Chapter 14
Politics and Parties

IT IS perhaps not fanciful to trace in modern Indian political thought three main elements, which have come down from particular historical phases. First, there is the readiness to accept control and regulation as part of the normal pattern of life, which may reasonably be connected with the traditional authoritarianism of the Hindu and Muslim periods; secondly, there is an impatience to advance at an impracticable tempo, which springs naturally from the sense of time lost under alien rule; while, thirdly, the almost superstitious regard for Parliamentary forms and for the rule of law is clearly the result of the injection of British ideas of freedom and democracy into the Indian system.

These historical causes have generated certain motive forces which, in varying degrees, operate in all the political parties of India to-day. The most important of these forces is a passionate devotion to new-found independence. Englishmen of the old school revisiting India after some years are apt to be misled by the nostalgic remarks of old friends and colleagues--and still more by their contacts with old servants--into believing that large sections of the Indian public 'wish the British could come back'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pride in Indian independence is universal and the determination to maintain it against all encroachments, real or imaginary, is common to all parties and all classes.

The second motive force in Indian politics is the belief in what Nehru has called neutralism. This will be discussed in detail later and here it need only be said that all the main Indian parties are agreed that India can and must be kept out of the next world war. They suspect all treaties and alliances and look with particular disfavour on those pacts which seem to bring the struggle between the West and the Communist countries nearer to South Asia.

Thirdly, there is the belief of the great majority of educated Indians in democratic forms of Government. Their interpreta

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