The National Congress
[C. Subramania Bharati]

Party differences are inevitable in all politics. Divergent interests as well as differences in character, intellectual perception, and in temperament have made it impossible in all countries and in all ages for any large representative assembly to be without parties holding conflicting views on almost all vital questions.

But when men bring into political life the bitterness of religious sectarianism, or the spirit which ordained the untouchable and unapproachable castes – well, they commit political suicide; that is all.

Again, a deep-rooted respect for the laws of the realm will be incumbent on all the members of a representative assembly, if at all there is to be any stability and continuity in its activities. But no congress or Parliament is worth its name, if its members or any part of them should be actuated by the constant fear of some extraneous agency and should make it their chief concern to be thinking as to how every single item of their proceedings might be received by that agency.

All servility, whether of an inherited or acquired character, must be definitely abandoned by men who aspire to guide the affairs of a nation. Of course it is essential that a representative assembly should live at peace with the powers that be. But it must be “peace with honour”. And the authorities must equally be made to see that it is their interest to live at peace with the assembly+. Every citizen must be presumed to respect the laws of the state till the contrary is proved. Otherwise the assembly will be something like a harem, full of mutual jealousies and recriminations. It must also borne in mind that the chief duty of a National Congress must be to uphold the Nation idea and to try to realize it in every detail of the National life.

May our Congress be guided by these principles!

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