Vol: 11 No: 02
16 August 1964
In Madras the prophets of cynicism got a sound licking when hundreds of students shocked the city and state with restitution to schools, colleges, homes, shops, the railways and the government. Lakhs of newspaper readers, tired of the daily dose of hopelessness, were refreshed by the story of 52 students marching up to the Southern Railway office and refunding money they owed for ticketless travel.
133 students from 28 colleges and schools hurled an attack at those who said India would never change, with a hard-hitting play Down with Cynicism! And when hundreds of them organised a rally against corruption and hypocrisy, the masses showed their support by mustering in tens of thousands on the Triplicane Beach.
The press, Tamil and English, took the news of this unusual and faith-giving demonstration to the millions.
I have had the privilege of knowing and working with these students. To me they are part of a gold mine all across and up and down India. Wherever we dig, we shall strike this gold.
Let the politicians, the industrialists, the labour leaders and the prominent men and women of our land make no mistake. The passion in these young hearts is strong and clear. They are more eager for a national clean-up than their fathers and forefathers were for national freedom.
These men and women will fight strictly without violence but definitely with determination. Their greatest asset is the fact that they have broken their pride and faced their mistakes and weaknesses squarely and have put them right. They are not perfect. Some of them are less secure and firm in their commitment than others and still depend on the encouragement and faith of those around them. But they are growing fast in their independent faith and courage. And I for one, expect these sons and daughters of India to lead a national upsurge to avert the impending disaster.
These youth of India are worth far more than all the treasures of the world. Will they multiply themselves into an army of ten thousand? An army in which everyone is able to say. ‘I fight fearlessly and daily to remake the world. I will put God and truth and country before any other consideration. I will not be bullied by the treats of the world’s strongest tyrant. I will live and be ready to die to establish God’s kingdom?’ If they do this, India will become the world’s greatest country. She will then not only bring a cure to this broken, dying world, but will lead humanity into a new age where everyone has enough for all his needs.
16 August 1964
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