a reaction not against a definite change, but against any sign of life or movement...
...8, 1968...
...Let us accept that at this critical hour, when people, not with arms but with their bare bodies, with their hearts and minds, were trying to oppose aggression and tyranny, we did not stand up for them...
...We salute them for their solidarity, strength, determination and the dedication that they have shown...
...May I, therefore, appear to the House, to both sides of the House, that the Government, Parliament, and the people must, in unequivocalterms, continue to support the people of Czechoslovakia because it is only then that they can befree...
...If revolution is to smother the free voice of Czechoslovakia, I say, fie upon that revolution...
...In this House, we are functioning in a multiparty Parliament...
...If this is counterrevolution, I have no doubt that every single democrat in this House would be proud to becalled a counterrevolutionary...
...Hence the reaction...
...Why did the Russians do it...
...it is the peoples of the world who havebeen somewhat mute in their support to the people of Czechoslovakia...
...This House stands fully, firmly and squarely, behind the rights for which the Czechoslovak people are fighting...
...May I next invite your attention to what thePresident of the National Assembly has said: Czechoslovak party and Government leaders today worked against time to find a communist party leadership acceptable both to Czechoslovakia and Moscow and to restore order throughout the country...
...It is beingcalled upon to give up a part of its liberalization program...
...If our attempt had succeeded, for them it would have been the end...
...Ota Sik, oneof the Deputy Prime Ministers of Czechoslovakia, was asked by the world-famous Italian novelist Alberto Moravia, what he thought was the motive of the invasion...
...The occupation forces in Czechoslovakia have recently destroyed, razedto the ground, the Writers' Building because of their wrath against writers...
...If counterrevolution is to let the people speak out and express their legitimate right, that counterrevolution is something which the Indian people have cherished...
...If they have not succeeded fully, it is because we have failed them...
...This is what the Deputy Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia bad to say: Certain groups in power felt threatened by the happenings In Czechoslovakia...
...It was the pure and simple defense of the political status quo...
...In these two days, the people of Czechoslovakiahave shown that, given the unity, they are able to assert their will to a great extent...
...Below are a few excerpts from his speech before the Indian parliament: r was said that 10 days shook the world inI 1917 and two days shook the world in 1968...
...from Janata (Bombay), Sept...

Vol. 15 • November 1968 • No. 6


 
Developed by
Kanda Software
  Kanda Software, Inc.