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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 1, December 22, 2012 [Annual 2012]

Meeting the Challenge

Thursday 3 January 2013

Dear Reader,

Freedom is in peril; let us defend it with all our might.

The threat to our freedom and national integrity has in the last few days assumed menacing proportions. The new wave of Chinese aggression all along the northern frontier, particularly in the NEFA region and in Ladakh, has brought about a national emergency of unprecedented magnitude.

The manner and intensity of the attack appear to have come as a surprise to some high-ups in the Capital. To readers of Mainstream there would have been no surprise. We sounded the warning well in time.

The morale of our people and our armed forces is very high. There is no doubt that the people’s determination and the valour of our jawans will ultimately bring us victory, although, as the Prime Minister has warned us, the struggle may be long and arduous.

There can indeed be no acceptance of surrender terms from the aggressor. And in this respect we have complete faith in the Prime Minister who stands for all that the people stand for. Sacrifice and privation are not new to our people; we shall not flinch from it when our nation’s security is in jeopardy.

We are in the midst of crucial times when every man and woman must think only in terms of safeguarding the country’s freedom and preserving the ideal of socialism which we cherish.

The nation’s functioning on all fronts has to be placed immediately on a war footing. The pace of production must be attuned to the pressing needs of national defence. There is no place for the slacker when the nation is in peril.

And not only the slacker. There shall be no quarter given to the profiteer and black-marketeer who seek to fatten on the people’s sacrifices. There shall be no toleration of anti-national and anti-social elements, nor of those who seek to make use of the crisis to push forward their opposition to planning and to socialism. Nor of those seeking to push our country into military alliances, nor yet of those still undecided about their basic loyalty. The external enemy can be pushed out only if the enemies within are held in check.

The people of India will back all emergency measures the government may take to meet the situation. In return, they seek two assurances: All emergency measures must be enforced with firmness without giving room to persons who want to exploit the situation for personal or group advantages. And our brave jawans must be given the kind of leadership on the front that will enable them to drive out the aggressor.

The people are solidly behind the Prime Minister. Victory is ours.

The Editor

(October 27, 1962)

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