The people are considerably agitated over the increase in food prices due to the cut in food subsidies. The issue is of a limited character, the increase affects twenty-one industrial centres in the whole country.
Some relief is assured through an increase in dearness allowance to a section of the industrial workers….
The policy behind the cut in the food subsidies is based on a calculation devoid of any consideration of human values.
From the Free Press archives
The Nehru Government is planning to tire out the food agitators; law and order is to be main consideration….
To our mind, executive orders restricting civil liberties are opposed to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Prohibitory orders by the Executive have no validity in the Indian Republic, except for the limited purpose of overcoming menace to authority, which is neither foreseen nor is capable of treatment by recourse to the process of the law.
We are not opposed to Satyagraha or call it, law-breaking, by its blunt name.
Yet, we appeal to the people, not to Nehru or Morarji Desai or the Union Government or the Bombay Ministry.
Our reason is simple. Citizenship has its responsibilities….
Democracy, like Freedom, is a religion; the doctrine that sovereignty vests in the people is sacred to all free people.
Today, citizens, who strongly feel on the food price issue, may resort to law-breaking.
Property interests in some of the States have resorted to dacoity and violence to overthrow Democracy….
It is easy to inflame the public mind and to release gigantic forces against authority.
It is not so easy to call off an agitation or to exercise a moderating influence over inflamed Public Opinion.
We appeal to the people, to every citizen, to think calmly, dispassionately and courageously and to reject explosive mass demonstrations and law-breaking, as weapons banned by the recognised rules of game of Democratic Government.
The Ministers are servants; the people are the masters; the masters do not need to break their servants through violence. There are other peaceful ways.
(EDIT, May 30, 1952)