THE MAN AND HIS CONVICTION

Syama Prasad Mookerjee never bowed to Nehruvian
pressures when it came to the larger good of the country

Making an assessment of Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s life
and personality, sometime in 1959, S Radhakrishnan, then
Vice President of India, had perhaps come nearest to
describing the essential and defining character trait of
the late leader, when he wrote that “in his public
life”, Mookerjee, “was never afraid of expressing his
inmost convictions.”

Such a dauntless power, the philosopher statesman
argued, was becoming rare because of the rising habit in
our public life of maintaining an unconcerned, or
interest-induced silence in face of oppression,
injustice or plain lies. “In silence”, Radhakrishnan
reminded his readers, “the cruelest lies are told. When
great wrongs are committed it is criminal to be silent
in the hope that truth will one day find its voice. In a
democratic society one should speak out, especially when
we are developing an unequalled power of not seeing what
we do not wish to see.”

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