A people get the Government they deserve; that is a truism.
The holding of the general elections on the basis of universal, adult franchise gave every adult citizen of India the right to choose a Government of his choice…..The Government, though, a majority party Government, owes its existence to the free choice of the electors.
That Government can be defeated by the mobilisation of public opinion; by-elections provide a test for the changes in the trend of public opinion.
That apart, without a majority in the Legislature, the citizens can still overthrow the Congress Government by mobilising public opinion.
Public opinion is not intangible; it is quite tangible; when large sections of the community hold a view, in support of which they are prepared to make sacrifices, they have a weapon within their reach, which is more efficacious than violent revolution…..
The electors have to be constantly alert and active to pursue their choice to its logical conclusion.
There is a danger of the electors letting themselves to drift into an alliance with reactionism or violent revolution, in the belief that there is no other choice open to them. Such a drift will be dangerous; the country has to guard against both reactionism and violent revolution.
Reactionaries and revolutionaries are well-organised and they are growing in strength.
The real lovers of democracy are, however, unorganised; it was an easy task to vote within the privacy of the ballot room; it is not so easy to become crusaders, in the midst of day-to-day life.
The difficult task of the pioneer has to be undertaken by youth – by young men and women, in whatever walk of life, who realise that they are the custodians of the nation’s destiny and that it is they, who must defend the country’s rich cultural heritage, that it may be fostered and handed down to the unborn generations…..
(Edit, May 8, 1952.)