Avoid bigotry and close homogeneity

And so the Committee, having no function to fulfill, dissolved and vanished. For the first time, Congress had not functioned in an impersonal manner. I sided with my former colleagues on the Committee on the question of the moment, as it was the only path that suited me, but my separation was with them more than with the others. In their letter of resignation, they had declared that “the time has come when the country should have a clear policy and not based on a compromise between incompatible groups in Congress”. If that was to be their clear policy, I had no place with them. If the working committee were to be made up only of people who believed in a clear policy, where did I come in? Of course, the Committee must be homogeneous and able to function as a unit, otherwise it would be ineffective. He must generally believe in one course of action. But if homogeneity were to be interpreted in a sectarian sense, then a future Committee would be very different from the Committees that have functioned for the past twenty years. Where would Deshbandhu Das or my father or Maulana Mahomed Ali have been under the new interpretation? They would not have found any place in the working committee. In the early days of the Swaraj Party, vital differences arose even as to which policy to pursue. There was an attempt to form a “cohesive” committee, but it soon failed, and Congress reverted to a joint committee made up of representatives of the two main groups that comprised it. They functioned effectively for several years despite a difference in perspective …

I am convinced that the right course for Congress is to avoid bigotry and this so-called close homogeneity, as this would lead to the growth of conflict and the spirit of opposition within Congress… So one should not seize the current stalemate in Congress too tragically, as unfortunate as it is. It is a sign of the growth of our movement and it reflects the ideological conflicts that trouble the minds of many of our fellow citizens. But everyone knows that in any action that may be taken, we stand firm and a crisis will find us united.

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